Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Continuing Medical Education, IDAA 2016, New Orleans, Louisiana

I love the annual IDAA conference.  It was here that I met some Addiction Medicine specialists and chose to do gain my certification in ASAM, then subsequently in CSAM And ISAM. Now each year I am fortunate enough to some of my favourite academics given the most learned presentations on cutting edge topics in the field of addiction and alcoholism.
I loved hearing Dr. Penny Ziegler again. She presented last year on addiction in the LGBTQ community and this year again presented on ‘issues of shame’ and ‘acceptance’.
Dr. Mel Pohl is truly one of the greats in addiction medicine and one of my all time favourite presenters.  He did a superb workshop on “mindfulness meditation” coupled with a ‘guided meditation’ for the whole group. The question and answer period with excellent and though I’m a long term meditator I was glad to be able to clarify a technical issue.  Later Mel presented on “controversies in addiction medicine’ and was very comforting. Often as a clinician I feel alone in my work in the office and it’s extremely reassuring to learn that what appears a local conflict is indeed part of a greater whole.
I always love to hear Dr. David Smith, truly a great in the field of recovery. This year he spoke on confronting barriers to 12 step programs working with adolescents. He showed how the ‘language’ of the teens today actually was in line with that of the 1930’s when AA began but they use ‘different words’.  Spirituality remains very important.  His examples on engaging youth were delightful. But what was even more of an eye opener was the ubiquity of drug availability for youth in the Marin County middle class communities with the parents rarely aware.
Dr. Paul Early, another favourite, presented on the ASAM Criteria for treatment of the Safety Sensitive Worker.  This was so timely for my own work and addressed the local concerns I was facing especially with the increasing use of marijuana in the community.
There were others. I ‘ve ordered the tapes for the ones I missed, I really had wanted to hear Dr. Barton on Implants, but I’ll hear them while driving along in my truck this winter  Each year I’ve brought back CME disks and enjoyed reviewing them, making better use of traffic jams than giving in to ‘road rage’.
These are some of the bits and pieces of notes I took, more of collage for my own memory than anything relevant to others I’d believe.


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