April 14, 2021
Our annual PAS meeting is almost here! This is the time we normally look forward to for several reasons- we get to present our exciting ideas, we get to meet our old friends, colleagues and mentors and we get to spend some time in a nice place away from our work routine. We typically go back to our workplaces energized and having renewed our relationships and networks with likeminded colleagues.
Alas that will not be the case this year. As much as we would love to be together in person, we are not there yet. So we will be doing our PAS meeting virtually this year. There are a few PAS highlights I would like to mention here. First is that we will have two Phases of PAS activities. Phase I is what we typically know as several days of clustered sessions that happens end of April to early May. And Phase II of PAS will happen over the next several weeks following Phase I. I hope you will join us on Sunday, May 2. This day has been dedicated to the APA and will feature our George Armstrong lecture, the Top Ten Articles in Medical Education and Speed Mentoring. Here is a comprehensive schedule of the PAS meeting.
Thank you to the Speed Mentoring Task Force for converting the Speed Mentoring program to a virtual format. I cannot overemphasize the role that mentors and advisors play in shaping the future careers of our junior colleagues. The insights gained by conversations with senior experienced professionals can guide your thoughts and next steps about your professional and personal lives. I encourage all of our trainees and junior faculty to sign up for this event. I am certain that you will enjoy it and find it quite useful.
Phase I will include the APA presidential plenary on May 2. The presidential plenary in addition to the top abstract presentations, will focus on the topic of Child Trafficking, a global problem. Please join us on May 2 from 845 to 11 AM CENTRAL TIME for the session to learn how you can help identify child trafficking cases and further advocate for children. The quality of the abstracts we have selected for this year’s plenary presentation is an attestation to the commitment and resilience of our members despite the challenges of COVID. You will have an opportunity to engage with these abstracts through a live question and answer component.
Phase II of the PAS meeting will include all our selected workshops on skill development in many areas including research, education, career development and leadership among others. All of our Special Interest Groups will also meet and discuss their future goals and action plans during this phase. Let me take a moment to thank the wonderful volunteer leaders of our workshops, SIGs, regions and taskforces who devote their time, energy and creativity into solving the problems of today while harnessing the opportunities of tomorrow. We are who we are because of the commitment and engagement of each and every one of you. Thank you. Our education committee chair Dr Traci Wolbrink along with our incoming President Dr Teri Turner have worked hard with PAS leadership to ensure that the e-learning activities at PAS follow established best practices such that participants have an excellent overall learning experience this year. Additionally, APA’s Online Professional Development Task Force has worked with the APA staff to ensure our programs and conferences employ best practices for online learning. My thanks to their leadership and direction in this domain.
And lastly, let me alert you on the upcoming Pediatric Hospital Medicine Meeting in August 2021. This meeting, co- sponsored by the American Academy of Pediatrics, The Society for Hospital Medicine and the Academic Pediatric Association attracts many pediatric hospitalists and has grown in numbers and stature over the years since its inception. This year, the APA is hosting it virtually. Please stay tuned for more details on this.
As I conclude my year as the President of the APA, I am grateful for the support of my board members and the strong and unrelenting commitment shown by our APA staff. It is because of their creativity, self-efficacy and resilience, that despite COVID-19, we were able to continue all our activities uninterrupted. I am saddened that we did not have a chance to meet and connect as we normally would, but as they say “ when the going gets tough, the tough get going.” We the members of the APA are tough and we will get going. We will hold a strategic planning retreat in the Fall to identify activities that our organization should carry on for the next several years to support your professional development and career advancement. I am certain that the skills we have learned during the past year will position us well for a stronger and brighter future in the years ahead. Please feel free to contact me with insights on the past year and how we can use them to govern our organization going forward. Thank you for your extraordinary work and dedicate to the health and well-being of all children.
Latha Chandran, MD, MPH