Learning Opportunities


Program Format Descriptions

View the different program formats offered at the 2020 Annual Meeting.

General Sessions

The session formats for the Annual Meeting have been simplified to enhance attendee experience. Sessions previously referred to as workshops, symposia, case conferences, forums and advances in psychiatry are now collectively General Sessions. All General Sessions are 90 minutes long and comprise the majority of the scientific program at the Annual Meeting.

Courses/Master Courses

Courses are designed to

  1. emphasize learning experiences that actively involve participants,
  2. include the opportunity for informal exchange with the faculty, and
  3. provide a deeper exploration of a topic than would be found in the general meeting program.

Offered in four-hour (half-day) and eight-hour (full-day) sessions, courses either review basic concepts in a special subject area or present advanced material on a circumscribed topic. Courses require an additional fee for enrollment.


These 90-minute sessions allow participants to test their knowledge using an interactive audience response technology. Experts, who served as guest editors of FOCUS, will lead lively multiple-choice question-based discussions, and the audience will enter their answers with their mobile devices. Results are instantly tallied and projected on the screen, providing participants with immediate feedback. Attendees are expected to bring their own devices for use during the session. MOC–2 credit is available for participants in FOCUS Live sessions.

Learning Lab

The Learning Lab introduces an exciting new way to learn at the Annual Meeting. Each session in the Learning Lab transforms learning through collaboration, rich discussion around issues impacting psychiatry and hands-on learning.

Poster Sessions

This format allows for presentations of very recent findings. Posters are visual, self-explanatory presentations offered in three categories: International, Medical Student/Resident Competition and New Research.

APA Will Not Hold Its 2020 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia, Plans to Support the Learning Needs of Psychiatrists Through Online Education

The 2020 Annual Meeting in Philadelphia will not take place in the wake of numerous travel restrictions and public health guidance associated with the pandemic spread of coronavirus (COVID-19). The meeting was scheduled for April 25-29. In lieu of the Annual Meeting, the APA will work with speakers to develop the 2020 APA On Demand product this spring. APA is also exploring other options for delivering psychiatric education this spring.

Read the full announcement here.