| ORIGINAL ARTICLE
|Year : 2005 | Volume
| Issue : 1 | Page : 31-36
What do we discuss at IAPS meetings? An appraisal of free paper sessions at the 30th annual conference
Division of Pediatric Surgery, Rajah Muthiah Medical College, Annamalai University, India
Background: The traditional belief that attending medical conferences would further one's knowledge needs to be examined critically. Although analytical reports on the effectiveness of conferences have been published from Western countries, such studies have never been conducted in India.
Materials and Methods: The author prospectively analyzed 100 free papers presented at the 30th National Conference of the Indian Association of Pediatric Surgeons. Papers were categorized as original works, case reports, audit reports, innovations and theoretical papers. They were assessed for their scientific value, nature of conclusion, quality of discussion by authors and quality et quantity of audience interaction.
Results: "Original works" and "innovations" frequently contributed additional information to the existing knowledge while most of the case reports, audit reports and theoretical papers were redundant. Nearly 40% of all papers had inappropriate conclusions. Only one author conferred all the five components of discussion while 32% of authors discussed nothing useful. Case reports, audit reports and theoretical papers topped the list of papers with inappropriate conclusion and poor discussion. About 24% of papers did not evoke any audience interaction. There was no significant difference in the enthusiasm of audience to interact with contributing versus redundant papers.
Conclusion: Majority of case reports, audit reports and theoretical papers are found to be unsuitable for free paper session. To improve the quality of deliberations, the number of free papers should be reduced and the time allocation for each of them should be increased. Authors must be educated and reminded of the various components and importance of discussion. Whether audience at IAPS meetings react appropriately to free papers need to be evaluated further.
V. Raveenthiran, 7, Medical Faculty Quarters, Annamalai Nagar - 608002, Tamilnadu
Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None
[FULL TEXT] [PDF]*