After a great deal of consideration, the Board of the Family Medicine Education Consortium has decided to go virtual with our 2020 FMEC annual meeting. This action is taken to promote the health and well-being of those who would attend our conference as well as the patients and communities that they serve.
Since 1992 the FMEC annual meeting has grown and we believe it has become one of the most energy filled meetings in all of medical education. Our challenge now is to create an energy filled virtual FMEC annual meeting.
In addition to the hundreds of academic presentations which are offered each year, the residency fair has always provided an opportunity for students and residency programs to get to know one another in an informal format. We believe this has been and, especially this year, will be a very valuable service for the students as well as for the residency programs. Given that students will not be able to travel this fall and interviews will be conducted using virtual communication, we think the residency fair will provide an opportunity for students and residency faculty members to become acquainted.
We call it the serendipity factor. The networking, informal discussions tables, hallway conversations, and chance encounters in a breakout session that occur during each year’s meeting have always been one of the most positive factors mentioned in our meeting feedback.
We look forward to taking on this challenge and replicating that experience in a virtual format.
The FMEC team is in the process of evaluating IT platforms that can support the academic portion of our meeting, our exhibitor hall, and the residency fair. We hope to have a master plan no later than the end of June. As soon as we have a master plan, we will advise accepted presenters how we will proceed.
We are determined to offer a “kick ass” experience again this year. We anticipate given the need students have to develop relationships with residency programs that the number of students attending the meeting will increase this year. Since space and time are no longer restraints, we will encourage 4
year students from across the U.S. interested in Family Medicine Residency Programs in our region to apply for a scholarship.
We appreciate your support and look forward to another successful meeting. We’ll do all we can to (as Captain Picard would say) “make it so”!
Laurence Bauer, MSW, MEd