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Notes From the 2022 Alliance Annual Conference

Despite Omicron and wildfires, the 2022 Alliance Annual Conference, held in Aurora, Colorado this year, went on as planned last week. Safety precautions included mandatory vaccination, masks (with KN95s available on-site) and social distancing. Round tables that would normally seat up to 10 had a mere four seats. The Alliance for Continuing Education in the Health Professions (ACEhp) did everything in their power to keep the in-person attendees safe. The conference was hybrid, with selected sessions livestreamed with an in-person moderator fielding questions from the virtual audience. As a presenter, I was at the conference in person, so I'm not sure how well the virtual component went. The virtual audience was at the disadvantage of not being able to select which sessions to attend as only one was streamed during each block. It was a trade-off between level of access and level of comfort during these difficult times.

Key Takeaways:

1. A learner's attention span is directly tied to their interest in the subject. Microlearning can be great but may not always be necessary as a method for keeping attention if it's a topic that learners care about.

2. Learning collaboratives (which go by many names) are a great way to promote active learning because they are all about learning from each other. They can be one-time collaboratives such as the one I co-led on team-based learning successes and failures, long-term with a specific goal in mind such as the writing of new policy proposals, or ongoing such as a cancer conference with new cases discussed each week.

3. We are all still learning best practices of implementing the new Standards for Integrity and Independence in Accredited Continuing Education. A big challenge is determining relevance. While it is good that we are no longer relying on those disclosing to decide upon what is relevant, a simple Google Search isn't always sufficient for those of us who are not clinical experts to make that call. Ultimately, it comes down to your program's level of risk tolerance when relationships fall into a grey area.

4. Issues of health equity are complex and cannot be solved at the individual level. Continuing education can play a role by helping providers understand how their personal biases and lived experiences color how they see their patients and by helping learners become better advocates for the systemic changes required to truly eliminate inequities.

Image credit: Danieldnm. Licensed under public domain
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