The ACRM 93rd Annual Conference has now come to an end and I would like to welcome our new members. I enjoyed making new connections and having some great conversations, as well as attending sessions with some of the greatest content I believe ACRM has offered to date. We have great momentum again coming out of the conference and I am excited to see what comes in the next year!
The Early Career Networking Group was led off with another stellar pre-conference Early Career Development Course (ECDC). This year’s course was entitled “PI or not PI? That is the Question: Developing Your Research Identity in a Collaborative Culture of Team Science”. There were over 20 attendees this year and we had an exciting panel of mentors and rock stars in the field, including keynotes from Michael Boninger, MD and Edelle Field-Fote, PhD, PT. The small group breakouts and mentoring lunch spurred some great discussions. If you missed it this year, I highly suggest it for next year! See message from ECD Chair, Monique Pappadis, below for more information!
Following the ECDC, we had a very well attended, informative and successful Early Career and New Member Reception to close out the pre-conference and lead us into the core conference days. The reception began with a short introduction to the chair or representative of each ISIG and NG community within ACRM. This presented the attendees with an opportunity to not only discover the number of communities within ACRM that they may be interested in becoming involved with, but provided an overview to make ACRM and the conference more navigable. The reception wrapped up with the opportunity for the attendees to peruse the individual communities and begin networking and finding opportunities to become involved with those communities they were interested in. The Early Career and New Member Reception kicks off each conference, so if you missed the reception this year, be sure to attend next year.
In addition, Pamela Duncan, PhD, PT presented a smashing first plenary session on “Preparing Rehabilitation Clinicians and Researchers for Transformative Health Care and Pragmatic Research”, which reverberated and spurred discussions throughout the conference. The inauguration of ACRM’s Chat with Experts sessions presented attendees with opportunities throughout the conference to come together in a more intimate environment and discuss pressing issues rehabilitation professionals are facing. In addition to spurring great discussions, these sessions allowed individuals to network in a small group setting and offered the well-known ‘family’ feel of ACRM. I found these Chats to be one of the highlights of the conference that I enjoyed most this year. Be on the lookout for them again next year!
The conference wrapped up with another bang as Ben Folds and Pamela Quinn presented a symposium which not only challenged the conventional outlook on rehab, but provided a unique ‘entertainment’ experience.
Overall, the conference was a huge success and I want to again welcome our new members. I greatly enjoy seeing the new faces each year and reconnecting with many of you year after year. I’m already looking forward to next year. If you have any questions surrounding the conference or would like to get involved with next year’s conference, please reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Have a safe and happy holiday season!!!
Megan Mitchell, PhD
Chair, Early Career Networking Group