the value of travel

For the next several days I will be in San Francisco attending the American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) National Conference and Exhibition (NCE). This is an excellent opportunity for networking with other pediatric leaders and learning about new research that impacts the care of children. This is an example of continuing medical education (CME). It's marvelous when over 6,000 pediatricians and other health care providers dedicated to improving children's health get together in this stimulating setting. I hope to be able to share some of the more interesting, unusual or newsworthy items in the days to come.

It may not be obvious why physicians need to travel to large meetings like this--after all it's expensive, and we could conceivably achieve the same results in other ways--by web conference, teleconference, or just by reading published literature. However, there is great value in having the opportunity to discuss study findings with the researcher directly. It is also very worthwhile for me to have the opportunity to conduct "poster walk rounds" where I will be leading a group of pediatric critical care physicians around a room filled with posters upon which authors will have presented research data.

It is fun to guide the group in asking the "right" questions, and assist the sometimes young and inexperienced scholars to stay calm while attempting to answer questions that are coming at them from well-known and respected leaders in the field.

More to come on this topic. Now off to pack for the San Francisco weather, which is forecast to be sunny and around 70.

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About Dr. Ackerman

Alice Ackerman, MD, MBA, FAAP, FCCM is the Chair of the Department of Pediatrics at Carilion Clinic and Professor and Founding Chair of Pediatrics at the Virginia Tech Carilion School of Medicine. Dr. Ackerman is recognized nationally as an expert in pediatric critical care.

She has been at Carilion Clinic since June of 2007. Her primary goals are to enhance the health care of children in the Roanoke Valley and Southwest Virginia, and is actively working to do this both as physician in chief of the children's hospital, as well as through involvement with many state-wide initiatives.

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