Objective: To describe the design and implementation of a virtual network event at the American Neurological Association (ANA) annual meeting led by the Junior and Early Career Member (JECM) Committee. Methods: We designed a one-hour virtual networking session featuring three 15-minute small group meetings preceded and followed by general remarks. Each small group session consisted of one senior mentor, a junior/early career faculty moderator, and three to four junior/early career mentees. All participants completed an exit survey to evaluate perceived benefit of this event. Results: We recruited 103 mentees, 26 moderators, and 26 mentors for the event. Mentees were primarily at the resident training level or above (17% students). 56% of registered mentees, 100% of moderators and 96% of mentors attended the event for a total of 110 participants. Due to mentee attrition, each room contained 2-3 mentees. 90% of respondents felt the session met their goals very well or extremely well. Further, 99% felt this session was at least comparable to in-person networking at conferences and 60% felt this session was better than in-person networking. Interpretation: Virtual networking sessions between junior and senior academic neurologists are feasible and are at least comparable to, if not better than, in-person conference networking. Future events should consider nuanced mechanisms of matching mentors and mentees, inclusion of ad hoc small groups to foster organic networking, and measures to safeguard against mentee attrition. Future studies should evaluate the long-term benefits of this event to determine if virtual networking should be utilized moving forward.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)525-528
Number of pages4
JournalAnnals of Clinical and Translational Neurology
Issue number2
StatePublished - Feb 2021


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