The Georgia Dermatology Physician Assistants (GDPA) puts on an annual conference called Dermatology PEARLS (Physician Extenders Advanced Regional Learning Symposium). It is held in Atlanta, GA or somewhere nearby. It was in October this year, and the next one is scheduled for March in the Buckhead area of Atlanta. There was a maximum amount of CME of 26.5 hours offered, with a possible maximum of 22.5 hours for each attendee. 8 of those hours could be self-assessment if you are in the new CME cycle. 3 workshops were offered - Intermediate Surgery, Hyperhidrosis, Neurotoxin & Fillers - but I didn't participate in any of these. The price for this conference was really reasonable. For early registration a non-GDPA member, it's $300, and if you were a member, it was $275. These prices increased by $75 each for later registration, so plan early!
The location was at the Cobb Galleria Centre, and the hotel was adjacent to the convention center. I didn't need to stay at the hotel since my sister lives in Atlanta, but it would have been nice to have just a 5 minute walk to the conference. The conference was 3 days long, which I felt like was appropriate. There was a ton of information presented, and I was exhausted at the end of each day. Everything was extremely organized, and the schedule ran on time. There were a few lectures I would have liked a little more time for questions, but it was nice to know what to expect throughout the day.
There was a notebook given that had all of the information for the conference, wi-fi information, and a page for notes on each of the lectures (and I took tons of notes). The speakers were all awesome. There were some physicians and some PAs, and I would just love to spend a day with any of them. I don't think there was a single lecture that I felt like I didn't learn something. There were a few instances where I felt like the information went over my head (immunology!), but I still feel like I learned a lot. I got so many pearls, and I'm really excited to try them out in practice. It was also reassuring to hear from people who have been practicing dermatology for 10, 20, or 30 years that they struggle with treating some of the same skin diseases that I feel frustrated by.
I had a great time at the conference, and I learned so much. This is definitely a conference that I plan on attending again in the future!