There is no denying that change is in the air when it comes to large medical meetings like the ACC’s Annual Scientific Session and Expo. Not only has the rapid growth and use of mobile technologies made it easier to stay up-to-date on scientific research and guidelines, tough economic times and increasing regulations governing relationships with industry have limited travel sponsorships and overall meeting funding.
However, while these changes are very real and require a shift in focus from decades past, they don’t overshadow or negate the importance of these meetings in providing a one-stop-shop for the hottest clinical breakthroughs, increasingly important maintenance of certification opportunities, and forums for professionals across the spectrum of care delivery to network and share ideas.
At ACC.12 in Chicago, the College under the guidance of ACC President David Holmes, Jr., MD, FACC, has taken a renewed look at the meeting format and offerings and developed a well-rounded agenda that accommodates both the changing landscape of cardiology and the changing needs of the professional world.
In particular, the meeting format has been changed to feature new science in the mornings, followed by afternoon sessions focused on actual application of the science. Many of these sessions take advantage of innovative new technology to allow for the “piping in” of live cases from around the globe, as well as online debate and conversation with panel presenters while the session is occurring.
In addition, the College recognizing the importance of working closely with partner cardiovascular societies both in the U.S. and around the globe, is featuring numerous co-sponsored sessions each day with societies like the Society of Vascular Surgery, The Society of Thoracic Surgeons, the International Society for Cardiovascular Translational Research, the Heart Rhythm Society, the Heart Failure Society of America, the American Society of Echocardiography, the American Heart Association, and others. On a global scale, the record 18 International Lunch Symposia, which are jointly sponsored by ACC and international cardiology societies, will cover topics ranging from using registries for quality improvement; best practices for treating adult congenital cardiology; improving outcomes for patients with acute coronary syndromes; and more.
All of these education sessions are vital for professionals to earn Maintenance of Certification (MOC) credits, an increased point of emphasis at ACC.12. For example, entire afternoons will be dedicated to a review the fundamentals, such as MOC and clinical interpretations, with an increased number of MOC sessions from past meetings so attendees can complete much of their required elements and core content. This is something not offered to attendees at European meetings, but is vital for professional development.
Of course, networking is something else that can’t be done behind a desk and in front of a computer. ACC.12 provides many unique opportunities for cardiologists, nurses, nurse practitioners, practice administrators, pharmacists, training directors, fellows in training and others to come together in a forum not seen anywhere else. Only at ACC.12 will there be opportunities to meet and ask questions of cardiovascular legends credited for making the delivery of cardiovascular care what it is today. whenever 20,000 people who love cardiovascular science, clinical research, and health policy get together to describe the future, it has to both a very special and unique experience.
As the needs of cardiovascular professionals are changing, the ACC’s meeting is changing with them. The need for cutting edge cardiology science, education and innovation to better benefit patients and save lives will never diminish. ACC.12 shows just how far we’ve come in ensuring the meeting remains relevant and continues to benefit all cardiovascular professionals in terms of their learning and scientific needs.
Whenever 20,000 people who love cardiovascular science, clinical research, and health policy get together to describe the future, it has to be a very special and unique experience.