Welcome to the sweet shop

Delegates attending the forthcoming WCPT Congress, to be held in Amsterdam next year, will have a new flexibility in selecting which sessions to attend to suit their needs best. The programmes within the congress, and in related activities, are being dovetailed so that delegates can select a combination of scientific sessions, such as focused symposia and discussion sessions, practical courses and visits, all within their area of interest.

There will also be the full congress package that past delegates will be used to. Tracy Bury, WCPT’s Professional Policy Consultant, likens the new approach to “pick and mix” sweet stalls – where customers grab a bag and fill it with a selection of their favourite confectionary. She has been working closely with the International Scientific Committee on planning a programme that will appeal to as many clinicians, researchers, educationalists and managers as possible, and allow them to use their time at the congress to more effectively meet their interests.

“It’s designed to allow delegates to build anything from a two-day to a five-day portfolio of activities embracing the scientific programme and more practical or issue-based activities,” she said. The main details of the programme, including the focused symposium subjects and presenters, will begin to be announced next month. In June, the satellite programme’s workshops and courses will be announced.

How will it work? Imagine you are a physical therapist working in paediatrics in a general hospital, who has three days to spend at the congress, and wants to find as much information as possible to improve everyday practice. The main scientific programme will include focused symposia that have been challenged to identify the implications of research for the everyday practice of clinicians, managers, educators and policy makers.

There will be other types of session in the main scientific programme – platform papers, posters and discussion panels for example – which will cover topics relevant to a paediatric physical therapist. But there will also be sessions outside the main scientific programme in a satellite programme which will allow new insights into services and practice – through clinical courses for example. A paediatric physical therapist will be able to plan her visit so that she can easily fill three days with a variety of options, for example:

  • Day1: Pre-congress course
  • Day 2: Congress scientific programme – symposia, discussion panels, posters, platform abstracts, exhibition
  • Day 3: Congress scientific programme

If she registers for the full congress, she will also be able to access the clinical visit options. “We want people to attend the congress and find sessions on offer that are relevant to their areas of interest and balance scientific knowledge with practical application,” says Tracy Bury. “We also want them to see things that are new and hopefully challenge them to look at their practice in different ways. This may come from some of the professional issues topics that cut across all areas of practice.”

More details are available at www.wcpt.org/congress

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