Tuesday, December 8, 2009

2010 AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly Preview - Overview

In 2007, 2008, and 2009 I posted previews for the AAHPM/HPNA Annual Assembly. I started doing the preview because one of my favorite things about conferences is talking to other people to see what they are interested in, so feel free to comment on which sessions you are excited about. In the upcoming weeks I will be posting about some of the sessions I think are interesting.  If you are giving any of these talks, I encourage you to leave some comments to get more people aware of your talk.

This year the Annual Assembly is in Boston, MA from Wednesday March 3rd until Saturday, March 6th. (2011: Vancouver; 2012: Denver; 2013: Taking requests?)

I wanted to point out some of the new features at the Assembly this year in this post as well as some of my favorite general features.

First of all the AAHPM and HPNA made a major change which should lead to more uniform goodness at the Assembly.  The chairs of the steering committee now sit for alternating 2-year terms allowing best practices to be shared and cementing institutional memory while allowing for fresh ideas. Brilliant!

The coolest new feature is the book club discussion sponsored by the Humanities Special Interest Group.  The book is Drew Gilpin Faust’s This Republic of Suffering: Death and the American Civil War.  The book is fantastic and I did not even t.hink I would enjoy it given my general apathy towards Civil War era history. (Hey, I grew up in California.) Philosophically, spiritually, intellectually a must-read for any palliative care practioner who enjoys thinking.

The cool thing about the book club project is not the informal gathering on Saturday to discuss the book in small groups (please pre-register).  That is pretty cool obviously.  But the awesome thing is everyone who has read the book before the conference can talk about it from the same shared body on knowledge.  Don't know someone in the elevator but they have a badge for the assembly on?  Start talking about the book.  I am hoping the Academy gets little stickers or something that says 'I read the book.' To make it even easier to identify those who want to start talking about it.  


Other neat ongoing features:

Rounding with the Stars: Returns to add more case based discussions in addition to the hidden gems in the  Professionals-in-Training Case Conferences.  I did not make it to any of these sessions last year, but if they are back, I presume feedback was great.

Special Interest Group (SIG) Sponsored Symposia: Back again, this allows SIGs some influence to the curriculum of the Assembly by supporting a talk focused on an area of interest to a particular SIGs members.  A good way to elevate the value of a SIG, thereby creating interest in joining a SIG.  This year there are sponsored sessions from: Humanities, Fellowship Directors, Professionals in Training, Cancer, Ethics, Pediatrics, Long Term Care, Osteopathic.  Interesting the organizers put them all at the same time.

Going Green: The AAHPM is continuing their efforts to reduce wastefulness through a reduce, reuse, recycle mantra at the Assembly.  Huzzah!

Paper Sessions Without Distractions!: This smart scheduling approach returns to give paper sessions their due, by not having to go head to head with other concurrent sessions.
 

So what in general do you like best about the Assembly?
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