“It’s been such a homecoming being at SGIM this year. I’m really excited to have a lot of students and residents and trainees here—it’s just incredible to see them shine and connect with colleagues from around the country!” said Wei Wei Lee, MD, MPH, associate professor of medicine and Associate Dean of Students and Professional Development at The University of Chicago Pritzker School of Medicine. The SGIM 2022 Annual Meeting in Orlando, Florida—our first in-person annual meeting of the Society of General Internal Medicine since 2019—was by numerous accounts a remarkable success.
With careful planning and deliberation, #SGIM22 dassembled the boundless innovative, creative, and passionate minds and hearts of our members in person. A sea of green lanyards throughout the annual meeting meant we could literally welcome each other back with open arms. “I am really happy to see all my SGIM friends in-person. This is like the Primary Care Superbowl!” said Lisa Rotenstein, MD, assistant professor of medicine at Brigham and Women’s Hospital.
“Being back at SGIM again feels great: you can quite physically feel the energy in the air in a way that recharges our batteries so much better than we’re able to do in the virtual era.” said Blake Barker, MD, SGIM Southern Regional President and Associate Dean of Students in Internal Medicine at The University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center.
Last year, I reflected on being a part of the SGIM, “where even if you might be away or distant for an extended time…there is not only a craving to be together again to enjoy each other’s company; there is also a sense that when we are together again, it’s as if little time has passed, that we can flow right back into where we left off last.”1 Although I was close, I think my assessment fell short on picking up where we left off last, simply because of our virtual circumstances.
In contrast to one year ago, I see in hindsight that meeting in person with colleagues and friends at #SGIM22 was vastly different from our last in-person annual meeting experiences, morphed and evolved because of three years of separation. The #SGIM22 fueled an unexpected, yet very welcome, fire for rekindling past connections and networks. Also, it translated connections first made in cyberspace into tangible, huggable friends and colleagues. The once constrained virtual interactions blossomed into the pleasantly near-Brownian motion experience of bumping into friends, old and new—still recognizable behind a mask—in hallways between #SGIM22 plenary sessions, distinguished professor talks, clinical updates, symposia, workshops, panels, posters, and the extremely underestimated lunch and coffee breaks. Hunger apparently is not limited only to food and drink as nourishment.
In this issue, the first August SGIM Forum in-person annual meeting recap since 2019, we appreciate the joys of gathering via official photography from the live in-person event. Eric Bass, SGIM CEO, and Matthew Tuck and Nicole Redmond, #SGIM22 program co-chairs, reflect on this landmark occasion occurring during a pandemic. LeRoi Hicks, SGIM President, also reflects while also looking ahead towards #SGIM23. An annual tradition, we also again recognize the SGIM award recipients, accompanied by additional inspirational stories shared by the Education award recipients. In Ask an Ethicist, members of the SGIM Ethics Committee analyze a case question about caring for an incarcerated patient. Finally, Rebekah Scott and Christina Shields, fourth-year medical students share their unique peer-to-peer teaching experience on learning about medical billing. SGIM and Forum are ready to sate that appetite for learning!