The sessions held at the annual meeting in San Diego were well-received by
attendees, according to data compiled from nearly 5,500 evaluation forms and
described in a report issued by APA's Department of Continuing Medical
About 90 percent of respondents rated the quality of the annual meeting
sessions as "excellent," and about the same percentage reported
that the sessions met their educational objectives.
Total attendance for the San Diego meeting reached 17,853, which is close
in size to the 2005 meeting in Atlanta.
Excluding exhibitors, press, and staff, there were 14,584 registrants at
the meeting, of whom 5,708 were APA members and 8,876 were nonmembers or
The largest numbers of the APA members came from California (1,427) and New
Almost half of registrants (45 percent) were from outside the United
States. Overall, 6,619 attendees came from other countries. Canada had the
largest registration, with 812, followed by the Netherlands (527) and France
More than 130 reporters from major media outlets traveled to San Diego to
cover the meeting.
According to the report, 63 percent of the evaluation respondents attended
a workshop during the meeting, and 92 percent of them reported the quality of
the workshops they attended to be good or excellent. The vast majority of
those who attended a medical update or advances-in-research session (92
percent) also reported that the sessions were excellent.
In addition, there was a great deal of praise for the lack of bias in the
industry-supported symposia, according to the report of the evaluations. As
part of a continuing effort to ensure that industry-supported symposia are
free of bias, they have for several years been monitored by psychiatry
residents. This year, an audience-response system was also used to evaluate
Approximately 60 percent of evaluation respondents surveyed said their
practices would be enhanced by the annual meeting sessions they attended, and
27 percent said the meeting sessions validated their current treatment
Only 3 percent of respondents reported that they would change their
practices as a result of their participation in the meeting. Among the changes
they planned to make were using medications in different ways, changing
prescription patterns for patients with bipolar disorder, watching for signs
of metabolic syndrome, and using alternative strategies in treating mental
health problems more confidently.
Evaluation respondents' suggestions for future meetings included expanding
the number of media sessions offered, bringing the Internet Village back to
the meeting, and placing a daily log back into the annual meeting program
Respondents also asked that future meetings continue to address topics such
as psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents, the mental health of
soldiers and their families, advances in treatment for bipolar disorder, and
new treatments for schizophrenia, among others.
More than 81 percent of evaluation respondents (4,300) indicated that they
plan to attend the 2008 APA meeting in Washington, D.C. That meeting will take
place from May 3 to 8. ▪