March 30th, 2014

Ideas Lost, But Not Stolen

Several Cardiology fellows who are attending ACC.14 in Washington, D.C. this week are blogging for CardioExchange. The fellows include Kumar DharmarajanSeth Martin, and Saurav Chatterjee. For more of our ACC.14 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 ACC.14 Headquarters.

After experiencing a day of innovative science and healthy debate at  ACC.14, I left the convention hall Saturday evening feeling inspired. Inspiration soon changed to surprise. Walking with an umbrella in my hand through the rainy D.C. weather, I saw my car from a distance and was shocked that it looked like I had left the right rear passenger-side window down. I never do that. Then, as I got closer, reality hit. My car had been broken into.

A favorite ESPN saying entered my mind – “C’mon man!” In retrospect, I should have moved some bags from the back seat into my trunk as I was leaving the car earlier, but I was running late and would have had to completely shift around my golf clubs and other items in my overcrowded trunk. I felt uncomfortable because it was a bustling street.

The police arrived via bicycle and informed me that auto theft is the most common crime in D.C. What valuables were in my book bag, they asked? I had lost some electronics. Then, as a police officer took notes, I realized what was most valuable to me could not be replaced: my paper journal articles with handwritten annotations. Although most of my work is digital, I still like printing articles and writing ideas on them. 

This part of the story has a happy ending. A stranger interrupted and said that there was a bag a block away. My bag. Soaked in rain. Papers there! Though some material items were taken, one of my most valuable possessions – ideas – were only lost temporarily. Which made me realize their value. And for that, I feel blessed.

Here’s to hoping today brings plenty of new and creative ideas for us at ACC.14, and no police reports.

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