MembershipSurvey

Membership Survey Results

Every five years, the CMDA Board of Trustees goes through a cycle of comprehensive strategic planning. This well-thought out process has guided and directed the organization throughout the last 25 years, as it focuses on better meeting the needs of our members and providing ministry to those we serve around the world.

by Christian Medical & Dental Associations®

Membership Survey Results
by Jamey Campbell

Every five years, the CMDA Board of Trustees goes through a cycle of comprehensive strategic planning. This well-thought out process has guided and directed the organization throughout the last 25 years, as it focuses on better meeting the needs of our members and providing ministry to those we serve around the world.

With the transition of leadership in 2019 to Dr. Mike Chupp as CEO, the board kicked off the process at the January 2020 meeting with training provided by Dale Lefever, PhD, an expert in organizational management who has led hundreds of organizations through the strategic planning exercise. A key part of the strategic planning process has been a wide-ranging membership survey to receive feedback on numerous issues. This survey was originally planned to go out to members in the summer of 2020.

And then came COVID-19.

Knowing the pandemic was foremost on the minds of our members, as well as people all over the world, we decided to delay the survey until the fall, when we hoped COVID-19 cases would be on a downward trend. As we now know, that was not the case. In order not to delay strategic planning any longer, the board pushed forward with the survey in October 2020.

The survey was sent to 14,000 CMDA members across all membership levels, including graduates, residents, students and associate members. In addition to the standard yes/no and ranking questions, open-ended questions were also posed. We received more than 3,500 responses. It will take several months to fully analyze the results, but we wanted to share an early overview of the summary data. Whether you are in the majority or minority on the responses, both are extremely helpful to our board and leadership.

The greatest number of responses came from those age 65 or older. The second greatest number of responses came from those between 56 and 65 years of age. A total of 50.6 percent of all member responses came from individuals age 56 or older. This would be in line with the fact that we know the average age of our current members is 55.6. Only 20.6 percent of responses came from members under the age of 36.

More than half of our members joined CMDA as a student, while 26 percent said they joined after at least five years of practice. This did not surprise us, as we hear story after story of members who credit much of their spiritual growth in their training years to their local CMDA ministry. We continue to see that the least likely time for someone to join CMDA is during residency years, as only 6 percent said they joined then.

Fully 81 percent of members said they feel somewhat or very connected to CMDA. CMDA Today (formerly Today’s Christian Doctor) ranked high as a helpful resource for our members. A total of 92 percent found it to be somewhat or very beneficial. In addition to the magazine, 44 percent said they find our various podcasts, such as CMDA Matters, very beneficial. While you continue to find value in our physical resources, the majority of respondents indicated their preferred method to receive resources from CMDA is now through podcast, web-based videos and phone apps.

It was evident our members are growing weary of not being able to meet together for fellowship, education and spiritual growth. More than six in 10 found local conferences to be beneficial, while 56 percent indicated the CMDA National Convention is beneficial for them. A total of 64 percent said our continuing education resources, including the new CMDA Learning Center, are beneficial.

The responses indicated that email is the preferred method of receiving information from CMDA, followed by CMDA Today. These were followed by our website, podcasts, social media and text messages. Responses also indicated that 30 percent have participated in one of our conferences within the last two years, 24 percent have participated in a local ministry group and 15 percent participated with Women Physicians in Christ (WPC). This is somewhat lower than 2015, when six in 10 participated in a local ministry group and four in 10 had attended a conference in the previous two years. With the restrictions on gatherings and travel for much of 2020, it is understandable why this year’s results were lower. Around the topic of dues, 94 percent of members told us that the benefits and resources available to them as members is appropriate for the level of dues charged.

When asked about CMDA priorities, members told us that the following items should be given “high priority” by the organization:

  • 76 percent - Development of biblically-based and evidence-backed bioethics position statements
  • 73 percent - State and federal policy efforts
  • 67 percent - Healthcare missions/outreach, international
  • 61 percent - Healthcare missions/outreach, domestic
  • 38 percent - Regional and national meetings

From a policy perspective, our members have strong feelings about the issues they want CMDA to address:

  • 82 percent - Healthcare right of conscience
  • 82 percent - Abortion on demand
  • 78 percent - Physician-assisted suicide and euthanasia
  • 70 percent - Human trafficking
  • 66 percent - Sexual orientation and gender issues
  • 51 percent - Social justice in healthcare

We found that 80 percent of our members are either satisfied or very satisfied with their professional careers. As we have seen in previous surveys, this number is somewhat higher among our members compared to the total overall physician career satisfaction rate, which shows that only 71 percent of physicians are “happy” with their careers.[1]

When asked about spiritual life, 77 percent said, “I consider myself spiritually mature but am still consistently growing.” More than eight in 10 of our members told us they practice Scripture reading and prayer most days or daily. The top concern for our members is the current healthcare system, with 40 percent responding it is a significant area of concern.

Somewhat surprisingly, 66 percent indicated they “do not experience any restrictions or difficulties” when asked about their work environment being friendly to people of faith. Another 24 percent said, “I am able to share my faith and follow my conscious but face criticism and opposition.” A total of 10 percent said, “I am restricted from sharing my faith and/or following my conscious in my practice.” A total of 80 percent of our members reported that CMDA helps them integrate their faith into their healthcare practice.

One of the new questions in the latest survey was related to racism, reconciliation, equality and diversity. The majority of our members (58 percent) told us they believe CMDA can better support them when it comes to resources and training on how to integrate this timely subject into their life and practice.

Much more could be, and will be, reported from this survey. The thing most evident across the board is that our members consider CMDA to be an important part of their lives and careers and look forward to our continuing ministry for many years ahead. Please be in prayer for our board and staff, as they develop and implement a new strategic plan that will give direction to how we serve you, our members, over the next few years.

Survey Contest Winners
Congratulations to Dr. Richard and Cathy Ingle, the winners of an international CMDA trip for two! Because they took the time to fill out the survey and submitted their names for the contest, they were randomly selected to join a CMDA tour in 2020. They will be traveling to Israel on a wonderful two-week tour visiting sites prominent in the Old Testament throughout the Holy Land. (If you would like more information about joining a CMDA tour, visit www.cmda.org/events.)

In their words, “We try to live for Christ, trusting in Him to enable us to do so. We joined CMDA about 21 years ago and agree with its stand for Christian ethics and have been encouraged by its publications and conferences. We were so surprised to win this trip. We are looking forward to going to Israel and seeing so many of the places we have read about in God’s Word.”

About the Author
Jamey Campbell serves as CMDA’s Chief Operating Officer. Jamey completed his bachelor’s degree at East Tennessee State University in Communication. In his career, Jamey served in several communications positions including on the staff of Senior Majority Leader Senator Dr. Bill Frist. He began his fundraising career at East Tennessee State University leading the development effort for the Health Sciences Division before joining Precept Ministries International in 2000. Jamey and his wife Janeen live in Elizabethton, Tennessee. They have two daughters and one grandson.


[1] Saley, C., Chad Saley Chad Saley is a public relations manager at CHG Healthcare, *, N., Levin, R., 28, G., & Says:, G. (2019, March 21). 2019 AAFP/CompHealth Physician Happiness Survey. Retrieved January 07, 2021, from https://comphealth.com/resources/physician-happiness-survey/

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