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Have a special area of interest? Check out section, council programs :

September 21, 2020








Editor’s note: For more coverage of the AAP Virtual National Conference, visit

You’ve carved out a niche caring for patients with a particular condition such as autism or diabetes. Or maybe you’re the go-to person in your office for technology-related issues. Perhaps, you’re a resident or fellow in need of career advice.

Whatever your interests or career stage, the virtual National Conference has something for you. With over 35 live and 150 on-demand educational sessions, you’re bound to find offerings that meet your needs.

Yet there’s another treasure trove of educational content you may want to check out. Dubbed “H programs,” these sessions are geared toward section and council members but are open to all attendees. They will be held from Oct. 3-5.

H programs may delve into medical advances in specialties such as cardiac surgery or neonatology or offer information to those at a specific stage in their career like young physicians or seniors. They also might provide a forum for brainstorming the best way to deliver care or collaborating with sister organizations.

“It allows some specialty interest to have a stage,” said Anne B. Francis, M.D., FAAP, chair-elect of the Section Forum Management Committee and liaison to the National Conference Planning Group.

Unlike general sessions, which are overseen by the National Conference Planning Group, sections and councils determine H program content and speakers.

“That’s the nice thing about the H program. There’s some governance in terms of what you provide, but it’s pretty much your program,” Dr. Francis said.

H programs typically are longer and more in-depth than general sessions. You can tune into the entire program or just the part that is most relevant to your needs. The Conference Schedule lists all of the H programs as well as how much continuing medical education credit can be earned for attending an entire program and links to agendas.

In addition to providing education, H programs are a way to learn about sections and councils and are a place where people can network and share common problems and solutions, Dr. Francis said.

“The fact that we have sections is really important,” she said. “There is a home for people who have special interests or have specialties, be it neonatology or be it telecommunication and virtual visits. There are groups out there that are working on these issues and educating on these issues.”

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