November 15th, 2011

Finding Wisdom in Unfamiliar Ways in a Familiar Place

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.

Over the years, I have come to value the more subtle ways of learning at AHA — notably, the wisdom gained through relationships and the sharing of knowledge by other researchers. While I perused the posters for much of today, I also spent time with friends, reveling in various intellectual topics of interest. I was somewhat disappointed that I did not attend more sessions. Still, I feel content with the nuggets of knowledge that others shared with me throughout the day, such as:

  1. Researching and analyzing data from various available cohort studies are intricate tasks. While some databases are relatively easy to obtain for the purposes of conducting new epidemiologic studies, others are nearly impossible to access.
  2. As difficult as it is to get an abstract accepted at AHA and similar meetings, trying to publish a report based on the abstract has its own inherent difficulties.
  3. Maintaining a successful business model in modern-day cardiology, particularly for those in private practice, is challenging. One cardiologist noted 3 main concepts (the three “A’s”) for a successful practice — availability (most important), affability, and ability (least important).
  4. The media look for research that is good fodder, but scientists just want good science.

Whether at the convention center or Epcot, the only way you can really go wrong at AHA is to sit idle and do nothing; so long as you are surrounded by your colleagues, you are bound to find science.

In what ways do you value AHA outside the actual sessions?

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