September 1st, 2013

A World Conference in My Backyard

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending ESC.13 in Amsterdam this week are blogging for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Paddy Barrett, Louis Handoko, and  Amanda Vest. For more of our ESC.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.

Dear Reader,

My name is Louis Handoko, and I am a cardiology resident at the VU University Medical Center, Amsterdam, The Netherlands. For the coming days, I will share with you my experiences at the ESC. This year, the ESC happens to be in my home town, which is very convenient.

It is not the first time that I have attended a major conference like this one. Nevertheless, and especially on the first day, I feel a great sense of excitement:

  • Will it be busy?
  • What news will this conference bring?
  • Shall I meet interesting people?

And, in the afternoon, I also have some of my own research to present.

I decide to go to a pro/con session on endocarditis first. When I enter the room, the debate on the role of transesophageal echocardiography in S. aureus bacteriemia has just started. I like this discussion very much. It is clinical problem I regularly face on the ward, and at the end of the discussion, a useful diagnostic algorithm is provided.

The second debate is on the role of early surgery in infective endocarditis. At my hospital, I find the surgeons are very conservative, so I hoped to find some arguments to convince them in the future. Instead, the first speaker rushed through 100 slides in fifteen minutes, and I am dazzled by the information. The second speaker explains to me that the role of surgery is nowadays not an issue at all, and only discussed the timing of the surgery (early or too early?).

After lunch, it is time for some action of my own. I have a moderated poster on fluid challenge in pulmonary hypertension. In my session, the best poster will be awarded a prize: a free ticket to the ESC next year. Of course, I am stoked!

The interest in my poster is quite good, and I receive several good suggestions to improve my work in the future. The presentation went even better…unfortunately, no prize for me. But as Coubertin has said: “The most important thing in the Games is not winning but taking part.”

It was a good first day, see you tomorrow!

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