A Wonderful Conference.
I just got home from Minneapolis, where I attended the AcademyHealth Annual Research Meeting. I received a small travel award to attend, and was able to meet a lot of truly fascinating people from all over the country. I got to have dinner with the inestimable Hope Jahren and her family, and run all around the city. The running/biking/recreational infrastructure in Minneapolis is stellar. I highly recommend it. I ran about 19 miles while I was there. It was nice to have the cooler, dryer weather compared with ECC.
Most of the conference poster sessions centered around findings from the ACA’s impact over the last four years on access and use of health services in America. Far too much info to process and place here, but there were some very cool results. One of the most interesting I saw was the shift from cheaper, less-reliable forms of birth control to longer-term, more effective methods, and an attendant drop in abortion rates (though small and marginally significant). In general, it seems that access to care is improving slowly, but appropriate access is still somewhat elusive. More care is not always better care, and getting the right patient to the right physician in the right setting remains challenging.
But I had a fabulous time, learned a lot, and met a lot of old friends from my St. Louis days. I made great connections and might have secured a little bit of career-advancing recognition. It’s exciting, and I’m happy to be developing strong connections in the world of health research. Now I just have to get off my ass and get a major simulation finished by July 1. So I’d better kick it into gear.