April 1998 Bulletin

Future Annual Meetings to be streamlined

Committee plans ways to cut redundancy, meet surgeons’ scientific and socioeconomic needs

Look for a more streamlined Annual Meeting in the future as well as more presentations dealing with such topics as practice management, outcomes and quality assessment. On the heels of this year’s meeting in New Orleans, the newly appointed Annual Meeting Committee is evaluating feedback from meeting attendees, planning ways to cut redundancy and overlap from the meeting programs, and planning courses that will reflect both the scientific and socioeconomic needs of surgeons.

In a push to "give members what they want," the committee held focus groups and polled a sampling of meeting attendees at the New Orleans meeting. Richard Kyle, MD, who was named chairman of the Annual Meeting Committee last month in New Orleans, says these efforts are the first step in building a "feedback loop," by which the committee can gauge what members need and develop programs to answer those needs. After the programs are presented, the committee can survey attendees to find out whether their needs were met. The committee is drafting instruments to collect the data on a regular basis. "We want to be more responsive to our members and structure the Annual Meeting to meet their needs," Dr. Kyle says.

Integration of the Annual Meeting Committee with other Academy councils and committees as well as specialty societies is a top priority in an effort to eliminate redundancy and overlap. The Scientific Program Committee and Exhibits Committee, for example, have already been integrated, allowing committee members to review abstracts together and weed out duplication. The need to streamline will become even more important in 2000 when the Annual Meeting will switch to a Wednesday-through-Sunday format, rather than the traditional Thursday-through-Monday. "The Annual Meeting has always been looked to as the finest specialty society meeting in that it provides the most education," Dr. Kyle says.

The committee also plans to integrate the Orthopaedic Research Society interests and programming with the present meeting, and also make efforts to integrate the extended program (formerly known as the spouses’ program) into the meeting. "We would like to offer programs that would pertain to the orthopaedic surgeon and his or her spouse," says Dr. Kyle. "We are looking at educational opportunities on other aspects of orthopaedic life than how to put in a total hip. For example, how do you juggle family life and career?"

Other items on the agenda include evaluating current programming and making recommendations for implementation of Specialty Day, in light the changes in meeting days.

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