WASHINGTON, DC—The American Psychiatric Association (APA) has canceled its 2020 Annual Meeting, scheduled to be held April 25-29 in Philadelphia, in light of travel restrictions and public health guidance related to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The association plans to work with the conference’s scheduled speakers to develop an online educational product this spring and is exploring other options for providing psychiatric education.
“After careful deliberations, we came to the conclusion it is not possible to hold the APA’s 2020 Annual Meeting,” APA President Bruce Schwartz, MD, said. “A large number of our physician members are restricted by their respective institutions from traveling to conferences and meetings to help stop the spread of COVID-19, making it impossible for lecturers and registrants to attend the medical conference.”
“The latest information from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and Pennsylvania health authorities supports our judgment that travel restrictions, meeting restrictions and social distancing are the required, safe and responsible actions,” Dr. Schwartz added. “Public health must come first.”
APA chief executive officer and medical director Saul Levin, MD, MPA. added: “We are in the midst of a public health emergency and must not add to the spread of the disease. Our doctors are needed to treat patients who are affected by the disease and its mental health impacts.”
“While we understand that not holding the meeting may interfere with attaining required CME credits, we are working to disseminate scientific knowledge online,” Dr. Levin said.
Details on registration, refunds, and the online educational product will be released on the meeting website.