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The Front Line
The Front Line: Charles D. Blanke, MD, SWOG Chair


Closing the loop: Member feedback on the group meeting

Nov 1, 2013 - Happy Halloween!

As we follow up on the plans discussed at the recent Chicago group meeting, we're also trying to assess the impact of SWOG's new initiatives, and changes made to the live meeting schedule. Many of you were kind enough to fill out the survey asking whether SWOG should consider shifting its group meetings from the current Thursday-to-Saturday schedule to a Friday-to-Sunday schedule instead; we appreciate having that information, as well as the typical post-meeting questionnaire. By an almost two-to-one majority, the 200+ members who completed the survey opposed such a shift. This confirms the anecdotal evidence I collected (sometimes under duress) in Chicago. It's safe to say that we will not be making any schedule shifts any time soon.

Of the attendees who completed the CME evaluation form from Chicago, 66 percent were oncologists and 27 percent were nurses or clinical research associates. We appreciate the multidisciplinary nature of the participation.

The schedule changes already implemented earned mostly positive reviews in these evaluations, though, as always with the relatively recently condensed schedule, some expressed frustration because of overlap. We're happy members want to go to as many sessions as possible! The changes did result in less session overlap for group leadership, executive officers, and the protocol coordinators who are the primary administrative point of contact for their committees. The shortening of the Friday plenary and most committee sessions also allowed for more interactions among investigators and members.

Of course we still have room to improve, and we will continue to tweak the schedule. For example, we will try to have working group and general committee meetings within 24 hours of each other. We're also likely to make some changes that will reduce the amount of overlap between sessions run by the Oncology Research Professionals Committee and sessions that members of that committee must attend to meet their institution's expectations.

Some of our efforts have already begun to break down silos within SWOG, as well as opening better lines of communication with and across our membership. Of course we want communications to go both ways, hence the surveys and evaluations, and this blog. Thank you for your feedback on your group meeting experience, and please keep it coming. And happy Halloween!

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