Catching Up With First-Time Attendees

In December 2017, we introduced you to two first-time ASH annual meeting attendees: Kelly Schoenbeck and Rahul Vedula. We checked in with them to see how it went and what they learned in Atlanta.

Rahul S. Vedula, MD, second-year fellow, Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare Program, Boston, MA
Rahul S. Vedula, MD, second-year fellow, Dana-Farber/Partners CancerCare Program, Boston, MA
Kelly Schoenbeck, MD, first-year fellow, University of California, San Francisco
Kelly Schoenbeck, MD, first-year fellow, University of California, San Francisco

What were your overall thoughts and impressions of the meeting? Were you surprised by anything?

Dr. Schoenbeck: The meeting was a fantastic experience. It was inspiring to meet hematologists from all over the world, and the size of the conference just reinforced that there are a lot of people doing exciting work in hematology. I was certainly surprised by the snow and ice!

Dr. Vedula: The meeting was an amazing learning environment and a lot of fun. Seeing the breadth of presentations and talks – from basic science to clinical trials – made me appreciate even more the amazing work hematologists are doing from all different angles around the world. I was a bit surprised by the sheer volume of content in parallel sessions, which was overwhelming at times. This obviously made it challenging to attend all the sessions I would have liked to. I ended up focusing more on my own clinical and research interests as far as oral abstract sessions, and coupled that with educational programs from other fields.

What are your three takeaways?

Dr. Schoenbeck: Stay for the “Best of ASH” session on the last day, be selective about what sessions or activities to attend, and try to stay at a hotel close to  the convention center.

Dr. Vedula: Plan and map the sessions out ahead of time using the app; don’t stress about seeing everything, because it’s impossible; and hematology is fun, exciting, and changing rapidly.

Will you attend the 2018 meeting?

Dr. Schoenbeck: Absolutely!

Dr. Vedula: Yes! Absolutely!

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