Monday, March 11, 2013

What The AAHPM Annual Assembly Means To Me


I really love my field. Both sides hospice and palliative medicine. Both sides academic and community. Both sides profit/not for profit. Both sides friends and soon to be friends. Because to me they are not really sides or artificial tribes that exist because we humans really like to label things into groups.  To me this is one whole big family and the Annual Assembly feels like a really good family reunion to me. Not the family reunion of TV or movie tropes where everyone dreads it, but the real type of family reunion where you see people you have not spoken with in a year or more, but you drop right into a regular conversation like you see each other every day.

2013 will be my 10th Annual Assembly in a row.  I started in 2004 in Phoenix, AZ and have enjoyed each year more and more.  I'm sure some of you may be asking how my colleagues let me go so often.  Well some years I only went for one day or less like in Tampa, when I flew in for the Pallimed party on Friday night and left Saturday afternoon. These past few years I have been on the board which is pretty much mandatory attendance.  Other years, I submitted and had talks selected which helped insure a trip to the Annual Assembly.  No matter, I just wanted to try and get there and see my HPM family again.

I love the learning that goes on there.  Fantastic lectures, new ideas, meeting incredibly smart and talented people who love this field with an intense passion.  Sometimes I have tried to explain these feelings to family or friends, and I get some quizzical looks about why a medical conference has me so filled with anticipation.  So that is how this blog post came to life.

I will be posting on Twitter (#hpm13), the Pallimed Facebook Page, and guest blogging on the AAHPM blog all this week, so if you are not able to go please follow along and share the learning.  I will also be taking my camera everywhere I go, because I have realized I have not taken nearly enough pictures at the Annual Assembly in relation to how important the people there are to my life.  So if I see you I will likely ask to take a picture with you, because there are a lot of memories that are fading already after 10 short years.

Please share below what gets you excited about the Annual Assembly

Photo Credit:  "secondline" by Flick User Swampier