What I Did On My Summer Vacation (or in this case Summer Educational Conference)

  • Agarwal, Rita, MD, FAAP, FASA
| Jul 17, 2018

This summer I attended and presented at a scientific conference called the 2nd World Congress on Surgery and Anesthesia in Rome, Italy. The conference was fun, I learned more than I expected to, and met some wonderful people from all over the world. There were physicians from Italy, China, Japan, United Kingdom, Denmark, the United States, India, Algeria, Iraq, Iran, Israel, Russia, Costa Rica, Turkey, the Czech Republic, Egypt, Australia, and the Netherlands. It was a fascinating amalgam of physicians, with different backgrounds and experiences, including both surgeons and anesthesiologists.

Having the opportunity to meet such a diverse group of physicians and discussing the

scientificpros and cons of the medical systems we worked in was just as insightful and educational as the scientific program itself.

Some speakers shared the results of their latest, cutting edge research, while others shared their experience treating certain surgical or medical problems, challenging procedures and/or fascinating anesthetists.

Discovering how limited resources impact the care provided by physicians on a day-to-day basis was truly eye opening, and how despite these limited resources, they find creative and innovative ways to optimize outcomes.

There were several universal truths that I learned that, while obvious, are sometimes easy to forget in these turbulent times.

  1. We all want what is best for our patients – no matter the system we work in or the resources we have.

  2. Physicians from all over the world are compassionate human beings.

  3. Surgeons from Benghazi and Libya are just as passionate about saving lives and treating trauma as those from the top institutions in the United States.

  4. Pain treatment is challenging, no matter what country you are in.

  5. Regional anesthesia is gaining popularity all over the world, and it is improving pain management and surgical outcomes.

  6. There are incredibly smart physicians doing exciting and meaningful research in countries across the world.

  7. There may be (many) issues with our current healthcare system, but that is not a reflection on our excellent, dedicated and caring physicians.

  8. Mixing education with travel is a fantastic way to learn and see the world.

  9. Traffic is bad everywhere. As one of the surgical residents from Libya said, “It was easier getting from Benghazi to Rome than from Downtown to the conference site!

Rita csaof

Leave a comment