Greetings and salutations, my friends.
Have you ever wondered what it would be like to attend a Medical Conference?
Well, wonder no more, for today, all shall be revealed.
(And if you said, "No", you are a liar.)
First, let me tell you a little story.
When I was a wee child, there was a sit com on TV (No clue what the name was.) where there was an episode about the crazy fun and hijinks that occur at medical conferences, specifically, the AMA.
I remember thinking, in my child like innocence, "What fun!"
Then I went to medical school and through residency and finally got to attend a conference.
And you know what? They lied, the bastards! Medical conferences are not fun.
Of course, the major reason for this, is that it is attended primarily by doctors.
Who are generally not fun at all.
However, because my company allows time to attend conferences, I decided to go to one, because, let's face it, it's 3 paid days off. I'd go to Hell, if they're picking up my expenses and paying me.
However, I did not go to Hell (and I'm sure there are some disappointed faces out there), instead I went to RSNA (Radiological Society of North America).
It is the largest radiologic conference in the world.
It's always held at McCormick Place, right after Thanksgiving.
Now this is what attending this conference is like:
1) YOU LIKE WALKING? WELL, YOU BETTER!
McCormick Place is HUGE! And, in order to get registered and get all your necessary crap, like program materials, you shall walk it's length and breadth multiple times.
I really wished I had worn sneakers, after all, I'm old, and who's going to make fun of me?
2) YOU WANT BORING LECTURES? WELL, STEP RIGHT UP!
Yes, as much as it pains me to say this, many lectures are pretty boring.
I mean the title sounds great on paper, but then it turns out to be this dry lecture on something that you will never do or see clinically.
And, not to be Anglo-centric here, (which is currently a mortal sin), some speakers have very heavy accents, making them difficult to understand.
3) DARE YE ENTER THE LAND OF THE MACHNES?
One of the most impressive aspects of this conference is the massive Vendors area, where giants in the industry, like GE, (Full disclosure: Nobody is paying me shit, so if I mention a name, it's just because that was the first one to come to mind.) set up these booths, that, when taken together, look like a new area in Disney World.
Seriously, they have all the latest scanners and gizmos, so that one wanders through mouth agape, looking at all the technology, which by the way, no hospital can afford.
4) YOU LIKE FREE CRAP? WELL YOU CAME TO THE RIGHT PLACE!
One of the things doctors are drawn to with an attraction that is far stronger than any crack addiction ever was, is free crap.
Crap. Any crap. Free pen? Yes, Sir! Free Fidget Spinner? OMG, OMG!! Free mousepad? Oooh, I've never seen one of these!
Oh, and coffee. I literally bummed coffee off of every vendor that had a coffee machine.
I swear, the beggars around Union Station would have been embarrassed by me.
Yep, any thing free we will throw into our industry provided tote bag.
Doesn't matter one bit if we never use it.
I attended this conference for "3 full days" (for the purposes of my company records), and I was exhausted.
It is very hard to sit through 4 hours, or more of lectures. Add to that the enormous masses of humanity you are constantly walking through, and it makes for an exhausting day.
In the end, I did learn some useful information, which is a win, I guess, and I got a chance to speak to people from other parts of the country and hear how they practice, which is fun (kinda).
I also get a few meals paid for, and best of all, I get to sleep in my own bed.
So, if you ever wondered what it's like to attend a medical conference, wonder no more.
You're not missing anything.
And if someone tells you different-STAY SKEPTICAL!
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Filed under: Health Care