September 4th, 2013

Something New, or the Same Again?

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending ESC.13 in Amsterdam this week are blogging for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Paddy BarrettLouis 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.

Sitting at the gate, everyone is talking a little less, becoming focused on preparations for clinical work in the morning. Another year has passed, another ESC Congress is over, and we return to our respective roles, hopefully somewhat more informed than we were before we departed.

But what have I really learned at the Congress? Something new, or the same thing I learn every year? I think a little of both — but it may be the later that is more important.

Each year, our knowledge is expanded with the presentation of novel trial data and the refreshing of core concepts. And although these are important, I believe the Congress’s real value lies in the people we encounter over the five days.

During these periods we forge new relationships with colleagues the world over but — often more important — build on the relationships with those we work with on a daily basis. The meeting provides a platform to interact with individuals outside one’s normal sphere of exposure, share ideas, and develop connections and collaborations that will grow from year to year.

It is while sitting on a plane, or over a drink in a cafe in a sunny square, far away from the frequently intense clinical environments we work in, that we can really get to know our colleagues. And in doing so, we considerably strengthen the unity among all in our community of cardiovascular disease, both at home and abroad.

The cutting-edge science the Congress serves up each year will no doubt significantly influence how we manage our patients daily, but the relationships we build will define how we will grow as a community over the years and decades to come.

It’s been a great conference, and to all those I met, and indeed to all those that I did not, I hope to see you at the Congress next year.

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