As we approach Spring 2023, I look forward to seeing my SGIM colleagues in person again in Colorado during #SGIM23. Although I’ve attended many of our national meetings since joining SGIM in 1999, I never served on an annual program committee, and, until now, I have been unaware of the extraordinary effort the SGIM staff and committee members take in assuring a successful meeting. Recognizing that the annual meeting (May 10-13) and the end of my tenure as SGIM President are only weeks away, now is the time to publicly thank our many SGIM staff—led in their program planning efforts by Corrine Melissari and Loubna Bennaoui—and the #SGIM23 Program Planning Committee Members for their work in pulling together what seems to be a terrific agenda for the annual meeting.1
The Program Committee is comprised of a multi-regional group of clinician-educators and clinician-scientists who have demonstrated their commitment to our society by volunteering many hours to craft a meeting experience that meets the needs of our SGIM membership.1 Over the past nine months, I have observed the ability of our committee Chair and Co-Chair, Drs. Shelly-Ann Fluker and Milda Saunders, to create a forum where the diverse of array of scholars involved in program planning can share innovative ideas, challenge assumptions, and establish new domains of conference activity with great psychological safety; ultimately creating an environment where scholars can exercise the type of design thinking to result in a better conference experience for the society’s membership.
I want to highlight a few of the new opportunities that #SGIM23 attendees will experience. In addition to organizing excellent plenary sessions, symposia, and workshops, our committee has created more opportunity for exposure to career coaching across the career spectrum (e.g., junior faculty, mid-career). There are also new opportunities for members to engage with senior SGIM members, including past presidents and council members, in an array of workshops and special sessions throughout the three-day conference. This year, SGIM has committed to more fully exploring the environmental impact of annual meeting, examining the impact of environmental health on the well-being of the public, and providing attendees with information to allow each to examine the way in which actions may mitigate environmental harm.
While the agenda for #SGIM23 is exciting, I am most excited to share the good news about our membership response to the Call for Abstracts. This year, we experienced the highest number of Round 2 submissions since before the COVID-19 pandemic. This year, submissions for clinical vignettes, scientific abstracts, and innovations in clinical practice and medical education were at the highest level since 2019. In fact, this year represents the second-highest number of abstract submissions for any SGIM national meeting over the past 20 years! Clearly, deadline modifications made by the Program Committee have yielded good results, but I also believe there is a second reason for the high number submissions for #SGIM23. I believe that the past three years of the pandemic have provided GIM faculty and trainees across the United States far fewer opportunities to disseminate their vast array of scholarly work. As life returns to a new baseline, the availability of SGIM regional and national meetings provide a much-needed platform to present members’ work and disseminate their findings.
I previously stated the importance of advancing the careers of SGIM members as a key value for our organization.2 In my opinion, SGIM provides great value to our members through the opportunities we create to discuss their work in regional meetings throughout the fall and winter. I am glad to see that our members also view our national meetings as a forum where their work can be discussed. Seeing the rise in interest to submit work for #SGIM23 provides hope that we will have maximum attendance at the meeting in Colorado, and I hope that attendees will further enrich the experience of our scholars by taking the time to view posters, attend vignette and abstract sessions, and discuss the implications of work with each presenter.
I look forward to seeing each of you soon!