Instructions for Candidates

The Ray E. Helfer Society welcomes physician members of any specialty whose practice includes the prevention, assessment, or treatment of child abuse and neglect.

Regular membership is available to physicians who have dedicated significant professional time to abused and neglected children over the course of 5 years. Time spent during fellowship, but not residency, applies to the 5-year requirement. While applicants must describe their professional activities in a personal statement, no specific activities are required beyond a sustained commitment to abused and neglected children. Physicians with 5 or more years’ experience in child abuse medicine are strongly encouraged to apply for regular, rather than scholar, membership. Applications for Regular membership are reviewed once each year. The deadline is July 1 each year. Regular membership dues are $300 per year.

Emeritus membership is open to members who have been a Regular Member for at least seven years and have fully retired from clinical practice. Emeritus Members have full voting and other privileges of Regular Members and will pay reduced membership dues of $125. Regular members who wish to apply for Emeritus status should send a letter or e-mail to the Society's office, documenting that they meet the requirements and requesting a change in status, by July 1 each year. 

Scholar members are physicians who demonstrate a significant professional commitment to abused and neglected children, but do not yet have 5 years professional experience in the field. Scholar members participate fully in the society, including voting in the society’s elections. Scholar applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis; review dates are January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year. Scholar membership dues are $300 per year.

Physicians in training (typically residency or fellowship) are not assessed dues during the period of their training.

Resident members do not have voting privileges or participate in the society’s listserve, but may attend the annual meeting and participate in committees. Medical students and residents may apply for a scholarship to attend the annual meeting. Resident applications are reviewed on a quarterly basis; review dates are January 1, April 1, July 1, and October 1 of each year. No dues are required during the residency.

New Applicants to the Society must fill out their own application form.

Applications for membership must include all of the following:

  • The application form.
  • The name and email address of a Helfer member who has agreed to write a nomination letter for the applicant.  An application is not complete until the nomination letter is received by the society.
  • A personal statement from the applicant describing the applicant’s current or intended involvement in child abuse medicine.  The personal statement must not exceed two typewritten pages.
  • The applicant’s curriculum vitae.
  • Applicants for resident or fellow membership status must submit a letter from their training program director (or equivalent official in a non-US program) providing the anticipated dates of the applicant’s enrollment in training.  If the program director is a Helfer Society member, the program director may include training dates in a single nomination letter.
  • Payment for $20 to cover processing costs. You will have the option to pay by credit card or check. This is non-refundable.

Membership Application Form

Sponsor Recommendation Letter Upload

All supporting documents that are not included with your application submission should be emailed to Carlita Skok at [email protected] by the appropriate deadline. Applicants are responsible for ensuring that all materials are provided.