I actually didn't have a subject for the February blog. No matter how much I thought on it, I just couldn't come up with what I thought was a viable idea. Then I went to the NAVC in Orlando. Or should I say, the petri dish that is NAVC. Because as well as getting together in small rooms with poorly circulated air and sharing in the passing on of knowledge, the CDC needs to know that it serves well as an incubating source for sharing viral infections. Thank you patient zero! Anyway as the conference went on, I wrote down random thoughts that came to me. And here, unlike certain unwanted viral particles, I'll share them with you.
At the end of each day are 15 minute lectures over various subjects. These short time periods force the speakers to get to the point and thus, tend to be better for it. All lectures should be 15 minutes. They're a lot better than the guy who had an hour and 15 minute lecture and spent 30 of those minutes convincing us that renal diets do really work, which I'm pretty sure none of us doubted. And speaking of time, and I know I'm speaking only for myself, but I don't need a two hour lunch plus a 40 and 20 minute break throughout the day. I'd rather plow through the day and maybe get done in three days rather than five. I have found that I am able to eat and listen at the same time. Read and listen. Sleep and listen. Bunch of stuff. Time periods for CE seem pretty arbitrary. As I've said before, you can lead a veterinarian to conference but you cannot make them think. If you get more useful information out of a 15 minute class than an hour long class, how can you equate that hour long class as more significant for CE? Just like all of the horse medicine I learned in vet school was a complete waste of time (for me as I've never touched a horse since graduation), so, too, is a lot of the information conveyed at conference for the average practitioner. I know these things won't change, but I feel better for bringing them up.
A new thing with getting scanned in to the classes with your card was the scanner making some kind of noise when the screen turned green. Eventually I figured out it was saying, "Granted". At least I'm pretty sure. Don't know what this adds to the NAVC experience. At various times though it sounded like "Commander" or "Dammit" or "Get Him". Which, for all I know, may be true too.
My first thought when I saw the sign below was that it was a class.
Anyone else while sitting in class have a lecturer give out a piece of advice that strikes home? Like you had a similar case last week and the little pearl the lecturer just spoke on would have been really nice to know LAST WEEK! Or the converse, when the lecturer says to definitely never to do "X" and you know for a fact that you've done "X" and now are worried if "X" is going to get you into trouble in some manner. This dovetails into my aversion to doing the multiple choice keypads that they hand out in some lectures. I think they're a trap. I understand they do this to stimulate interest and get a feel for what the audience would do in certain situations. My completely ungrounded fear, however, is, if I do it, the results will show up on the screen like this:
And "B" was the absolute wrong choice.
I went to so many lectures that, when I filter what the lecturer has to share through what I know my clientele is willing or able to do, so many times about a third of the way through either diagnostics or treatment I'm thinking, "By this time I've either referred the patient or the clients don't want to proceed any further."
Atypical Addison's is the new darling of the Unicorn-illness set. Got really tired of having that be one of the rule-outs. FYI, not one of the cases that they mentioned this in had atypical Addison's. But, boy did we spend time discussing the possibility!
Which brings me to another weird trend in the lectures that I attended. The insistence by the lecturer on "you have to do test X", it is vitally important, and you're stupid if you don't do test X. Then the results of the test are shown and the lecturer goes on to say how unhelpful the results are. If the test was "normal" it was declared it still might not be truly normal and if the test showed elevation, well, that might be erroneous also and lead you down the wrong path. Well, thanks for clarifying all that for us!
Finally, the exhibit hall. First of all, unless you're set on going to a particular booth, there are two things you should do. One - keep moving. If you stand still, you will be pounced upon by whatever booth sycophants you are near. Think of it as a predator-prey relationship. Second, don't make eye contact with the vendors - it gives them hope. In the second part of the movie the Hobbit there's a scene when the troop is going through Mirkwood and are beset upon and trapped by spiders. This is how I feel when I navigate the exhibit hall.
By the way, I'm proud to say that, yes, this is the way I entertain myself while at a conference. I alter my reality without the use of drugs or alcohol. I do, however, self-generate a huge, and legal, amount of endorphins, epinephrine, and dopamine during these same conferences.