I recently came across a list of the top 10 stem cell conferences online. I was a bit surprised, as the list wasn’t put together by a physician expert in the space, so I thought it a good idea to create another list that’s more factual and more focused on orthopedic, pain management, and sports physicians searching for a good conference on stem cells that meets their needs.
I’ve constructed this list based on the items that the physician may be looking for, rather than an opinion. For example, a novice physician who has never offered stem cell therapy or PRP in his or her practice may be looking for a quick survey of the topic. A more experienced physician may be looking for more in-depth training. Any doctor may also care deeply about whether the people on the podium are really experts. Or a physician might prefer not-for-profit conferences due to the fact that payments from vendors are less likely to decide who gets to speak on the podium. Maybe the physician wants to connect with as many other colleagues as possible; hence, a bigger conference is better.
My focus was on conferences that have a broad list of speakers and offer some orthopedic and MSK training or lectures. There are really only six that I can find. I have not listed the smaller training courses but instead focused on 1–3 day conferences. While AAMPR should be listed by virtue of having run a small regen med course for the past few years, they didn’t hold it this past year, so they are not on the list. If there are inaccuracies or anything or anybody I left out, please contact me at [email protected]
So here are the metrics I used:
- Depth of Orthobiologics Material Presented: Survey—general lectures on orthobiologics, More Detail—general info plus a few in-depth lectures of original research, In-depth—general info plus many in-depth and original research focused presentations
- Number of Attendees: <100, 100–200, 200-300, 300+
- Sponsored Student/Post Graduate Slots (the number of slots the conference provides for residents or fellows to attend via a paid stipend): 0, 0–20, 20–50, 50–100
- Experts on the Stage (average stem cell/PRP/orthobiologics publications focused on ortho/MSK listed in PubMed listed for each speaker [total stem cell pubs/total speakers]). I capped the pubs per speaker at 50, so as not to allow a keynote to swamp the average for 10 other speakers with no pubs. I also used publications listed in PubMed: Low—0–5, Medium—5–10, High—10+
- Ease of Access: (major US airline hub or vacation hub with many direct flights): Good—major hub, Fair—available direct flights from major hubs, Poor—>60 min driving required plus flight
- Nonprofit Status: Nonprofit, For Profit
- Regulatory Compliance: Low (several speakers and sponsors offering non-US-compliant therapies in the U.S.), Medium (some attempt to restrict speakers and vendors), High (no speakers and sponsors offering non-US-compliant therapies in the US)
Rather than ranking these, I have just included their marks based on the metric above, so I list them in alphabetical order (click on the table below to enlarge):
Looking at the above metrics, the two top conferences based on size, quality of speakers (i.e., experts with substantial original research publications), ortho/MSK focus, ease of access, and providing in-depth topics/original research are the IOF and TOBI (again in alphabetical order). If you’re looking for a survey course and top-notch regen med talent on the podium and size isn’t important or access is key, there are several others to chose from.
The upshot? I hope this analysis helps. The goal was to try and look at these conferences as objectively as possible and leave the opinions out of it. I also tried to provide a broad look at these conferences so that anyone can quickly scan the table to see which one has the attributes they’re seeking.