Now what? Making the most of a conference, now that you’re home
Many of us from Queen’s UG – faculty, staff and students – are just returning to campus after a few days in Halifax, NS for the annual Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME).
CCME brings together those involved in all aspects of medical education from across Canada and beyond for workshops, meetings, plenaries, research orals and posters, and general sharing of innovations and challenges.
Like most jam-packed conferences, the information overload can be overwhelming. Here are five ways to make the most of your conference experience, once you’re back home:
That Bag O’Stuff: If you didn’t do this prior to packing to come home, take two minutes to sort the “stuff” acquired at the exhibitors’ hall, at the poster presentations, and handouts from workshops. Are you really interested in that program/service/product/innovation or did you add it to your bag from habit? I sort my conference bag while standing over the recycle bin and keep only things I’m going to follow-up on. Put what remains aside for tip #2.
Get out your Post-Its! For everything that’s left from your paper purge, put a note on it RIGHT NOW. In two weeks you’ll forget exactly why you picked that up – especially if you thought it might be of interest for a colleague. Write yourself those notes!
Sort 2: Electronic edition: Did you use your smart phone to take pictures of posters or of presenter’s slides that spoke to you? Move them to a labelled folder NOW and offload to your computer to ensure they don’t get lost amongst your upcoming summer shots. Label things a la electronic stickies (see #2)
Follow-through: Did you collect emails from anyone you met along the way? Did you make tentative plans to get together, pursue a project, or generally stay in touch? Send off that quick networking email now, before those potentially productive contacts are lost in the busy of day-to-day responsibilities.
Plan ahead: Mark your calendar now for next year’s CCME in Niagara Falls April 16-19, 2019. (Abstracts open later this month!)
Five great reasons to attend medical education conferences
This weekend many involved in undergraduate medical education at Queen’s are heading to Montreal for the annual Canadian Conference on Medical Education (CCME). From faculty, to students, to administrative staff, we’re attending as presenters, workshop facilitators, and in several other roles.
As described on its website, CCME is the largest annual gathering of medical educators in Canada. Attendees include Canadian and international medical educators, students, other health educators, health education researchers, administrators, licensing and credentialing organizations and governments. The goal is to “share their experiences in medical education across the learning continuum (from undergraduate to postgraduate to continuing professional development).”
This year’s conference in Montreal from April 16-19 is hosted by the University of Sherbrooke (other partners are the Association of Faculties of Medicine of Canada (AFMC), the Canadian Association for Medical Education (CAME), The College of Family Physicians of Canada (CFPC), The Medical Council of Canada (MCC), and The Royal College of Physicians and Surgeons of Canada (RCPSC).)
With the theme is Accountability: From Self to Society, the program includes workshops, posters, oral presentations and plenary sessions designed “to highlight developments in medical education and to promote academic medicine by establishing an annual forum for medical educators and their many partners to meet and exchange ideas.”
Here are five good reasons we take the time from busy spring schedules to take part in this conference:
To present innovations in medical education at Queen’s: We’re doing some great things here at Queen’s and it’s great to share these successes. From early-adoption of the flipped classroom to our First Patient Program, to our Accelerated Route to Medical School – CCME gives a forum to celebrate what we’re doing well.
To learn from colleagues from other Canadian and international medical schools. While we share our innovations, it’s equally beneficial to learn from our colleagues at other schools. We don’t always have to reinvent the wheel.
To wrestle with common issues and gain comfort from being in the same boat. There’s a synergy in working together to sort out challenging issues in medical education.
To network with colleagues from across the country and around the world – this is closely related to both #2 and #3 – networking may not be about a specific challenge at a specific time, it’s making connections with like-minded individuals involved in similar circumstances.
And the food. OK, so this might not be a “good” reason to commit to attend a conference, but it’s certainly a fun part of it. Combining #4’s networking with colleagues with exploring local cuisine is an added bonus.
If you can’t attend this year, consider it for next time. Also, explore conference options closer to home. Our own Queen’s Faculty of Health Sciences Celebration of Teaching, Learning and Scholarship is coming up on June 15.