The meeting theme this year is “Comparative effectiveness research” – that’s research in how to (surprise) study the effectiveness of different medical treatments in comparison to one another (as opposed to comparison to placebo, for example). In addition to the usual offerings of high quality presentations and short courses on topics in medical decision making, several unusual symposia are scheduled. These include presentations by senior health policy aides to both the Obama and McCain campaigns, a symposium on decision making and medical education, and a cross-over symposium by members of the Society of Judgment and Decision Making.
As I wrote last year, newcomers to SMDM may find their first meeting overwhelming. The presentations tend to be at a high level and can intimidate people who are just starting to explore medical decision making. Expect this and donâ€™t worry about it. Youâ€™ll get a lot of interesting new ideas from your first meeting, and youâ€™ll find that a lot will â€œclickâ€ if you return the following year.