For this year’s Annual Summer Medical Editors Meeting we traded the mountain vistas of Jackson Hole, WY for the sea-side views of Brewster, MA. The scenery may have been different this year, but the excitement and energy our medical editors (MEs), staff and board members bring to this important and eagerly anticipated annual meeting remained the same.
We were honored to have Otis Brawley, chief medical and scientific officer and executive vice president of the American Cancer Society, as well as the author of “How We Do Harm: A Doctor Breaks Ranks about Being Sick in America” as our keynote speaker this year.
“It was extremely encouraging to hear Dr. Brawley both stressing the importance of ensuring that patients [understand] what would benefit them and also urging restraints in the use of tests and treatments that have been shown to have little or no real benefit,” says Jack Fowler, senior scientific advisor at the Informed Medical Decisions Foundation. “Those are the kinds of messages the Foundation is constantly trying to send and it is great to have someone like Dr. Brawley so articulately raising those issues as well.”
In addition to our keynote presentation, we had a stellar lineup of interactive and thought provoking sessions on Foundation-supported projects from staff, medical editors and esteemed guests. Dominick Frosch and Ethan Halm, presented preliminary results from their respective studies on various approaches to delivering patient information via the web and highlighted the challenges we face as more and more people rely on the Internet for information.
Our independent production team and our colleagues at Childbirth Connection took the stage to present the Maternity Care Shared Decision Making Initiative. The team gave attendees a first look at the highly customizable and interactive prototype for the first web-based decision guide. In addition, Cathy Finn, Foundation senior research associate, along with a panel of medical experts, unveiled our latest Shared Decision-Making® program, “Help for Anxiety: Treatments that Work.” The program was well received by attendees who not only could see it being an extremely useful decision aid for patients, but also as a tool that could be used to help medical residents, and other clinical professionals, as they prepare to work with patients dealing with anxiety disorders.
As many of our colleagues are spread across the country, our summer meeting is an opportunity for the many individuals who work on behalf of the Foundation to gather and reflect on what everyone has accomplished in the previous year and to get energized about upcoming projects. A number of valuable resources came out of this year’s meeting and are listed below.
Resources of Interest: