Annual Survey Results Align Clearly with Strategic Plan

May 29, 2019


The Tennessee Medical Association has released the results of its 2019 member satisfaction survey. Members can view a summary of the data at

The survey was open for several weeks during the spring and collected 827 total responses, the highest number on recent record.

Overall physician satisfaction with TMA membership remains high, with 81% of respondents indicating they are satisfied or very satisfied, compared to just 4% unsatisfied or very unsatisfied.

There was a significant increase in the number of respondents who are employed – 54% compared to 38% in 2018 – and the number of physicians who practice in large groups rose from 24% in 2018 to 37% in 2019. These trends are consistent with other reports indicating a continued increase in physician employment and group consolidation in Tennessee and across the U.S.

Following is a summary of notable results from the survey, along with a brief statement about how the Association is addressing or intends to address them.


  • Advocacy is by far the primary reason doctors choose to join and keep supporting TMA, and members view legislative and regulatory advocacy and legal resources as more valuable than any other programs or services. Qualitative data from verbatim comments matched quantitative measures on this subject.

    • What are we doing about it? The TMA Board of Trustees worked for most of 2018 developing a 10-year vision to carry the organization forward. The main element of the strategic plan is a renewed focus on TMA’s advocacy mission. We are analyzing programs, services and relationships for their value relative to advocacy so we can get even better at what we do well and stop doing things that do not support one of the five core focus areas. The membership survey results affirm this work already underway.


  • TMA is viewed as an effective advocacy organization but has room to improve in member engagement. Approximately 30% of survey respondents said they have never been involved in TMA leadership but might be interested.

    • What are we doing about it? We clearly have to do a better job letting members know about opportunities to get involved. We are looking at ways to more effectively tap in to leadership development at the local and regional levels, and utilize TMA’s physician leadership training programs for doctors who can bring much-needed diversity – including age, gender, ethnicity, medical specialty, and practice environment – to the organization.


  • Nine out of 10 doctors said they prefer to get information from TMA via email. Print was the next most preferred information source at 20%.

    • What are we doing about it? The Board conducted a comprehensive communications audit as part of its strategic plan and chose to phase out the Tennessee Medicine magazine and online scientific journal in favor of a more cost-effective print communications tool, such as a TMA newsletter. The final edition of the 32-page magazine will be published in summer 2019. We are also streamlining member news emails to be more succinct, with a focus on the advocacy-related information that members need and want.


  • Members’ open-ended responses about how to encourage more doctors to join TMA indicated continued advocacy success and lowering cost and/or increasing the perceived value for the membership dollar as top priorities.

    • What are we doing about it? Advocacy is and will remain TMA’s top priority. We will continue educating members on our efforts and wins through communications like the weekly Political Pulse updates in session, the Legislative Report Card and the annual report. The Finance Committee and staff will continue to minimize expenses and be good stewards of members’ dues, and we are rolling out a new online payment model this year to allow for more flexible monthly, quarterly or semi-annually payments. Implementing the Board’s strategic plan should allow us to operate even more efficiently, but ultimately we need to recruit more members and increase non-dues revenue through programs like the TMA Group Health Program to fund the advocacy work.


  • Most (93%) members said they intend to keep supporting TMA, and 89% said they would recommend TMA membership to a friend or colleague.

    • What are we doing about it? The response about membership renewal is consistent with our actual retention rate, though we would like it to be as close to 100% as possible every year. We are looking at ways to improve how we keep members informed and empower physicians who want to be more active to help with peer-to-peer recruitment in large groups and hospitals/health systems.


The TMA Board of Trustees meets again in July and will dedicate its summer retreat to advancing implementation of the strategic plan.

If you have questions or comments, please contact your regional Board representative or contact TMA staff at