Call for Symposia for the 43rd Annual Meeting

We invite symposia proposals for the SMDM 43rd Annual Meeting, which will be held virtually, October 18-20, 2021. The theme for the 2021 North American Annual Meeting is ‘From the Individual to Society: How Systems and Societal Factors Shape Health Care Decisions’. 2020 has demonstrated an urgent need for research on how systemic and societal factors influence the health of individuals. In the United States, this year has brought renewed questions about how systemic racism affects the health of our citizens from access to healthcare to large disparities in COVID-19 infection rates, morbidity, and mortality. In Canada, the death of Joyce Echaquan, a member of the Atikamekw Nation who sought medical treatment for stomach pains, highlighted the systemic racism that exists towards the country’s Indigenous peoples in the publicly funded healthcare system. In Mexico, health policy measures, including stay-at-home orders, designed to curb the spread of COVID-19 have been linked to a dramatic increase in the rate of female homicides or ‘femicides’. Similar cases from outside North America have demonstrated the global impact of societal factors and healthcare systems on health and well-being. The pandemic has also brought to the fore the role of individual conversations amplified by social media outlets heavily influencing health care decisions made by individuals as well as health systems. These include decisions to wear masks and decisions about vaccination.

Our annual meetings are an outlet for research that addresses our society’s mission, to advance research in medical decision making and improve health outcomes. As an international society we work together to learn from differences in behaviors and policies from around the world. We are currently inviting submissions for symposia that directly address the 2021 meeting theme: How Systems and Societal Factors Shape Health Care Decisions. We are looking for thought-provoking symposia with widespread appeal to SMDM members. Proposals will be evaluated on content, relationship to theme, and geographic, demographic, and stakeholder diversity in the speakers. Nontraditional formats are welcome.

Your input into this process will be invaluable to the Planning Committee. Submissions will be accepted until Friday, March 26, 2021 at 5 PM ET. The Planning Committee will make symposia selections and notify all applicants by Friday, April 30, 2020.

Thank you,

Negin Hajizadeh, MD, MPH
Victoria Shaffer, MA, PhD

SMDM 43rd Annual Meeting Co-Chairs


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