March 11th, 2013

The Human Touch After Hours and Between Sessions: Blogging from ACC.13

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending ACC.13 in San Francisco this week are blogging for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Tariq AhmadMegan CoylewrightJeremiah DeptaKumar Dharmarajan Payal Kohli, and  Sandeep Mangalmurti. View the previous post here and the next one here.

One of my co-fellows from Duke, Priyesh Patel, made a comment tonight about the meeting that really resonated: ACC seems to be more about what happens after the sessions than the sessions themselves.

The last two days have been a whirlwind of activity. My days have been filled with running between sessions that interested me, sitting in on some to provide moral support to co-fellows and friends, and presenting my own research. However, the “highest yield” activities have involved having lunch, dinner, and drinks with friends and collaborators.

This may be an important reason why meetings like ACC are unlikely to ever become obsolete. Although the lectures and the posters can be accessed online, the unmeasured gains that result from human interactions cannot occur in cyberspace.

Todays highlights included a great discussion on the emerging field of cardio-oncology. With the explosion in cancer therapeutics, and the potential for significant cardiotoxicity, it will likely become more important for cardiologists to advice and manage patients undergoing chemotherapy. There is some talk about this becoming a subspecialty.

I presented a research poster this afternoon on biomarkers in heart failure and then rushed to try and “Stump the Professor.” It was great fun to present a case to two great clinicians—Pat O’Gara and Tom Bashore—who have taught me much of what I know about cardiology.

Afterwards, my co-fellows and I went to dinner with two of my favorite mentors at Duke: Adrian Hernandez and Manesh Patel. It was great to get to know them on a more personal level. Much of medical training in spent paying respect to a strict hierarchy, and these meetings allow for mentors and mentees to interact as peers.

Breaking down these barriers makes our job all the more fun.

For more of our ACC.13 coverage of late-breaking clinical trials, interviews with the authors of the most important research, and blogs from our fellows on the most interesting presentations at the meeting, check out our Coverage Headquarters.

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