By Theodore DeWeese, MD, FASTRO
As president of ASTRO and chair of the Annual Meeting Planning Committee, I am thrilled to share with you the exciting, innovative changes coming to the 2019 Annual Meeting and the totally redesigned Presidential Symposium! ASTRO recognizes that as a Society, we must evolve to match the pace of change in this modern world we live in and we take that seriously — in order to provide our members with innovative, thought-provoking, problem-solving tools and events, the Annual Meeting is undergoing a transformation. The Annual Meeting’s theme, Innovate, Collaborate: Transform, speaks to not only the changes taking place in our field as new technology and research expand our capabilities, but also the changes taking place within the format of the meeting itself.
The Annual Meeting is a must attend for all those working in radiation oncology and the changes planned over the next three years ensure this meeting remains an indispensable event and experiential learning opportunity. Most importantly, these changes incorporate your feedback and we will continue to ask for your participation in shaping the program (more on that below!). You can preview the exciting innovations in our previous post, but for now, I want to give you a sneak peek into the reengineered Presidential Symposium.
A whole new experience
In the past, the Presidential Symposium was a didactic lecture focused on a “deep dive” of a topic. This year, we are unveiling a whole new format centered around this thought-provoking question: “Curing metastatic disease with radiotherapy: Myth or reality?” I am inviting attendees to join me in discussing this provocative, and perhaps polarizing topic using a new concept design for the symposium.
General Session: The first part of the Presidential Symposium will be comprised of three, level-setting talks and an Oxford-style debate, taking place in the general session room. I like to think of this session as your large university lecture hall. The presentations will ensure that all attendees are on the same page as to the state-of the-state when thinking about metastatic cancer. The Oxford-style debate will be a fun and educational dialogue to help unveil and explore where the controversies lie.
Expanded Learning Sessions: Next, attendees will select one of 12 facilitated sessions. I liken these to a smaller university course with much more interaction and discussion during class. Each of the 12 topics will focus on one aspect of the overall debate topic to give attendees an opportunity to “pick a side” they feel most passionate about and get more involved in the debate! Start conversing with your peers and colleagues now and be sure to let us know your feedback on the topics selected thus far, including if we have left out something important!
Table Talks: Following the expanded learning sessions, you will have the opportunity to continue the discussions with informal table talks in the Innovation Hub. These sessions will be more akin to a five to 10-person study group, with high interaction and engagement. And, this is where the real fun begins!
For the first time ever, we are opening a community on ASTRO’s forum, ROhub, for members and industry to start the discussion and shape the topics ahead of the Annual Meeting!
All ASTRO members are invited to opt-in:
- Join the PS: Innovate Together community. You’ll need to log in with your ASTRO credentials.
- Click the latest discussion post or start your own.
- Discuss the expanded learning session topics and start the conversation with your colleagues now. Provide feedback on the various topics and let us know if we’ve missed something important!
- Post suggestions for the Table Talk topics and let us know if you are interested in leading a Table Talk.
Members of the community will receive a daily digest of the previous day’s conversations to keep up to date with the latest information. You can change your digest subscription at any time by simply adjusting the “Community Notifications” under the “My Account” tab.
The Presidential Symposium is just one example of how we’re increasing engagement and collaboration as we raise the profile of radiation oncology and continue to support innovation within our field. You will experience a customized learning event, where you can determine your path and have a unique opportunity to shape the discussion topics. On behalf of the ASTRO Annual Meeting planning committee, I invite you to join us in Chicago for these exciting, ground-breaking changes!
View the video to learn more about the Presidential Symposium.
Learn more about what’s new for the 2019 Annual Meeting from ASTRO CEO Laura Thevenot.