News and Updates 4, Issue 1.3

Membership Survey Summary

Leslie C. Dort, DDS, Diplomate, ABDSM, Editor-in-Chief Journal of Dental Sleep Medicine
Calgary, Alberta, Canada

The AADSM recently engaged McKinley Advisors, Chicago, Illinois, to conduct a membership survey. The objectives of the survey were to:

  • Gain a better understanding of the current needs and expectations of its members
  • Identify areas where the organization is performing well as well as gaps to address
  • Discover opportunities to increase value and satisfaction for members
The survey involved telephone interviews, an electronic survey, analyses of results, detailed cross-tabulation and thorough review of the open-ended questions. Over a period of 15 days (February 28–March 14, 2014) 20 telephone interviews were conducted and surveys were sent to 2,948 email addresses. Complete responses were received from 375 members and partial responses from 59 members

Respondents identified themselves primarily as dentists (90%). Dental professors comprised 2% of respondents and 1% were dental researchers. Most respondents (68%) spent less than 25% of their time practicing dental sleep medicine.

The satisfaction of members regarding value of member benefits compared to dues placed the AADSM in the top one third of 45 comparable professional and trade associations. In addition to asking members what they valued most about AADSM, the survey asked them to provide thoughts on how the Academy could provide stronger value. Responses were again analyzed and grouped according to common theme. Members were most interested in more education and hands-on programs as well as issues related to professional standards and stronger integration with the medical community]



Education is central to the AADSM membership value proposition. Access to education is a primary reason why members join AADSM, and why they continue membership.


Members want AADSM to engage more in marketing and public outreach efforts and feel that AADSM should take on a greater role in educating members on effective ways to market and promote their own practice.


Overall, members would like to see stronger integration between the medical and dental community. Specific resources were mentioned, such as the referral database, that cultivates this integration. Members spoke of the need for creating and defining more policies and procedures as a catalyst for stronger integration. Open-ended responses from members exhibited a preference for collaboration and integration between dentists and physicians as opposed to autonomy.


Most members joined AADSM because of a colleague or peer. Professional development and the Annual Meeting were also among the top reasons for joining.


Issues understanding insurance policies and reimbursement permeates the entire AADSM membership, and especially the younger, less tenured demographic.


Increased advocacy efforts on behalf of the profession continue to play an extremely important role in member value. In fact, 80% of members ranked it as a major decision factor in joining AADSM.


The e-news letter, Annual Meeting and continuing education are the top platforms for engagement. Nearly 70% of respondents said they read the e-news updates, while 63% said they have attended the AADSM Annual Meeting and 51% said they have taken advantage of CE opportunities.

The survey has provided a wealth of information that the AADSM leadership will use to build value and satisfaction for members in the future. All members are encouraged to continue to provide feedback and suggestions.