Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Medical Society Meetings- Analog Works Best!

SHEA 2017: Closing Plenary
I have several times heard the comment that the conventional medical society meeting is expensive and may not be the most efficient way to share information. Some have called for 'virtual meetings' online. Fair enough, this would be certainly more direct and likely a cheaper mechanism for sharing new scientific discoveries but it is likely less impactful.

What's missing in the argument is the unwritten curriculum of a scientific meeting. Meetings allow for structured plenary sessions, but, more importantly, the face to face discussions, the networking and the 'off-line' discussion of ideas, concepts and implementation details are invaluable. New perspectives and inspiration frequently start here.

Last, attending a society meeting allows one to be present and immersed in the topic at hand. In this day and age of seemingly endless distractions, attending a meeting online from the comfort of your couch or hospital office chair will last until the next page, telephone call or patient care request arrives. Only the highly disciplined will resist the temptation to slip back into some 'pressing' office matter.

Thus, I prefer a medical society meeting in analog, not virtual. 

Call me old fashioned.

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