Association News
APA Fall Institute Garners Rave Reviews
Psychiatric News
Volume 39 Number 6 page 24-24

Nearly 2,000 people attended APA’s 2003 Institute on Psychiatric Services in Boston last fall, exceeding attendance figures for the previous two years. Furthermore, according to a report evaluating the meeting, more than 98 percent of registrants rated the meeting’s sessions excellent.

In response to suggestions from attendees at the 2002 meeting, the institute’s Scientific Program Committee included more than 150 sessions on topics such as substance abuse, child and adolescent psychiatry, and alternative and complementary medicine in psychiatry.

The 2003 institute was the first held in conjunction with the American Association of Community Psychiatrists, some of whose members sat on the Scientific Program Committee and helped to plan the meeting sessions. Total attendance was 1,875.

A report from APA’s Department of Continuing Medical Education highlighted these and other data from the meeting, including comments from attendees. Kathleen Debenham, M.A., who is director of that office, prepared the report.

"Boston, a meeting site with numerous medical schools and an active APA district branch," was a factor in last year’s increased attendance levels, according to the report.

"The Scientific Program Committee established a very successful working relationship with the Massachusetts Psychiatric Society and was able to utilize the society’s members for promotion of the institute as well as for identification of local faculty for the program," Debenham said.

General evaluation forms were placed in all registration packets and distributed to attendees at a variety of locations at the meeting. A computerized evaluation survey allowed meeting registrants to complete the evaluation process online. In addition, forms were mailed to nonrespondents after the meeting.

Ninety-eight percent of the 508 registrants who completed the general evaluation survey rated the overall quality of the educational sessions as excellent, and 99 percent agreed that the sessions met their educational objectives.

About 78 percent of registrants thought that the industry-supported symposia provided a balanced view of the topics covered, though 93 percent said that within the sessions, multiple views were presented.

Eighty-nine percent of respondents said that their professional effectiveness will be enhanced as a result of their participation in the meeting.

Psychiatrists made up the highest percentage of the registrants at the meeting (45.7 percent), and among these were 775 APA members. The second-highest population was residents (19.5 percent). Psychologists, social workers, occupational therapists, and nurses made up 12 percent of registrants.

Recommendations for the 2004 institute included increasing the call for submissions for industry-supported sessions, especially among minorities; implementing a new plenary session format; and seeking continued funding for the Chief Residents Executive Leadership Program.

The 2004 Institute on Psychiatric Services will be held October 6 to 10 in Atlanta. More information on the 2004 institute is posted online at www.psych.org/edu/ann_mtgs/ips/04/index.cfm.

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