Same Time Next Year!


I have recently returned from the annual International Cancer Education Conference (ICEC) which was jointly sponsored by the American Association for Cancer Education (AACE) and the Cancer Patient Education Network (CPEN). The ICEC is the premier meeting in North America dedicated to supporting cancer educators to learn best practices for cancer prevention, diagnosis, treatment, and survivorship. The theme of this year’s meeting was Solving Cancer Education Challenges through Innovative, Interdisciplinary, Community, and Global Collaboration which highlighted the global perspective of educational issues that cut across the continuum of the cancer experience for patients and their families with a focus on serving the needs of special populations and addressing disparities in cancer care. This Conference is known for presenting new and creative education models that support development and facilitation of interdisciplinary research across the cancer care continuum. The 2017 conference presented an extensive focus on disparities, special populations, genomics, and the use of effective and innovative formats and technologies. By all early reports, this Conference was a resounding success. ICEC has its roots in the annual meeting of the AACE which has been hosting these events for over 50 years. The continuing success of these conferences is that they have maintained true to their original values (dedicated to maintaining and improving all aspects of cancer education to multidisciplinary audiences) and maintaining their relevance (from its earliest focus on organization and curriculum development to this year’s meeting with a focus on genomics and diversity). I can personally attest to the value and relevance of the annual meeting, having attended nearly everyone since the early 1980s. There are others who have attended even longer. The presence of individuals who have attended the same conference for multiple years without fail says a lot about the value of the conference. For those readers who have attended the conference, I am certain that they will attest to its value. For those of you who, for whatever reason, could not attend, there is always next year. I encourage you all to attend your first ICEC or your second, or third, or fifth, or 20th. You may attend the first time for the innovations, but the networking and development of your professional family will keep you coming back year after year. This annual meeting of the family caused me to reminisce about a movie I saw many years ago. It was 1978 and the film was BSame Time Next Year^ which starred Alan Alda and Ellen Burstyn in a romantic comedy about a couple who through some chain of events had a liaison and elected to meet the same weekend every year to renew relations. Their relationship lasted for decades during which time they encountered many challenges in their lives and sought counsel from each other. I am not saying that your attendance at these meetings will result in some romantic intrigue, but I can assure you that it will result in collegial relationships developing into fast friendships. Over the years, I have gained greatly from the mentorship and wisdom of others and, perhaps in some small way, helped in the mentorship of others. Each year, we not only reconnect professionally, but also personally. We have shared happy moments such as marriages and births and also supported one another through health challenges and deaths. I hope that attendees at this year’s meeting maintain contact with those with whom they met this year throughout the year and the years ahead. One particular AACE member that many of us have learned from is Joe O’Donnell. He has consented to share his experiences with all our readers by authoring the inaugural * Arthur M. Michalek

DOI: 10.1007/s13187-017-1288-2

Cite this paper

@article{Michalek2017SameTN, title={Same Time Next Year!}, author={Arthur Michael Michalek}, journal={Journal of Cancer Education}, year={2017}, volume={32}, pages={677-678} }