SMDM 38th Annual Meeting in Review

Experts gather in Vancouver to discuss medical decision-making 



Health economists, physicians, biostatisticians, psychologists, epidemiologists, and other experts in health care gathered in Vancouver for the Society for Medical Decision Making (SMDM) 38th Annual North American Meeting at the Westin Bayshore Hotel.

Over 500 attendees braved the Vancouver rain to come together for the four-day event, which had a variety of presentations and discussions around mentorship, medical decision-making, and ways to improve patient engagement.

SMDM President Dr. Mark Helfand co-chaired the conference with Dr. Nick Bansback, Scientist at Vancouver-based Centre for Health Evaluation and Outcome Sciences (CHÉOS) and Assistant Professor at the University of British Columbia.

“In medicine, uncertainty is the water we swim in,” Dr. Bansback told attendees on Monday morning as he opened the conference, highlighting the theme, “From Uncertainty to Action.”

Dr. John Ioannidis, Stanford Professor, was this year’s Keynote Speaker. Dr. Ioannidis is best known for his 2005 paper "Why Most Published Research Findings Are False," and is one of the most-cited scientists across the scientific literature. He presented on how to make medical research both credible and useful.

Quite a few awards were presented at SMDM 2016. Dr. Marilyn Schapira received The Eugene L. Saenger Award for Distinguished Service to SMDM; Dr. Ewout Styerberg received the John M. Eisenberg Award for Practical Application of Medical Decision Making Research; and Dr. Ivar Christiansen received the SMDM Career Achievement Award.

Other award recipients include the North American 2016 Meeting Award for Outstanding Paper by a Young Investigator, which was awarded to Ankur Pandya. Ten trainees received the Lee B. Lusted Finalists Student Prize Award.

The conference had quite a flurry of activity on Twitter. The official conference hashtag, #SMDM16, was mentioned in 643 tweets on Monday alone.

Changes were made at SMDM 2016, as Dr. Helfand passed the presidency on to Dr. Angie Fagerlin at the SMDM Annual Business Meeting.

SMDM 2017 will take place in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania at the Wyndham Grand Pittsburgh Downtown from October 22-25, 2017.


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Hilton Lam, MHA, PhD
Hilton Lam, MHA, PhD

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