What will it be like returning to an in-person conference? I have no doubt that this question has been on each of our minds as the SGIM 2022 Annual Meeting nears. Only days away, the annual meeting promises to be a memorable event. The last in-person SGIM meeting was in 2019 in Washington, DC, and feels like so very long ago. After all, the COVID-19 pandemic managed not only to distort our daily life and routines in unpredictable ways but also to warp our perceptions of time over these last years. What will it feel like to again assemble in large social or professional gatherings? How will we feel being together again in-person—connecting, networking, socializing, mentoring, and growing—at an event like the SGIM annual meeting?
When I wrote about “Finding Family in #MyFirstSGIM,” I channeled a special kind of nostalgia related to finding a professional home where I felt my values as a primary care clinician-educator were seen, heard, and fully embraced.1 When I met with SGIM Council members at the December 2021 retreat at the conference venue in Orlando, Florida, an after-dinner conversation morphed into serendipitous discovery of shared childhood experiences (or more specifically, a shared third grade teacher, separated by a decade). Or, an initial bit of waffling on my part about being in a crowd, even outdoors, turned into a spontaneous decision to join a group outing to a local amusement park to stroll among the orchestrated attractions and then marvel at the impressive light and music show at the end of the night. Being present together offers opportunities to connect in so many ways: the two-dimensional alternatives on which we have survived these last couple years pale in comparison. What we really want, though, is not only to survive but to thrive.
The annual meeting marks an SGIM leadership transition: Monica Lypson, SGIM President, writes her final president’s column in this issue before LeRoi Hicks, SGIM President-Elect, begins his term. During the annual meeting, SGIM Forum Editors want to hear from you:
- What excites you about being back at in-person SGIM?
- What special experiences or stories are you learning about or sharing with new and old colleagues at in-person SGIM?
Find me, Gaetan Sgro, Lauren Block, or David Walsh in-person at #SGIM22 and share your thoughts and reflections with us about what is special about in-person SGIM or tweet us at @SocietyGIM to share your reply to these questions using #SGIM22. SGIM Forum will publish member quotes in a future issue!