CLP2020  – The annual meeting of the Academy of Consultation Liaison Psychiatry (ACLP)

Michael Sharpe

The ACLP annual meeting happened in November 2020. It was a great success with 1,400 people attending. We could not hold the meeting as planned in Phoenix Arizona and could not squeeze all the great content into two days. However, by going virtual we realised that location and time were no longer constraints. Virtual does not offer so much personal contact but it offers much more freedom. The recorded meeting can be attended from anywhere and at any time.


So we chose to have the meeting virtually in Phoenix with locally themed material, including a horse ride in the desert, knowing that people could attend anywhere in the world on their computer. We live streamed the meeting on November 12 and 13 2020, but knowing that but those who registered could attend at any time – including in 2021!

There were fantastic keynote talks, each followed by live Q&A sessions. These were

  • A Practical guide to managing symptoms by Dr Kurt Kroenke;
  • A moving personal account of delirium by trauma surgeon Dr Tom Gillespie;
  • A beautifully crafted depiction of mental illness in (other) animals by cardiologist Dr Barbara Horowitz;
  • A thought provoking discussion on humour in medicine by psychiatrist and comedian John Shuster;
  • A description of how to integrate research and practice by psychiatrist and bariatric expert Dr Sanjeev Sockalingham.
  • A special session dedicated to COVID19 that included talks by world experts Drs Tony Fauci and Brent James.

There were many great submitted workshops and brief oral presentations on a wide range of topics from psycho-oncology to equine therapy. We also had ZOOM based discussion groups and social activities using a novel online programme called spatial chat.

Delivering such a great virtual meeting required skill and dedication from many. It was generally accepted that the most outstanding of these many contributions was by Dr Jane Walker, the CLP2020 executive programme chair (her final video showing credits for all the organizers is a masterpiece itself).

The main lesson from the meeting is that a virtual meeting can be highly successful. It is more cost effective for attendees and probably better for the dissemination of ideas and learning. Whilst they can be done in new and creative ways, it is generally not as good for social connection and networking.

Whether virtual or actual we look forward to welcoming you to ACLP2021 (and until then to CLP2020)

Michael Sharpe MA MD FACLP,

Immediate Past-President ACLP

Vice –President EAPM

Categories: General