Voices: Off to the SGO Annual Meeting!

Off to the SGO Annual Meeting! | Erin Stevens, MD

As I write this, I’m packing for the Society of Gynecologic Oncology’s Annual Meeting on Women’s Cancer in Los Angeles, CA.  I’m packing at the last minute, not because I’m not excited about the upcoming meeting – I always look forward seeing my friends and colleagues, learning about the newest research and taking in some nicer weather.  I just don’t like packing.  But in the wee hours of Friday morning, I’ll meet up with my former senior fellow Tana Shah Pradhan, DO, at the airport and we’ll head from the city that never sleeps to the home of glitz and glamour for the next five days.

I remember my very first Annual Meeting as I was applying for fellowship in gynecologic oncology in 2008.  Hosted in San Antonio, it was the first major medical conference I had ever attended.  I was in awe when I walked into the Opening Session.  I couldn’t believe how many people were there!  The only two people I knew at that meeting were my attendings, but they both took me under their wing and introduced me to a myriad of people.  As I met the men who wrote my textbooks and saw young investigators presenting their clinical trials, I was excited about what my own future would hold in SGO.

Now, as I head to my fifth Annual Meeting, I know a few more people. My co-fellows across the county that I interviewed with and keep in touch with via facebook and mySGO will be there. It’s a chance for us to congratulate those graduating (like myself) who have our jobs lined up and help guide those who are just starting their search. And we’ll get advice from those who’ve graduated before us about what it’s like to be in practice.  I have my first committee meeting as a member of the Clinical Practice Committee.  From the special interest sessions to the educational forums, sunrise sessions to plenaries, or just browsing in the Exhibit Hall, there’s something for everyone.

I’m looking forward to one of the new additions to the program this year: Montz Symposium on Surgical Mishaps.  I know that the more I operate, the more likely I am to see complications.  As the old adage goes, “the only surgeon who has no complications is one who doesn’t operate.”  To hear from the experts who have been there before how to prevent and manage these situations will help me in my transition from fellow to attending in a few months.  Another session I’ve never missed is Tumor Board.  Even though it’s on the last day, I booked my flight home in the evening on Tuesday so I wouldn’t miss this session!

I’ve downloaded my app, made my schedule, and packed my bags.  See you in LA!