I attended my second AADE annual conference this August in Indianapolis. I remember my first AADE conference, which was also held in Indianapolis during August 2012. My first meeting was not successful. At the time, I was living in Northern Virginia and had scheduled my flight the day before my presentation on the emerging world of diabetes. Due to thunderstorms in the area, my flight was canceled and I rescheduled my flight the day of my presentation. Based on the available flights and other reservations, I had to email the AADE president, along with other staff members, that my presentation should be canceled due to my late arrival. I was extremely embarrassed and disheartened, but I still attended the meeting to learn how to become a better diabetes educator.
At this year’s conference, I gave a presentation on Friday to approximately 500 to 600 attendees in the room. Whenever I give a national presentation, I always try to relax right before, and I was very thankful to have my presentation scheduled Friday morning so I could enjoy the rest of the meeting. Once my presentation was over, I had to run to provide a poster presentation during the lunch hour. It is unique that AADE allows attendees to present accepted posters on Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. During the poster sessions, there was a lot of traffic for individuals coming to review and discuss all the posters. I was also able to network and speak to people about their clinical practice and answer questions related to my poster.
At AADE17, I really focused on attending talks outside the world of pharmacy. Some of these talks included how to be more positive than negative, beating the boredom, and using algorithms for diabetes self-management education and support referrals. However, I did attend a couple presentations from pharmacy colleagues on cardiovascular outcomes with diabetes medicines and information on diabulimia.
Another highlight of my conference was being able to meet with my fellow bloggers for breakfast. It was nice to finally put faces with names especially with AADE staff members that I have exchanged emails with monthly. In addition, I was happy to meet the incoming president who is also a current blogger for the organization. During our breakfast, we discussed how to improve the blogs and what topics should be covered in the upcoming months for our readers and the AADE members.
Lastly, I need to thank AADE for their support as I applied for and received a scholarship this year, which covered my registration fee. I would highly recommend this to individuals who have never considered attending the conference or may have restricted finds with their institution for travel to professional conferences. For those that attended this past conference, I hope that you had a great time learning how to become a better diabetes educator and obtaining new knowledge to apply to clinical practice. I hope that you also had an opportunity to relax and explore Indianapolis. For those that were not able to attend, don’t worry – the AADE18 Annual Conference will be held August 17 – 20, 2018 in Baltimore, Maryland.