Virtual Society Meetings can deliver on physician practice needs if done right: Keeping members engaged in 2020 and beyond.
COVID-19 has made a wide-ranging impact on the health care sector. The race to understand the novel coronavirus and to find a vaccine has led to exponential growth in medical research. While COVID-19 is at the forefront of physicians’ minds and taking up much of their learning, they must still find ways to stay current on their own specialties and ensure they are using the best available evidence and latest clinical guidelines to inform their practice.
Many physicians have adopted the use of virtual and online tools that extend beyond care-based resources to support their continued learning. One of the most trusted sources clinicians rely on is their professional medical society resources, foremost their specialty journal and annual meeting where critical practice updates are shared. In a Wolters Kluwer Physician Needs Assessment survey of nearly 1,600 US physicians conducted earlier in 2020 prior to the pandemic’s worldwide spread, the majority of physicians indicated that they would obtain health care information, resources or continuing medical education (CME) through medical societies – 78% said they would read peer-reviewed journals and 64% said they would attend annual meetings.
For physicians looking to stay current in their specialty, society annual conferences provide the greatest opportunity to fulfill three key needs:
- Access to current information and evidence of the moment – “Staying current with new clinical trends/techniques” was among the top professional challenges identified by respondents to the Physician Needs Assessment survey.
- Opportunities for continuing medical education – 31% of survey respondents indicated time or financial cost of maintenance of certification (MOC) as one of the top three professional challenges they will face over the next three years.
- Ability to connect with peers – 50% of physicians surveyed identified “talking with a colleague who you know” as one of the top three sources for obtaining healthcare information.
How are societies meeting the needs of physicians in 2020 and beyond?