It is my hope that this issue of the Interchange finds you well. 2020 promises to be a year in which SOCCA will continue to evolve and advance the profession of anesthesiologist intensivists.
Plans are well underway for the annual meeting May 15, 2020 at the Hilton San Francisco Union Square. A board review course comprised of over 30 focused presentations on topics identified as areas of opportunity by review of the In-Service critical care examination has been developed by our Education Committee and the Program Director Committee. Content will be presented by up and coming junior faculty as identified by the Program Director group. This course will be unique when compared to other review offerings as it focuses on content identified through anesthesiology-based critical care training assessment. This also allows for professional development of our upcoming talent.
The annual meeting content has been finalized and all speakers confirmed. Presentations will be shorter this year, consistent with prior attendee feedback that favors more topics in rapid-presentation style. General session themes include New Perspectives on Traditional ICU Education Topics – A Series of Snap Talks, Providing the Best Value Care to our Patients, End-of-life Care in the Device Era – Practical, Ethical, and Legal Considerations, and The Anesthesiology Intensivist Outside of the ICU – Evolving Roles in the Hospital. Two poster viewing sessions will present cutting edge research. One of the advantages of a May meeting is that this aligns well with the academic year and fellows are able to submit and present work done during their fellowship. As a reminder, the poster submission deadline is January 10, 2020. The Research Committee will be judging the poster submissions and appropriately recognizing the best work. It should also be highlighted that the IARS/SOCCA aligned meeting day is Saturday, May 16, 2020. Attendees can earn up to 7.5 hours of CME for Friday and up to 9 hours on Saturday, bringing the available CME associated with our annual meeting to 16.5 over this two-day event.
Many of our members are assuming leadership roles in their institutions and practices. Thankfully, we continue to have senior members with considerable leadership experience engaged in the society. In the members only portion of our website, we are developing a repository of content focused on leadership and management. Professional development has been identified by junior and mid-career members as a valued component to membership. Expect to read more about this in future communications.
Discussions by the SOCCA Board and Membership Committee emphasized the need to retain young members, as they are the life blood of the Society. After careful consideration, the decision was made to provide free membership to our educational members (residents and fellows). In response to more cut backs in professional development funding as well as the limited resources of our newest professional members, there was also broad support to provide free membership for the first year after training. While this does decrease our membership-associated revenue, this was viewed as an investment in our newest members and thereby the future of the Society.
As part of the membership costs discussions, regular annual membership dues were reviewed. When compared to other professional society dues, SOCCA is a considerable bargain. The last increase in dues occurred in January 2014. It was felt that an increase in annual membership dues to $200 was appropriate as well as warranted. A quick review of membership dues and annual meeting registration fees reveals that the cost of SOCCA membership and attending the annual meeting is often a fraction of membership alone to some of the professional societies to which many of our members belong.
As 2019 comes to a close, it is worth reflecting on the year’s accomplishments. SOCCA has made great progress in restructuring our Society, increasing member involvement and developing products that our members find of value. All the best to each of you in 2020.