Association News
Great Reviews Follow 2007 Annual Meeting
Psychiatric News
Volume 42 Number 18 page 19-19

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 Education.

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 guests..

The largest numbers of the APA members came from California (1,427) and New York (1,072).

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 (361).

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 the sessions.

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 practices.

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 book.

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. ▪

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