Posted by Priya Korrapati on January 31, 2018
Medical conferences have been used as a means of discussing new ground-breaking technology and innovation amongst the professional medical world. Researchers, doctors, physicians, and clinicians travel to a conference with the purpose to learn and be taught about the upcoming and featured technology and methods. But is the purpose truly being served, and is the time commitment and funding worth the expense? This poses a big question: are medical conferences useful? Medical conferences are useful as they increase interaction between medical professionals, inform each other on how to apply these advancing medical technologies, and increase opportunities to improve in presentation and communication skill.
However, to solve this problem, the idea of emailing or exchanging ideas online has been created. But, there are significant limitations to this method. As doctors, researchers, clinicians, and other medical experts increase their workload trying to find better cures and advance health care, they are bound to be busy. For example, Dr. Dadlani, a neurosurgeon, doesn’t have much time to read emails and go online as his job is very demanding. From advising the patients from outpatient, doing on an average of three to five hour surgeries on aneurysms, and addressing wounds during ward rounds, he doesn’t really have that much time to view his emails. So this creates a gaping hole in the solution. The information needed to be spread isn’t going to happen due to the busy schedules of its intended audience. According to Thomas Sullivan, an email “fails to recognize the true nature of interacting with one’s peers and colleagues.” (Sullivan) Therefore, if medical conferences are hosted, the medical world will set aside a day dedicated to discussing these abstracts and upcoming solutions. They are now bound to spending time creating a better future for the world of medicine and not submerged in their workload. Direct interaction with other professionals also increases ones network and allows them to create new connections. Likewise, this exchange, rather than through a cold email, will increase interaction and will lead to a better understanding of what is being told, leading to a better medical help in our communities.
Medicine has been a field developed and progressed since the ancient Egyptians and their mummification. Methods of treatment, knowledge of the body, and tools continue to evolve and will not cease to. But, the medical professionals treating you should be aware and well acclimated with this information. Would you want to be treated with outdated treatments when there are new and advanced treatments available? According to CareCloud, a website posting information on medical conferences, “In a recent survey of more than 5,000 physicians called the Practice Profitability Index (PPI), 42% of physicians said they obtain information on improving their practice’s operations by attending conferences, making medical conferences the second most valuable source of information cited.” Therefore, attendance to the conference will allow these medical professionals to learn this information and be able to apply it, advancing the medical community and in turn providing better care for the citizens and community.
Medical conferences can provide the opportunity not only to hear great speakers, but also to present information to your audience.
Public speaking is a tool necessary to become a leader and deliver information to a wide range of audiences. Through the use of medical conferences, medical professionals are most likely going to have to give a presentation to explain their research or discovery. American College of Physicians stated that “At most conferences, there are opportunities to present a poster or give an oral presentation.” During these conferences, “people will see your presentation, and many may provide feedback. If you are working on a proposed research project, you learn how to better your work to meet people’s expectations.” (Lo) Not only do medical conferences benefit professionals, but also benefits students on the journey to become one. During these medical conferences, students can also learn about revolutionary research and can learn how to execute high level presentations so later on they will have this skill, making them better at their profession and communicating their research.
The value of medical conferences has been debated by many professors and experts such as John Ioannidis and Thomas Sullivan. Medical conferences are intended to teach and make others aware about the upcoming and featured technology and methods, but is this just a claim, or reality? Although the validity and purpose of medical conferences has been pressed upon, they are useful as they increase interaction between medical professionals and inform each other on how to apply these advancing medical technologies, paving the way to better health care for all.
John P. A. Ioannidis, MD, DSc. "Are Medical Conferences Useful? And for Whom?" JAMA. American Medical Association, 28 Mar. 2012. Web. 19 June 2017.
Madden, Mary. "Post Navigation." Mary Madden: Are Medical Conferences Useful? – The BMJ. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.
Sullivan, Thomas. "Are Medical Conferences Useful? The Critics Want Them Ended but for What Purpose - Policy and Medicine." Life Science Compliance Update. N.p., n.d. Web. 19 June 2017.