If the COVID-19 pandemic has taught us anything, it is that nothing about the disease or its implications on our lives has been predictable. That said, one thing is certain—we are looking forward to having an in-person meeting at the Walt Disney World Swan and Dolphin in Orlando, Florida from April 6-9, 2022. We are confident that we are planning for the safest experience possible that will include the requirement that attendees must be vaccinated. Most of us will have already received our booster shot and SGIM staff is working with a vendor to produce an app that shows proof of vaccination at the resort. The resort and its employees are also taking extra precautions such as to include staff wearing protective equipment, compulsory mask wearing when indoors, extra cleaning and disinfection, and enhanced food service safety with individually wrapped food options. In August 2021, Disney World reached a deal with unions to require vaccination for unionized employees by October 22, 2021.
Even with these assurances, we know that not all will be able to travel due to institutional or agency restrictions and some will not feel comfortable traveling. The Annual Meeting Program Committee has not forgotten about this group of individuals—there will be course offerings available on the Learning Management System for those unable to attend.
This year’s meeting theme is “Dimensions of a Generalist Career: Discovery, Equity and Impact.” Discovery is the foundation of medical education and research and is essential for improving the lives of our patients. To foster discovery and inclusive excellence, it will be necessary to enhance infrastructure and support to attract and retain physicians to the field of general internal medicine. Our workforce must also stand for health equity. We must strive for better health for all our patients. To do so, we must pursue social justice for vulnerable and marginalized populations by building a workforce that prioritizes development of a diverse workforce that reflects our increasingly diverse patient population. We must also include individuals and communities underrepresented in research, engage policy makers in dismantling structural inequities, and educate the next generation of physicians in an effort to eliminate inequities in health. Finally, as we imagine the generalist workforce of the future, we must have impact as a Society on stemming the crisis that the United States faces in the projected shortage of general internists. We must work with stakeholders in state and federal government and other non-governmental entities to attract and retain medical graduates to generalist careers to ensure access to high-quality health care for all Americans.
The Annual Meeting Program Committee has been busy lining up a robust meeting. We have confirmed our plenary speakers who will speak on each topic of the meeting theme. Dr. Carlos Del Rio, professor of medicine at Emory University School of Medicine and Executive Associate Dean for Emory at Grady, will lead off discussing his approach to discovery efforts as the co-director of the Emory Center for AIDS Research and emerging infections. Speaking about her leadership in bringing health equity and social justice to the historically underserved area of Los Angeles County’s service planning area 6 (SPA6), Dr. Deborah Prothrow-Stith will share her role in helping to build and cultivate the Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, where she is dean and professor of medicine. We are pleased to announce that she has been selected by SGIM’s President, Dr. Monica Lypson, to be this year’s honorary Malcolm L. Peterson Lecturer. Dr. Ashish Jha, Dean of the School of Public Health and professor of health services, policy, and practice at Brown University, has had tremendous impact on health policy research and practice and is recognized as an expert on pandemic preparedness. He will describe his impact on public health, policy, and advocacy on the final day of our meeting.
We are excited to share that the annual meeting will also have content that has been valued by our members for years as well as a few new offerings. There are stimulating and informative symposia lined up spanning topics like AHRQ’s primary care research center, advancing underrepresented minority students, residents, and faculty in generalist careers, and providing equitable care through telehealth. We will hear about updates in education, research, and clinical care. There will be Distinguished Professors of Geriatrics, Women and Medicine, Hospital Medicine, and Health Equity. New to this meeting, there will also be a pre-course on point-of-care ultrasound, a multimedia interactive performance about current challenges to physician mental health, and a Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) track. And, as always, there will be opportunities for networking and mentorship with colleagues and friends, both old and new.
Despite all the uncertainty these days, one thing is sure: the 2022 annual meeting will impact your career as a general internist. Thanks to the efforts of the those on the Program Committee and all of you that have submitted content, we can assure an inspirational and cutting-edge experience. We look forward to seeing you in-person in sunny Orlando, Florida!
COVID-19, Health Equity, Health Policy & Advocacy, Leadership, Administration, & Career Planning, Medical Education, SGIM
Dr. Tuck (email@example.com) is an associate professor of medicine at George Washington University and internal medicine residency site director at the Washington, DC Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Dr. Redmond (firstname.lastname@example.org) is a physician-scientist at the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute. Ms. Melissari (email@example.com) is the annual meeting manager for SGIM. Mrs. Russell (firstname.lastname@example.org) is the meetings associate for SGIM
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