Sunday, November 12, 2006

American Heart Meeting: First Impressions

With the tunes crankin', I drove down to the American Heart Association's Scientific Sessions today. On the way, the clouds parted a bit permitting a nice view of the city from the car down Lake Shore Drive ("Yes, officer, I was only traveling 60 MPH"):

The event was held at McCormick Place Convention Center. Huge is the operative word. Make sure you bring your hiking shoes! I often wonder if huge meetings like this are effective venues to really learn: I find I miss so much more than I can consume and as such, it's frustrating. But humans love social life and interacting with others, and this meeting certainly permits both. And for the advertisers, it's invaluable to have all of us doctor "consumers" packed in a (relatively) small space.

Upon entering from the Lakeside Conference Building (where indoor parking is located), you'll have to walk across the bridge spanning Lake Shore Drive South to the North and South Buildings:

(They tell be that guy at the lower right hand side of the picture went to Notre Dame. I wonder why they think that...) Anyway, if you stop at the top of the bridge and look to the North, you'll see the city's skyline. The stadium (Soldier Field) can be seen at the base of the skyline (the somewhat horizontal steel structure). Stand there in awe a moment and contemplate the Chicago Bears' season... then move on:

Once you cross the bridge, you'll enter the sea of humanity that is the AHA Meeting. I'm told it's a bit smaller than prior years, in part due to the attrition of most of the interventional cardiologists that now attend the Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics conference. Nonetheless, the scale of this meeting remains massive, and the attendance appears quite good this year.

The meeting begins in earnest tomorrow, with the first of the Late Breaking Clinical Trials being presented. It's a bit late to summarize the day, but perhaps I can spend some time tomorrow discussing our brief whirlwind tour of new devices on the horizon for heart failure therapies. Till then...

... good night!


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