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VOLUME 9 , ISSUE 1-4 ( January-December, 2023 ) > List of Articles


Medical Conferences and Continuing Medical Education Programs: Meet, Eat, and Learn—The Untold Story

Rangalakshmi Srinivasan, Sowmya MJ Iyengar, Swathi Natesh

Keywords : Conferences, Continuing medical education, Questionnaires, Surveys

DOI: 10.5005/jp-journals-10045-00237

License: CC BY-NC 4.0

Published Online: 20-12-2023

Copyright Statement:  Copyright © 2023; The Author(s).


Introduction: Medical conferences and continuing medical education (CME) programs are extremely useful for any medical professional. Most of the surveys conducted in conferences are feedback surveys and focus mostly on the quality of the provided information and the need for improvement of the same. However, the other side of the story remains unsaid, such as the reasons for conference attendance and participant preferences. The coronavirus disease 2019 (COVID-19) pandemic has caused the disruption of conferences and CMEs. Objective: We aimed to analyze the compliance issues faced by participants during conferences and the choice between online and offline conferences. Materials and methods: This survey was a paper-based questionnaire with 17 questions. After the Institutional Ethical Committee clearance, the survey was conducted at state and national anesthesiology and critical care conferences held in India from November 2019 to October 2020, followed by an e-mail with two more questions on COVID-19. Descriptive statistics was used to analyze the data. Results: In our study, 67.5% of participants felt conferences gave them a learning platform, 69.3% of participants wanted a 3-day conference, and 55.6% preferred it on weekends. About 63.39% of participants were interested in attending conferences with colleagues. Attendees faced several deterrents—35.92% felt work pressure, and 20.55% narrated that permission from the institutional authorities was a deterrent. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, 72.5% of participants preferred webinars; out of them, 44.9% of participants opted for offline conferences when the pandemic gets controlled and conditions are favorable. Conclusion: Practitioners prefer offline CMEs and conferences that are lively and effective, with good topics delivered by experts along with fun-filled hands-on sessions and entertainment.

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