Junior Members News - June 2011

By Silvia Sánchez-García

While in San Francisco for the annual meeting of the American Academy of Allergy Asthma and Immunology (AAAAI), I heard about the creation of the WAO Junior Members Group. I was invited to participate in the steering committee for this group as a former WAO fellowship recipient.

Our first steering committee meeting consisted of few people who were thinking about where the idea of this group would lead and how the initiative might be received, and an exciting brainstorm came. We began to work enthusiastically. Since then more members have been joining us. To date, only three months later, I am pleasantly surprised by the news that we are more than 50 members and growing! This is great news, without any doubt, taking into account that the group is still not formally established, and its “official presentation” will take place in the next WAO Congress in December in Cancún. I am sure that, although there is a large amount of work we still have to do to launch this initiative, every WAO member who is taking part in this project is excited about the initiative and strongly believes the group will help junior allergists.

But how so? What does it mean to belong to the WAO Junior Members Group?

First of all, joining the Junior Members Group does not mean necessarily having an extra job. You will participate in the group as much as you want. The first benefit is simple but with an enormous meaning: You will have a voice in WAO, and your opinions will be considered. Any suggestion or idea will be appreciated at any time. Other benefits are more practical, such as communication and networking, being a “link” between juniors and experts worldwide, reporting open fellowships, and other opportunities. But you will also enjoy “non-scientific” benefits, such as special events for juniors. And you will never feel alone in a meeting!

I am glad to announce that our first initiative will be ready in the following weeks. We are preparing a Facebook “group” for junior members. And Twitter will be used next! The purpose of the Facebook presence is to have an informal atmosphere online for remaining in contact with each other and exchanging general information about group activities, important events, dates or features. The WAO Junior Members Group Facebook page will be administered by three or so members of the Junior Members Group, a combination of juniors and senior advisors. The administrators will approve requests to join. Our Facebook page will supplement the WAO Junior Members Group website (www.worldallergy.org/juniormembers/) which is the official online repository of the group. Currently the website features the Junior Members Group registry and has been set up for posting official news, project updates, and other information.

To sum up this exciting opportunity:
- Have a high scientific level of knowledge
- Have ideas to share
- Are involved in Allergy/Immunology
- Have a place to expand their interests globally at WAO

JOIN US! You can become a junior member at our website: www.worldallergy.org/juniormembers

Did you know that you can subscribe to the Member News page on the WAO Junior Members Group website? For those who use “RSS” go to the archive page and subscribe to receive feeds through your favorite RSS tool.

Silvia Sanchez-Garcia, MD, is an attending doctor in the Pediatric Allergy Section at Hospital Infantil Niño Jesús, Madrid, Spain. She was a WAO short-term fellowship recipient in 2008. Dr. Sanchez-Garcia is currently a member of the WAO Junior Members Group and Spanish Society of Allergy and Clinical Immunology Junior Group.