"Nobody goes there anymore. It's too crowded."
Laurence G. Rubin, DPM, FACFAS
The Annual Scientific Conference (ASC) will be here sooner than you think. I encourage you to save March 22–25, 2018 now on your calendar because those dates will come quickly, and your schedule will be “too busy to attend.” Commit to attending the ASC today. We are already ahead of last year’s attendance numbers, and it appears we will set another record—now four years running. There is a reason why we are the largest attended conference for foot and ankle surgery.
There has been some recent debate about online CME. A recent poll in PM News showed that the majority of the 598 responses felt that all of their CMEs should be allowed to be taken online. I cannot help but wonder what the parameters were for their decision. Of course, online CME is less expensive than face-to-face CME, and I am sure it is easier, with less time away from the practice. ACFAS On Demand is available for our members who want online CME, but this is not the same education. What are you getting from online CME other than fulfilling a requirement? Will online CME truly change the way you practice, will you come away with that one pearl of information that made it all worthwhile? Will you leave energized and better prepared to face the multiple challenges that we as foot and ankle surgeons face on a daily basis?
ACFAS is the leader in educating foot and ankle surgeons. There are numerous educational offerings for our members: The Journal of Foot & Ankle Surgery, webinars, videos, e-Books, regional meetings, skills courses and the national meeting. We understand the “human connection” and incorporate this concept into our programs. Our skills courses have a fireside chat where surgeons share and discuss their cases, and our regional meetings have workshops and a reception.
The ASC is the culmination of our educational offerings. The ASC program committee commits a lot of time and effort into this meeting that often goes unseen. I would like to thank those doctors for their commitment to the College. They have to find subject matter that will be interesting and beneficial to the audience and speakers who are knowledgeable with that subject matter and are also comfortable delivering their presentation to a large audience. This year, we will have 23 percent new speakers on the podium, which keeps the presenters novel and up to date. ACFAS has made a concentrated effort to eliminate commercialism and bias from all the presentations at our educational meetings.
There are also preconference workshops the day before the conference starts and hands-on workshops during the meeting. The discussions and education do not stop in the lecture halls. We are at a new record for exhibitors. This gives you the ability to see all the industry partners and their latest advancements and innovations in foot and ankle surgery. Several companies have sponsored lectures and workshops in conjunction with the ASC. And then there is the conversations and camaraderie you have in the hallways between lectures. All this adds up to a learning experience you just cannot get online or anywhere else. That is why the attendance at the ASC has grown by more than 50 percent in the last four years.
I hope you will not be one of those individuals who does not come to the ASC because it is too crowded, but rather one of those who gets to experience what the largest foot and ankle scientific conference looks and feels like. See you in Nashville!