Tuesday, August 8, 2017

Do Not Donate Money To The ASAPAC Yet

It's that time of year again. Like the Salvation Army's brigade of Santas and their red kettles who appear before Christmas each year, August marks the ASAPAC's annual donation drive, or Day of Contributing. This year it will occur on Thursday, August 10th.

But I'm here to tell you not to give any money on that date. Only a fool would give them any moolah this week. I'm not saying don't contribute to the ASAPAC. They are the most effective political action committee in medicine and one of the most effective in Congress. The more money we anesthesiologists give to them, the more the profession can effectively fight the encroachment of CRNA's, poor payer reimbursements, and other major concerns.

The reason I suggest holding off on giving to the DoC Thursday is because you will get nothing in return. Though the yearly event always reminds me of a public television donation drive, you will receive nothing for your generosity. PBS will give you a nice mug or towel, maybe even a book or DVD if you are generous enough. By comparison, the ASAPAC gives you bupkis.

What really got on my nerves last year though was that the goodies are given the weeks AFTER the DoC. In the past I've dutifully made my online contribution to the ASAPAC and urged others to do the same. Then I realized that if you wait just a few weeks, they will actually give you free stuff to show their appreciation. It's nothing significant, just little tchotchkes like pens or flashlights with the ASAPAC logo. But it's still better than nothing.

When I saw the gifts they were handing out, I emailed the ASAPAC to ask if I could have some of the items too, since I had JUST given them a few hundred dollars. "Sorry, no can do," was my reply. They were only for that particular fund drive. Giving to the DoC was purely out of the goodness of your heart. If you want ASA paraphernalia, you'll have to wait for a different event where they actually promise to give you things. Gee, thanks a lot. I feel like I just got shafted by my own professional society.

So please contribute to the ASAPAC. But you don't have to give them money on the arbitrary day of August 10th. They will take your money any day of the year. Just wait until they pass out ASA logo'ed hats or T shirts if you truly want to feel appreciated.

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