American Academy of Addiction Psychiatry employs several mechanisms to provide the latest information on issues critical to the treatment of addictions; the Annual Scientific Meeting and Scientific Symposium is our primary and most visible activity. The Annual Meeting and Scientific Symposium is designed to present the latest findings from basic and clinical research as well as policy-related information in addictions to a broad array of health care professionals; this is achieved through various forums for dissemination including: symposia, posters, workshops, and case conferences. The meeting also provides the organizational backdrop for the exchange of ideas, discussion and working groups focused on other AAAP educational and policy-based activities. These activities foster regional courses, web-based trainings, scholarly publications and policy initiatives. As such, these meetings are critical vehicles for stimulating educational and research initiatives aimed at improving the quality and availability of care for individuals with addictive disorders. AAAP members are uniquely positioned as clinical and academic leaders in the field. The Annual Meeting enables true cross-fertilization while creating an intimate atmosphere with a diverse group of participants.
The AAAP Annual Meeting provides many opportunities for clinical researchers to engage full-time clinicians in fruitful discussions of how clinicians address treatment conundrums where empirical data is lacking. Often, through discussions in workshops or other intimate formats, new ideas and research projects are developed, thus contributing to the clinical and public health relevance of future research. Moreover, the AAAP Annual Meeting has numerous outreach initiatives for junior investigators through travel awards, one-on-one mentoring sessions for trainees, and informal interactions with senior investigators. The meeting is designed to nurture junior physician researchers and to help cement their professional identity as addiction researchers, while also maintaining their roles as clinicians and educators. The experience of attending AAAP’s annual meetings facilitates the research careers of these physicians. The Annual Meeting is critical in helping combat the dwindling number of clinical researchers, and is an asset for all healthcare professionals in the general addiction research community.