Wanna get away? Go to a conference!
Medical school can seem quite monotonous at times: sit in class, study, eat, study, go home, repeat. After a few months, almost every student needs a break. Recently, I had the opportunity to go to Amelia Island for the Florida Academy of Family Physicians winter conference. I learned a lot during the workshops and interactive sessions with current family medicine residents and attending physicians. Every time I am in a room or patient care setting with a primary care physician, I feel very comfortable. Another highlight of the conference was staying at the Ritz-Carlton for two nights for only $10! (Thank you UF Department of Family Medicine). In addition to the workshops, we enjoyed a bonfire on the beach, night-life activities and more. Leaving school and spending time with some fellow MS2s and a few MS3s was just the break I needed before my last round of exams in 2012.
At the end of January, I went on another excursion to Columbia, S.C. for the Region 4 American Medical Association conference with several other MS2s and MS1s. Since winter was in full swing, the weather was a bit chilly, but I didn’t let that spoil my first trip to South Carolina. We went to a restaurant called the Flying Saucer and then headed downtown to the famous “Five-Points,” where five streets intersect—pretty cool. The keynote speaker, David Satcher, M.D., Ph.D., the former U.S. Surgeon General, provided a phenomenal presentation as he outlined the public health advancements he oversaw as the 16th surgeon general. He further motivated me to pursue my dreams of getting an MPH (master’s of public health) and combating some of the major health disparities present today. There were also tons of cool workshops, of which my two favorites were Health Policy Jeopardy and the Ultrasound tutorial. I also participated in a community health fair event put on by the University of South Carolina School of Medicine students and faculty to increase diabetes and hypertension awareness. Lastly, on our final night together, we all celebrated like only medical students can – at Jillian’s in downtown Columbia. But now I must return to my regularly scheduled programming.