Learning From the Medical Conferences

Gone are the days when a single doctor had the cure for everything. With the new studies revealing new findings the information has been segregated into the various fields of expertise, which allow the professionals to learn in detail about the various systems and the organs of our body. This is the reason the health specialists dealing with the working of the various body parts, make use of the medical conferences to educate themselves further in the light of the latest researches and the answers related to the cure and betterment of the ailing humanity. The students who wish to pursue advance studies in a particular field of medicine are the frequent attendees of the various medical conferences. The medical seminars help the students in getting knowledge through the professionals of the industry that helps clarifying their ideas and concepts, while keeping them motivated and inspired throughout. In most of the advance medial seminars, which are field specific, on-hand trainings are also provided to the audience, to improvise their skills used in the various fields of medicine. One example is the phlebotomist seminars, which are attended by both the students and the professionals to hone their skills related to drawing out blood from the humans or the animals without causing them discomfort. The lectures, presentations and the case studies from real life are also an integral part of the medical seminars, where the professionals share their experiences of the related fields and guide the amateurs while boosting their confidence and morale. In some of the formal medical seminars which are held in the developed nations of the world, like America, Japan etc. the global impact of the treatments are discussed. Furthermore, the threats to life are identified and brainstorming sessions are held in order to help finding cures and solutions to these diseases. The medical seminars also highlight the important reveals related to the various fields and help disseminating this vital information among the concerned authorities so, that it can be employed professionally to be used as a tool for the betterment of the people. The medical conferences are also held in the developing nations, so as to make the people aware of the various country specific problems and design treatment solutions about the same. The country specific medical conferences help a great deal in the awareness of the various issues at a national level. In most of the cases, the significant medical conferences enjoy media coverage not only at the national level but, international level as well. The planners of the event ensure to manage it in a smooth manner and design it keeping intact the sophistication of the affair.

News Releases at Medical Meetings

When covering medical meetings became a routine part of my job, I was surprised at how few news releases I found in the press rooms. Sure, the big meetings—the ASCOs, the AHAs, the RSNAs—would have a decent number of news releases, but even those had fewer than I would have expected. I started my in science writing career in the public relations office of a major university. Part of my job involved writing news releases on important scientific advances. I was pretty successful at this; on a number of occasions articles sparked by my press releases ended up on the front page of the New York Times and other major publications. I discovered that reporters are essentially lazy. If you hand them a tasty morsel on a silver platter, they’re more likely to take it than an equally tasty morsel they have to dig for. This is no insult to reporters; we all have a limited amount of time, so it’s not surprising that we take the story that’s handed to us. Furthermore, reporters are subject to competitive pressures. When there’s a news release attached to a research result, I know that my competition is likely to pick up the story, and if they do and I don’t, my editor will want to know why we were scooped. Every university and virtually every hospital in the United States has a public relations, media relations, or public information office. Every one of those offices employs writers whose job is to promote the institution’s research. A medium-sized medical meeting will include talks from researchers representing several dozen institutions, and the large medical meetings will include talks from researchers representing hundreds of different institutions. Why then is it unusual for me to find more than a handful of news releases at all but the largest meetings? Here are some possible answers: Most of the research studies presented at medical meetings are not newsworthy. They involve minor advances that are of interest only to a narrow handful of specialists. This is the best excuse a public information officer can give for not issuing a news release. You don’t want your institution to become known for issuing news releases on research that is not newsworthy, because reporters will quickly learn to toss all news releases from your institution into the circular file. But this doesn’t explain why so many truly newsworthy studies from institutions with large PR offices are unaccompanied by news releases. There are different levels of newsworthiness. Some studies are of interest to the lay public and the mass media, and PR folks tend to focus on these studies, ignoring studies that would be quite newsworthy to the trade press. To many researchers, having their study covered by Oncology Times (for example) would confer more prestige among their peers than having it covered by the New York Times. (Maybe that’s a little bit of an exaggeration, but you get my point.) In my experience, the main reason that PR folks often don’t issue news releases to accompany an interesting talk at a medical meeting is that they simply don’t know about it. Calling the PR office is often the last thing on a researcher’s mind when she’s about to present an interesting paper at a meeting. Getting the data together, practicing her talk, and making airline reservations all take priority. There are several things that a PR person can do about this. She can cultivate relationships with researchers, their postdocs and graduate students, and even departmental secretaries. Merely asking, “Are you going to be presenting any interesting results soon?” will often do the trick. At big institutions, of course, it won’t be possible to cultivate relationships in every lab. But a least one can cultivate relationships in every department. The department chair will often know who’s about to present important results. And it’s worthwhile cultivating relationships with the PR folks at the societies sponsoring the major meetings. In a perfect world, those PR folks would be contacting the PR folks at the major universities a month or so before the meeting with a list of all that institution’s presenters and the titles of their talks. Some societies, notably the American Association for the Advancement of Science (AAAS), have this down to, well, down to a science. But if this isn’t a standard part of meeting prep for, say, the American Association for the Advancement of Liposuction, or if their press office sucks (ha), the AAAL PR person can often be persuaded to allow the university PR person advanced access to the meeting program, where she could search for her institution’s researchers. I suppose I’ve spent an evening in a hotel room writing this this because I’m one of those lazy journalists who loves to find several meaty news releases in the meeting’s press room, or better still, on Eurekalert or Newswise a week in advance. Not one institution has issued even a single news release at the meeting I’m at now, even though I’ve found several very interesting stories from this meeting. This includes the first results from a very large and groundbreaking study from a top university medical center demonstrating the superiority of one surgical technique over another. I think hundreds or thousands of lives may be saved when this result is disseminated throughout the medical community, but as far as I know I’m the only reporter who attended this talk and realized its importance.

The Guide for Finding the Best Seat at a Medical Conference

These rules are more or less in the order of importance. 1. This may seem almost too obvious even to mention , but you can’t sit in a seat that someone else is occupying. The key to getting a good seat is to get to the room as early as possible. As you’ll see, there are so many constraints defining the perfect seat thatin many conference rooms there are only a handful of acceptable choices. (Actually, since some of the constraints are quite stringent, in many rooms there’s not a single seat that satisfies all of them, so the only choice is to choose the least bad seat.) 2. You want to be sitting near the front, especially if you hope to grab the speakers for interviews or photos immediately after their talks. 3. You want to be sitting at a conference table, if possible, not in the rows of chairs behind the conference tables in many conference rooms. A table allows you to spread out your material, your notepad, the conference program, your recorder, your camera, your glass of water, and your coffee. If the room’s not completely full, I often try to spread my material over two adjacent spaces at a conference table. 4. Don’t sit by the pitcher of ice water often placed at intervals on the conference tables. Not only does it decrease the amount of real estate available to spread out, but there is a danger of spills or drips as people lean over you to get glasses of water. Murphy demonstrated conclusively that those spills and drips will certainly land directly on your sensitive electronic equipment. 5. If there are no conference tables, it’s critical to appropriate two adjacent chairs. The alternative is to balance the notepad, program, recorder, and camera on your knees, putting the coffee and water underneath the seat. That way lies madness. 6. Aisle seats are critical. Otherwise you’ll be annoying people every time you need to run up for a photo or for a word with the speaker. 7. You want to sit as close to the front as possible, but notice where the loudspeakers are. Often they’re located behind the first few rows and pointed to the back of the auditorium. If you’re closer to the front than the loudspeakers, your recording will sound muffled. If the sound is bad in one part of the room, you may have to move to another during the first talk 8. You want to sit where there’s a clean line of sight to the screen, especially if you plan to photograph the speakers’ PowerPoint presentations. It’s really annoying when the bald head of the guy sitting in front of you obscures the one piece of data you need to complete your article. It’s often best to sit a bit farther from the screen if that allows you to put the center aisle between the screen and your camera. That aisle makes it less likely that you’ll have an obstructed view. 9. Don’t sit too close to the video projector. Not only is the warm air blown by the exhaust fans annoying, but your recorder is likely to pick up a lot of background noise. 10. Some meetings have rules against taking photographs or making audio recordings. I believe such rules don’t–or at least shouldn’t–apply to reporters, in much the same way that TV camera crews at a major news event refer to designated no-parking areas as “the minicam zone.” But if you’re anticipating an argument with one of the medical society employees, discretion being the better part of valor, you may want to sit in the middle of the auditorium and away from an aisle. 11. If you’re at a big meeting, and you’re covering parallel sessions in different rooms, you’re going to want to sit fairly close to an exit door. 12. If you take notes on your laptop, try to find a seat at the edge of the auditorium, near a source of electrical power. 13. If you’re going to be sitting through some boring talks before you get to the good ones, sit where there’s good WiFi reception. That way you can catch up on your e-mail and even write blog posts to while away the time.

8 Tips For a Successful Press Room at a Medical Conference

Today I’m one of the dozens of journalists covering the American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) meeting in Los Angeles. This is a terrific meeting, with lots of livejasmin interesting news. One of the things that makes this meeting great—at least from a reporter’s point of view—is that it has an exceptionally well-run press room. Here are 8 factors, some critical, some trivial, and some frivolous, that make for a happy press room at a medical meeting. 1. The number one rule is to put a highly competent PR people in charge. Staci Vernick Goldberg, Greg Lester, Angela DeCicco, and their AACR colleagues exemplify this sort of competence. They’re knowledgeable, they’re friendly, they’re helpful, and they’re solicitous without being smarmy. 2. Help reporters out by identifying the most important and newsworthy stories in advance of the meeting. Prepare embargoed news releases about these stories that include all the important details such as the investigators’ affiliation, their titles, and their sources of funding. The most important aspect of the story should be in the lede, the way reporters write, and not at the end, the way scientists do. 3. Arrange news briefings with the investigators associated with these jasmin live top stories. These news briefings need to be close to the time of the actual presentations, and not a day or two later. 4. Contact researchers institutions well in advance of the meeting and encourage their PR departments to issue their own news releases. This is, perhaps, the only area in which the AACR folks fell short. For such a meeting, there were relatively few external news releases. I’ve written about this issue before. 5. Prepare a press kit containing basic information about the association sponsoring the meeting, the news releases mentioned above, and the actual abstracts of the scientific presentations. For bonus points, make sure reporters preregistered for the meeting received this press kit at least a week in advance. For double bonus points make sure the press kit is available in both printed and electronic forms. For triple bonus points see item 8 below. 6. Pay attention to the physical layout of the press room. It should be big enough and have enough table space to accommodate the expected number of reporters. It should be carpeted to dampen the sound of folks chatting so others can work. It should have an adequate electrical supply, lots of phones, a good number of computers for reporters who don’t lug their laptops and printers. The AACR press room has computer terminals, printers, and ethernet cables all around the room as well as a high capacity WiFi system. 7. At a minimum a press room should never run out of coffee. To reporters covering a medical meeting caffeine is more important than oxygen. For Streamates bonus points have bottled water and soft drinks. For double bonus points provide snacks such as cookies or fruit. For triple bonus points provide some sandwiches at lunchtime, because reporters on deadline often find it difficult finding time to take bathroom breaks, not to mention finding time to hunt down a decent restaurant. For quadruple bonus points and the grand prize, do what the AACR folks did: provide a hot breakfast and a hot lunch every single day, and make sure the food is excellent. The food at this X Love Cam press room exemplified the critical difference between oncologists and cardiologists that I described previously. 8. Provide useful swag. Every AACR attendee, not just reporters, received a high-quality tote bag. Reporters additionally received a swanky metallic pen in a velveteen envelope and a 512 MB flash drive containing a preloaded electronic version of the 99-page press kit.

The Environmental Impact Of Medical Conferences

There’s been another kerfluffle in the British Medical Journal about whether medical conferences are worth their environmental cost. In the June 28, 2008 issue of the BMJ, Dr. Malcolm Green, professor emeritus of respiratory medicine at Imperial College, London, argues that BoundGangBangs international medical conferences are a luxury the world can no longer afford. He quotes calculations indicating that the annual meeting of the American Thoracic Society, which attracts 15,000 FuckingMachines attendees, is responsible for 100 million person-air-miles of travel and 10,800 tonnes of carbon emissions. And he says that the HogTied “American Cardiac Society” attracts 45,000 attendees, who travel 300 million person-air-miles. (We’ll be kind to Dr. Green and the BMJ’s copy editors and pass over the Kink fact that there is no American Cardiac Society. I’m guessing he meant the American Heart Association.) “If there are, say, 20 medical conferences a year in the US,” Dr. Green writes, “and we add in BoundGods conferences in Europe, Asia, and Australasia, the impact from travel toconferences would be at least 6 billion DeviceBondage person air miles a year or 600,000 tonnes of carbon.” Wow, are there really only 20 medical conferences a year in the US? I cover that many all by myself, and I go to only a tiny DivineBitches minority of them. He’s off by at least an order of magnitude, and probably by a factor of 50 or more if you include medical conferences outside the US. His main EverythingButt argument–that medical conferences could more easily and more economically be conducted WiredPussy virtually, online, via teleconferences–would be more persuasive if he didn’t make those simple errors of fact. His opponent in the BMJ’s “Head to Head” debate is hardly more FreeHardcore persuasive. Dr. James Owen Drife, professor of obstetrics and gynaecology WaterBondage at Leeds General Infirmary, argues that nothing can substitute for KinkOnDemand face-to-face contact, and that anyway medical conferences only have a minuscule MenInPain effect on global warming. I’m surprised that the BMJ would publish such a poorly PublicDisgrace argued debate. Neither debater did more than wave his hands to support his argument that virtual NakedKombat conferences would (Dr. Green) or would not (Dr. Drife) be an adequate substitute for face-to-face meetings. I would have been happier if either one of them pointed to a single SexAndSubmission well-done study–hell, even a single lousy study–that demonstrated the value, or the lack of value, of face-to-face scientific WhippedAss meetings. Their arguments are even short of anecdotal evidence! One thing is for certain. There would be dire TheTrainingOfO consequences for medical journalists if virtual medical conferences became popular. 1. We’d no longer be able to wheedle subsidized travel to Detroit, Mich., Anaheim, Calif., Orlando, Fla., and other TheUpperFloor exotic vacation destinations. 2. We’d lose out on the romance of modern air travel, the luxurious amenities in airports, and the TsSeduction tender loving care of flight attendants. 3. We’d have to purchase our own pens and post-it pads. 4. No more free stale coffee, pasta salad, and UltimateSurrender rubber chicken in meeting press rooms. 5. We’d have even less reason ever to move away from our desks, and our profession would be afflicted with an ever worsening epidemic of writer’s ass.