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3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Attending a Medical Conference

3 Questions to Ask Yourself Before Attending a Medical Conference

Posted by Priya Korrapati on April 23, 2015

 

Physicians who have attended a or two medical conferences know how much preparation it takes to plan for and attend an event. If you are getting ready to travel to your first conference, get off to an organized start. Before you start packing your suitcase, ask yourself three key questions that will help you get the most out of the event you attend.

1. Why am I going to this medical conference?

While this may seem like an obvious question to ask, taking the time to explore the purpose of your attendance at a medical conference can help you get the most out of the event. Aside from earning continuing medical education credits:

  • Is there a specific condition or procedure you’d like to learn more about? Make sure you check the master event schedule well in advance. Promptly register (or pre-register) for the sessions you want to attend, and avoid getting locked out of key courses.
  • Are you seeking to explore the latest in healthcare reform? Consider doing some initial research on federal legislation and note any questions you’d like to have answered by the speakers.
  • Are you looking to make connections with other professionals in your specialty? Find out who else is going to be in attendance and reach out to these physicians in advance.
  • Whatever your reason is for attending a medical conference, identifying it ahead of time will help you plan for and reach your goals.

2. Who do I hope to network with while I’m there?

As previously mentioned, networking with healthcare providers is considered by many to be a key reason for attending a medical conference. If your goal is to connect with anyone and everyone you meet, then not much planning may be needed. However, if there are certain professionals you have an interest in meeting, preparation is likely to increase your chances of making these in-person connections.

Once you have established a list of healthcare providers with whom you’d like to network, reaching out to them pre-conference is the next step. eMedEvents’ speaker profiles is one example of an online resource to help you with this initiative. Simply do a search for those on your list and discover:

  • Upcoming conferences they will be attending.
  • Links to their social media channels, which you can use to reach out.

And if you are able to schedule in-person meetings while at the conference, make sure to come readied with networking apps to help you organize your new contacts!

3. How can I hold down my expenses?

Whether your medical school or hospital is paying for you to attend a conference or not, plan for ways to keep your expenses down. If you come in under budget, it will likely be noticed – so will receipts that total an extravagant amount. When planning your trip to be as cost-friendly as possible, consider the following:

  • Is a special discount offered to those who register for the medical conference early?
  • Is there conference funding that I can apply for?
  • Which sites can help me find the best travel and hotel deals?
  • What is the difference in room rates between the conference hotel and other facilities close by? Is there an opportunity to share a room with another conference attendee?
  • Is public transportation available to help get me around town?
  • Will snacks be enough to hold me between meals served at the conference?

Asking yourself these initial questions is a great way to begin planning for a conference. Furthermore, they may trigger additional items of importance to consider before your trip is set.

Veteran physicians: What other questions do you find helpful to ask yourselves before attending a medical conference? Share your advice in the comments below.

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