I did not attend the ACCP meeting in 2006, so this was my first time since their meeting in Montreal in 2005. One thing I noticed immediately was the number of physicians from overseas. I had not thought of this professional society as garnering that much interest from outside the country, but it did. I relish the opportunity to share our educational materials with physicians from outside the US and to help them help their patients be more adherent to therapy.
A first for the ASAA in a long time was sharing a booth with our colleagues at the National Sleep Foundation. Unlike NBC4 at the DC Convention Center some years ago, they joined us and I feel it worked out well. We will share a booth at the American Public Health Association meeting in early November.
I was able to attend a few of the educational sessions. One presentation was an update of the consensus conference hosted by the ACCP Sleep Institute last year. The presenters described the process used to formulate the consensus and the initial results. Their hope is to publish the results in the Spring of 2008 and to hope a follow-up conference on implementing a continuity of care strategy for OSA patient next year as well.
A second presentation and where I stood up to comment, was on the screening of hospital in-patients for OSA - pro and con. The pro side was offered by Dr. Anne O'Donnell of Georgetown University and Dr. Barbara Phillips of University of Kentucky (and incoming chair of the Sleep Institute) argued the con side. Having just been to the Anesthesiologist meeting in San Francisco I did have a couple things to say... including how I was feeling the "love" from the anesthesiologists, more so than from the sleep doctors - it got a chuckle.
The third presentation offered an interesting insight. Dr. Peter Gay from the Mayo Clinic provided an excellent overview of the technological advances in continuous positive airway pressure therapy from when it was first created by Dr. Colin Sullivan in 1981. The title of his talk was "Industry and Sleep Physician: Rowing in the Same Direction?" His thesis is that the advances in PAP therapy have gotten ahead of the sleep physician/researchers. Changes in PAP sleep apnea treatment are being dictated by forces other than changes in physician's understanding of how to treat the condition. Interesting food for thought.
ACCP is in Philadelphia next year.