You may be considering a variety of reasons for NOT attending the AADE Annual Meeting this year. It may be that there are such a wide variety of conferences, webinars and journals to help keep you updated in the profession you may not feel the need for more education. It may be the lack of enthusiasm for more education after years in the profession and less gained from attending national gatherings. Or, it may be lack of financial support from your workplace that has reduced your interest (or ability) to attend.
So, what are some reasons you SHOULD attend?
1. Reconnecting with friends – this is huge for me. In fact, I often see people from my own state I haven’t seen in a long time. It’s great to share our work in diabetes education and to share our personal stories. I also see colleagues from around the United States who share the same area of practice and can bounce ideas back and forth to help enhance my practice.
2. Meeting new colleagues – this is a great way to connect to others from around the country who practice in similar ways or who have a completely different focus that you are considering getting into. The COI (community of interest) meetings are a great way to share best practice whether in pediatrics or at diabetes camps. (Note their start time, as you need to arrive the evening prior to the opening day of the conference to attend!)
3. Taking time away from everything else – focus – At home there are so many barriers to staying up-to-date on the latest in new technology or the new clinical trials. Between homework with the children, laundry, preparing meals and finding time to exercise (not to mention the hours at work!) the days fly by without delving into the journals we mean to read.
4. Staying informed – attending sessions that stretch your mind and increase your knowledge outside of your usual domain may spark a new area of interest and create a whole new direction for your career. For example, perhaps you are unfamiliar with insulin pumps and when you walk through the exhibits and learn about all the new bells and whistles, you get excited and start recommending them in your practice.
5. Getting engaged in AADE – by attending you may find a new niche in the organization that adds up to the quality of your professional engagement. It may be serving on a committee, providing an idea for a future speaker or being willing to review a paper for the journal.
6. Seeing a new part of the country – this can add to the enjoyment of the conference in addition to the educational opportunities. It is always fun to take in the sights of a different part of the country. Whether it be a run beside the lake, an historical site, or heading to an evening symphony.
For those of you that do attend, what can you add? What gets you excited about going back each year?
Attending the AADE Annual Meeting is a great way to network, stay informed, get re-energized and take an education-based vacation. Come join us in Philadelphia, PA, August 7-10, 2013!