Chair’s report: Have you been to an ACOG meeting lately?
J. Martin Tucker, MD
Those of us who trained in or prior to the 1980s remember ACOG meetings as a destination—something we looked forward to year after year. Whether it was a district meeting, an Annual Clinical Meeting, or a freestanding postgraduate course, it was always quite an event. Meetings were a chance to learn about the most up-to-date information and technology, network with old friends, and travel to interesting places. In many cases, an ACOG meeting was our first introduction to ACOG activities.
ACOG has spent a lot of time and effort at the national, district, and local levels studying meeting structure and, in general, the relevance of each meeting. Efforts continue to find the right balance for ACOG meetings. Meetings have been shortened, consolidated, and held in more convenient locations in order to stem the tide of lagging attendance.
As district chair, I wanted to get firsthand exposure to the meetings within our district. I attended the combined District VII and Tennessee Section meeting in Nashville in October; the Louisiana Section meeting in New Orleans in March; the Alabama and Mississippi joint section meeting in Miramar Beach, FL, in May; and the Arkansas, Kansas, Missouri, and Oklahoma combined section meeting in Branson, MO, in June. I also had the opportunity to spend some time with the Mexico Section and representatives of the Mexican Federation of Gynecology and Obstetrics while at the Annual Clinical Meeting in New Orleans in May.
I am happy to report that meetings in District VII are doing well. The ones I attended were well organized, in convenient locations, and had just the right balance of business and leisure time. The educational programs were informative and pertinent to clinical practice, and there were plenty of activities for families and children. While attendance could always be better, it was great to see a mix of young and not-so-young physicians, Junior Fellows and Fellows, and even an increase in attendance by medical students.
During my term as district chair, I intend to spread the word about meeting opportunities within our district. Your district and section officers have done fabulous jobs organizing and presenting these meetings. I ask you to make it a priority to attend at least one district or section meeting during the coming year. You will find the experience to be time well spent. Your next opportunity is the 2013 Annual District Meeting in San Antonio September 27–29.
The next time we meet, I will probably ask, “Have you been to an ACOG meeting lately?”