October 20, 2020—As organizations across the world adjust to mandates necessitated by the COVID-19 pandemic and associated social distancing requirements, the Society of Teachers of Family Medicine (STFM) doubled down on its commitment to academic family medicine by nimbly switching gears and re-working in-person conferences to virtual formats.
STFM hosted two virtual conferences within three weeks in August and September. The STFM Annual Spring Conference, originally scheduled in May, was rescheduled for late August as an all-virtual conference. The STFM Conference on Practice & Quality Improvement was held virtually just three weeks later in mid-September. The attendee feedback for both conferences was positive with more than 90 percent of survey respondents confirming that the conferences addressed a wide breadth of topics in family medicine education.
"I'm proud of STFM members and the staff in pivoting to an all virtual conference in a relatively short period of time," stated STFM Executive Director and CEO Stacy Brungardt, CAE. "It was important for STFM as a community to come together in 2020... to see one another, share stories, and reconnect. While meeting virtually isn't the same as gathering in-person, hosting a meeting with members contributing their recordings, posters, and conversations makes an important statement about STFM member and staff resilience and innovation," Brungardt added.
"Virtual conferences offer cost and time savings related to travel, hotel accommodations, food, and registration fees," added STFM Director of Conferences Ray Rosetta. "The inclusivity of virtual conferences allows participants to access the conferences from anywhere, and information presented during hundreds of conference sessions can be accessed by all attendees before and after the conference."
The virtual STFM Conference on Medical Student Education is scheduled for February 1-3, 2021. Registration for the conference is now open and can be accessed at stfm.org/conferences/mse/overview