November 14th, 2011

“The Center Where It All Happens”

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending AHA.11 this week are blogging together on CardioExchange.  The Fellows include Revathi Balakrishnan, Eiman Jahangir, John Ryan (moderator), and Amit Shah. Read the previous post here. Check back often to learn about the biggest buzz in Orlando.

For this first-year fellow, the AHA has seemed at times like the “light at the end of the tunnel” — although it is only one third of the way through my first year. Deep in the trenches of first-year fellowship, just when it seems like my time is consumed with adapting to call (STEMI page = palpitations) or learning the technical nuances of echo (that darned apical 2 chamber!), this time away has allowed me to take a step back and reflect on where I started out not so many months ago and on where I may want to go with my career.

I was excited Saturday to get a glimpse of what this conference has to offer, but became overwhelmed when browsing the 500+ page program to plan my day. Luckily, I found the conference planner app, which conveniently filters the days by core tracks and topics of interest.

Although the late-breaking sessions are typically the primary focus of interest for attendees, my curiosity was piqued by the concurrently scheduled young investigator oral abstract sessions.  How did these presenters begin their careers, and how much further do they need to go to get to where they want to be? If I wanted to, could I traverse that same path? I hope I can find the answer to this question in my own time.

Today, a senior co-fellow told me that being at the late-breaking sessions is an amazing experience, like “being in the center of where everything happens” — and I am excited to finally be a part of it.

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