What Going To AHA 2016 Has Meant To Me
In a recent blogpost, I’d mentioned that this was my first time attending the annual American Heart Association conference. I had a lot of reasons for wanting to go and—although I wasn’t quite sure what to expect—the conference exceeded my expectations.
Here are my personal highlights:
It was amazing (and somewhat overwhelming) to be able to hand-select the scientific sessions I was going to attend among so many possible choices! Furthermore, I’m considering pursuing further education with a Master of Public Health; so, it was eye opening to be able to better understand some of the work being done nationally by people with those credentials. At the end of the day, if you’re interested in any aspect of the care of cardiovascular patients, the conference surely has something for you.
It seems to me that anyone who’s been attending the conference for at least a few years all say that networking with colleagues, could-be colleagues and, of course, seeing old friends is at the heart of the annual meeting. Relationships are forged and maintained here, without a doubt. Again, the place is a lightning rod for anyone in the field.
It’s tough for education to be truly fun and (while I’m not willing to state that every session I attended was the best time of my life) the organizers of the conference are certainly aware of the location they select. New Orleans offered a good deal of things to do if—like me—you were looking to escape for just a moment. My favorite was visiting the National World War II museum, which was a poignant experience for everyone exploring the museum that day.
A consistent message from so many (if not all) of the speakers I heard at scientific sessions was that they couldn’t have arrived in front of that podium without help. That help came from all kinds of different places: professional and non-professional alike—as well as their patients. Still, they all expressed a special sentiment for family and loved ones. So, when we step back to recall that “life is why”—perhaps when we need a little extra self-encouragement to get through the day—let’s also remember that family is why.
This year’s scientific sessions were a fantastic experience for this first-timer. Now, I’m already looking forward to next year’s AHA conference in Anaheim, California.
Thank you to everyone involved for a highly successful and enlightening meeting.
Mark Kaeppler, MD
Cardiology Fellow, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee, Wis.
Mark Kaeppler is a Cardiology Fellow at the Medical College of Wisconsin. He’s in the process of focusing his research interests. The opinions expressed are solely his own.