Frequently Asked Membership Questions

 

Q: What are the different types of SDSMA membership?

A: Active Members. To qualify as an active member, the applicant 1) must be licensed to practice medicine or osteopathy in South Dakota; 2) must be in good professional standing; 3) may not practice or claim to practice any means of healing not generally accepted in the medical community; and 4) must be a member in good standing in their district medical society. Active members are voting members of SDSMA.

To apply for SDSMA membership, click here.

Life Members. To qualify as a life member, the applicant: 1) must have been an SDSMA member for 10 or more continuous years; 2) may not be actively engaged in the practice of medicine; 3) must be a life member of a district medical society; and 4) must be elected as a life member by the SDSMA Council of Physicians. Life members are voting members of SDSMA and are not required to pay dues.

Resident Members. Residents are eligible to be associate members of the SDSMA. As members, residents receive mailings from the SDSMA office, are represented on the SDSMA Council of Physicians and are encouraged to participate in all member benefits.

Click here to download a resident membership application.

Student Members. Medical students are eligible to be associate members of the SDSMA. Membership dues, along with American Medical Association membership dues for medical students, are paid by sponsoring SDSMA physician members for all four years of medical school. As members, medical students receive mailings from the SDSMA office, are represented on the SDSMA Council of Physicians and are encouraged to participate in all member benefits.

Click here to download a student membership application.

Affiliate Members. Affiliated members are admitted by vote of the SDSMA Council of Physicians. Affiliate members formerly practiced or lived in South Dakota and are non-voting members of SDSMA; they are required to complete an application accompanied by a written statement of the reasons the applicant should be admitted.

To request affiliate membership, email membership@sdsma.org.

Q: What are the benefits of an SDSMA membership?

A: SDSMA membership benefits are numerous and the value is what you make of them. Valuable benefits we hear about most from our members include advocacy, both in Pierre and in Washington, D.C., with a strong pro-medicine agenda; a subscription to the monthly peer-reviewed medical journal South Dakota Medicine,; membership in their local District Medical Society with local colleagues; members-only access to sdsma.org; regular industry communications through newsletters, events and publications; and your name and photo included in the annual SDSMA member directory with nearly 3,000 distributed across South Dakota. Membership makes a statement about your professionalism and is a perfect addition to your resume.

Click here to see a full listing of membership benefits.

Q: Do I have to have a medical license to be a member of the SDSMA?

A: Yes. SDSMA members must be licensed to practice medicine and a physician in good standing in South Dakota.

Q: Who are eligible to be members of the SDSMA?

A: Licensed physicians who are medical doctors (MDs) and doctors of osteopathy (DOs) are eligible to apply for SDSMA membership.

Click here to apply.

Q: As an SDSMA member, am I also a member of a District Medical Society (local chapter)?

A: Yes. SDSMA members are automatically members of their district medical society. The two memberships go together and you can’t have one without the other.

Q: Is there a separate application process to be a member of a District Medical Society (local chapter)?

A: Individuals approved for SDSMA membership are automatically members of their District Medical Society. The two memberships go together and you can’t have one without the other.

Q: How do I know which District Medical Society I belong to?

A: District Medical Society membership is determined by where a physician lives. South Dakota is broken into 12 districts. Find map of those districts here. . If a member lives outside of South Dakota, the district is based on where the physician practices.

Q: What if I prefer not to be part of my District Medical Society?

A: SDSMA members are automatically members of a District Medical Society and one is not independent of the other.

Q: If I already belong to my specialty society, does that automatically make me a member of the SDSMA?

A: No. Being a member of your specialty society is encouraged; however, there is no other organization in South Dakota that has a greater presence, and represents all physicians, than the SDSMA. In addition to being involved in your specialty society, it is also important to be involved your wider profession.

Q: Will I receive a membership card?

A: Based on member feedback indicating cards were not used, the SDSMA does not distribute membership cards. If proof of membership is needed, the SDSMA can provide a letter or certificate by request.

Q: Am I required to pay my dues on my own or may I receive assistance?

A: Many SDSMA members pay their dues on their own. There are members whose employers assist with paying SDSMA membership dues as an employee benefit. Whether the employer covers your dues by paying the SDSMA directly or reimburses the member following dues payment varies by employer. Check with your employer to determine if you have employee benefits that cover membership dues.

Q: When does my membership expire?

A: Both the SDSMA and District Medical Society memberships expire Dec. 31 annually.

Q: Do I have to pay membership dues every year?

A: Yes. The membership dues are for one calendar year and must be renewed annually.

Q: My organization paid my current membership dues. What happens if I leave my job or switch employers?

A: SDSMA membership is individual and covers your membership through Dec. 31 annually. As long as you remain a licensed physician in good standing in South Dakota, you can retain your SDSMA membership and pay your renewal at sdsma.org. It’s important that you notify the SDSMA of any changes in your employer or practice location so you are accurately listed in the member directory and your membership materials, emails, and renewal notices are directed to appropriate mailing and email addresses.

Q: What if I am unemployed or between employers when it’s time to renew?

A: SDSMA membership is individual. As long as you are a licensed physician in good standing in South Dakota, you can make your dues payment online. Many SDSMA members pay their own membership dues.

Q: Are any portion of my membership dues tax deductible?

A: Dues used for lobbying activities are not tax deductible. As a result, the SDSMA calculates an amount annually which is eligible to be deducted as a business expense for federal income tax purposes. Click here to review the current amount or contact the SDSMA office at membership@sdsma.org or 605.336.1965. In addition, no portion of any political action committee (PAC) contribution can be deducted as a business expense on your federal income tax return. Neither dues nor PAC contributions may be deducted as a charitable contribution. SDSMA Foundation contributions are generally 100 percent deductible as a charitable contribution.

Q: Am I required to be a member of the American Medical Association (AMA) to be a member of the SDSMA?

A: No. The SDSMA encourages AMA membership to provide South Dakota with good representation at the national level, but it is not a requirement of SDSMA membership.

Q: If I’d like to be a member of the American Medical Association (AMA), am I able to pay those dues through the SDSMA?

A: Yes. You may pay AMA dues through the SDSMA. You can pay using your online SDSMA account by clicking here, or by contacting the SDSMA office at 605.336.1965. The SDSMA encourages you to be a member of the American Medical Association to support South Dakota’s presence on the national stage as well as expand your professional base. The SDSMA receives a commission from the AMA if members join through the SDSMA office instead of the AMA directly. Help support the SDSMA by joining the AMA through your association.

Q: What leadership opportunities are there for me to be more involved with the SDSMA?

A: The SDSMA has a variety opportunities for involvement including leadership opportunities through the Council of Physicians, ad hoc committees or special task forces, serving as a Physician Lobbyist or as a Doctor of the Day during the South Dakota Legislative Session. The SDSMA also offers an Annual Leadership Conference. Leadership opportunities are also available at your local level through your District Medical Society.

Q: Am I eligible to receive a subscription of the monthly journal, South Dakota Medicine?

A: Yes. SDSMA members receive a copy of South Dakota Medicine monthly. Additional copies or subscriptions are available for purchase.

Q: I don’t have a lot of extra time. What is expected of me as an SDSMA member?

A: There are no participation requirements of an SDSMA membership. You can be involved in as much or little as you choose. Many of the SDSMA benefits such as website access, monthly issues of South Dakota Medicine medical journal, informational newsletters, publications and the member directory listing can be accessed online at your convenience. For members looking for more involvement, many committees or task forces, leadership opportunities, educational events, and participation at the legislative level are great options.

Q: What leadership opportunities are there for me to be more involved with the SDSMA?

A: The SDSMA has a variety opportunities for involvement including leadership opportunities through the Council of Physicians, ad hoc committees or special task forces, serving as a Physician Lobbyist or as a Doctor of the Day during the South Dakota Legislative Session. The SDSMA also offers an Annual Leadership Conference. Leadership opportunities are also available at your local level through your District Medical Society.

Q: Are there ways I can be involved in the advocacy efforts of the SDSMA?

A: Yes. The SDSMA takes volunteers annually during the South Dakota Legislative Session for physicians to serve as a Doctor of the Day for one day in Pierre. The SDSMA also has opportunities for members to serve as Physician Lobbyists during the legislative session. The SDSMA holds membership open forums where members have the opportunity to bring issues to the attention of the Council of Physicians. Throughout the legislative session the SDSMA sends action alerts asking members to contact their legislators regarding medical-related bills being considered.

Q: Does the SDSMA offer legal advice?

A: No. The SDSMA provides information, research, guidance and best practices on a variety of topics impacting medical providers through an extensive listing of published legal briefs, available to members at sdsma.org or for purchase by organizations or non-members, but the SDSMA does not offer specific legal advice.

Q: Does the SDSMA offer continuing medical education (CME) credits?

A: Periodically through the SDSMA Center for Physician Resources, educational series are available and may provide CME credit. Any CME offered will be indicated on the promotional materials and at sdsma.org.

Q: Do I need to create my own user account on the SDSMA website?

A: If you have never been a member of the SDSMA as a student, resident or practicing physician in South Dakota, you can create a user account and apply for membership. However, if you have been a member at any time, you already have an existing online user account. Please do not create a new user account because it will create a duplicate record and you will not be able to view your profile and other members-only content on the SDSMA website. Your username is typically the email address where you receive communication from the SDSMA. If you do not know or remember your password, you may reset it at the login screen. If you have questions or need assistance logging in, contact the SDSMA office at membership@sdsma.org or 605.336.1965.

Q: Do I get special access to the SDSMA website?

A: Yes. The SDSMA website has member-only pages requiring members to login to view the content. The members-only pages contain valuable benefits such as access to legal briefs, educational information, event registration, making online payments or updates to your contact information, and full monthly issues of South Dakota Medicine. Members already have a user account. Please do not create a new user account because it will create a duplicate record and we will not be able to access your information. Your username is typically the email address where you receive communication from the SDSMA. If you do not know or remember your password, you may reset it at the login screen. If you have questions or need assistance logging in, contact the SDSMA office at membership@sdsma.org or 605.336.1965.

Q: When will I have access to the website?

A: As soon as you have completed the SDSMA membership application process and are approved as a member, the SDSMA grants access to the member-only portions of the website. Many pages of the SDSMA website are available at all times to the public.

Q: Can I share my login information with other people?

A: The SDSMA is an individual membership organization. The SDSMA recommends only you use your login credentials to access your contact information, complete dues payments or event registration, and membership history.

Q: How do I update my address, employer, or contact information?

A: Through your user account at sdsma.org, you can go to Update My Profile at the top of the webpage and review your profile information. Most updates can be made through the website. If you would like to make updates but cannot access your online profile, please email membership@sdsma.org or call 605.336.1965.

Q: What if I don’t know or cannot remember my password for the website?

A: The login page has a Forgot Password option for resetting your password. Or you may contact the SDSMA office at membership@sdsma.org or 605.336.1965 and request it to be reset for you. For assistance with any SDSMA membership questions or website access, please contact the SDSMA office at membership@sdsma.org or 605.336.1965 Monday through Friday from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. CT.