November 18th, 2013

The Best Way to Spend a Morning at AHA?

Several Cardiology Fellows who are attending AHA.13 in Dallas this week are blogging for CardioExchange. The Fellows include Vimal RamjeeSiqin YeSeth MartinReva Balakrishnan, and  Saurav Chatterjee. You can find the previous post here. For more of our AHA.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 AHA.13 Headquarters.

For the past two mornings at the Scientific Sessions, the poster sessions have been a highlight for me. Even without a strategic location in the Exhibit Hall (as at ACC) and without any lattes in sight, the poster sessions were buzzing.

Although I did present a poster, I was much more proud to see first-time AHA presentations by two residents whom I have worked with. Kris Swiger and Mo Al-Hijji did a fabulous job presenting their work from the Very Large Database of Lipids at the session titled “Lipoprotein Metabolism: Clinical and Population Studies.” Like other presenters at the session, they examined the topics of HDL cholesterol and gender differences, but what I want to elaborate upon is not all the details of the science. A short blog cannot do the science justice.

What I do want to say is that these poster sessions are exactly what will keep me coming back to AHA. I moved from circle of people to circle of people, engaging in topics ranging from interpretation of data, to additional analyses on a particular project, to the new guidelines, to job hunting. The poster sessions bring together scientists at all stages of their careers to exchange ideas, provide or receive mentorship, and discuss cardiovascular science. What better way is there to spend your morning?

I have heard it suggested that with modern technology, these meetings could — almost entirely — happen online. Some have wondered whether any need remains to incur the time, expense, and jet fuel for us all to travel to the same city each year for AHA. I’d say that while teleconferences and video conferences are great and essential to scientific collaboration, nothing replaces the face-to-face interactions that occur here at the Scientific Sessions, especially in the poster hall.

What keeps you coming back to the AHA?

Comments are closed.