Thoughts On The AAP NCE 2013 – Orlando

photoIf you follow me on social media, you probably know I was in Orlando at the AAP NCE this past week.

Every year right before the date of the convention, I start to dread going. Leaving town is always hard when you have a million things to do. And since we still have little ones, and I don’t travel often for business, I feel a hint of guilt leaving my wife behind fending for herself.

But once I arrive, the anticipation, excitement, and nervousness starts to settle in. I like the feeling.

The Disney Institute

The highlight of my trip was attending a class lead by the Disney Institute. That class was probably one of the most fascinating classes I have attended this year (I say this year because I go to the Global Leadership Summit and those sessions are hard to beat).

The Disney’s Institute class gives you a behind the scene sneak peak at Disney’s stellar approach to customer service. Part of the class was in the classroom, while the other half was at the Magic Kingdom where we toured parts of the park, including going “back-stage” to see first hand how they manage the operations.

Meaningful & Fulfilling Dialogue

The best part of NCE is the people you meet and see. This year, I met up and chatted with more people than ever before.

Many were old friends, others were strangers that came up to me after my talks, while others became new acquaintances. I even got to meet a couple of long time online-virtual friends IRL, which is always fun.

Topics & Trends

You know that observation that many of us make when we buy a car or a phone and right after, we start to notice all the people around us that also have the same car or phone? Well, I don’t know if that applies to the trends I observed during the conferences, but what I heard over and over were two things:

Patient Engagement & Data

PE is always been an important topic, but this time, it seems there was more emphasis on finding different ways to involve the parents/patients into one’s practice.

Speakers emphasized that PE will not only be important to remain relevant in a tectonic-shifting, healthcare landscape kind of scene, but parents are/will demand it.

And the data discussions had to do with implementing systematic studies that will help physicians/managers establish facts and reach new conclusions on how to work in a pediatric practice more effectively and efficiently.

However, the narrative went beyond the clinical and addressed data analysis in the practice management side of things too in an effort to understand the needs of our parents, thus provide meaningful “engagement.”

Thus, the data, the research and the analysis is fundamentally going to help us with the PE portion of this more prominent trend.

I came away with lots of ideas.

Going to something like the NCE  is expensive, consuming and tiring. But just like vacations or time off is needed to replenish one’s soul, reduce stress, and recover emotional balance, attending AAP’s NCE is a needed activity to replenish our minds and share experiences with other like-minded-people.

Look forward to see you in San Diego next year.


  1. I see that one of your wishes came true at Disney!