Nowadays, when you look online for your favorite conferences, most of them have still not returned to the live format. For me, it is RSNA, AUR, and SNMMI. (of which I believe RSNA will be going live later this year). And this goes for most radiology and radiology subspecialty conferences. So, what have we lost by going to the virtual meeting format? And, why have I not signed up for virtual radiology conferences this year (I also have a sneaking suspicion that many of you are in the same boat!) We will embark on all these issues and more as we delve into the frailties of the virtual conference.
Hard To Concentrate At Home On a Computer – Kids, Dogs, etc.
I don’t know about you, but home is a different environment compared to a conference. Many of us have constant interruptions from all sorts of creatures, kids, relatives, love ones, and more. It is challenging to listen to a conference when the dog is barking and the kids need dinner. Virtual radiology conferences provide an escape from the daily trials and tribulations of home and allow you to learn without interruptions!
No Meetings With Colleagues Over Lunch/Dinner
At conferences, I often learn more from my colleagues than I do from the speakers themselves. Going to events, dinners, and scheduled meetings allows you to learn about other radiologists’ practices and issues throughout the country. These meetings are where I often find out about what is going on in other residencies or the radiology business world. And, many times, I will try to apply it to our own. Going to virtual conferences does not allow you to have these experiences without a significant challenge!
Loss Of Esprit De Corps
Then, of course, something about attending a meeting and being in the same boat as the other hundreds or thousands of attendees rejuvenates my excitement for all the new possibilities in the world of radiology. Knowing that you are there and not alone makes you feel like part of a large team. Listening to miscellaneous lectures anonymously on the computer does not have the same effect, even though many others are also attending!
Can’t Check Out The New Wares
It’s hard to get a feel for the latest and greatest equipment when you cannot see the demos, play with the software, and check out the sizes and shapes of the new PET-CTs, MRI, etc. Going to conferences allows you to talk to the vendors and get an idea of what to push your hospital to purchase. It’s kind of hard to do all this from home.
Opportunity For Side Vacations Gone
Ever thought about bringing your whole family to check out the scenery while you are at a conference? Or have a desire to take a few hours or a day off to check out the local sightseeing and food? It’s kind of challenging to do that from home. One of the reasons to go to a conference is to experience something new. Traveling allows you to do all that.
Virtual Radiology Conferences: It’s Just Not The Same!
For me, virtual radiology conferences are a no-go. All the interruptions, lack of interpersonal connections, loss of the ability to check out all the new gadgets, and the lack of ability to explore the area do not make these semblances of conferences worth my while. Until we return to a fully open live conference format again, I’d instead just get my CMEs the old-fashioned way: at home!