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The 2019 Annual Meeting of the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery: An Otolaryngology Resident Perspective as a First-Time Attendee and the Importance of in Person Attending of Such Meetings
Back in 2019, I attended as a resident in otolaryngology the annual meeting of the European Academy of Facial Plastic Surgery (EAFPS) for the first time. The experience was amazing in all aspects. So, I decided to write this letter to encourage young surgeons with interest in facial plastic surgery to attend such meetings, as this will open new career horizons for them especially while the next meeting is approaching.
I had the opportunity to obtain condensed information over 4 days in all aspects of facial plastic surgery and to review the latest ongoing research in this field. The cutting-edge debates that had been taking place through the meeting improved my skills in critical thinking and implementation of the research results in the clinical practice.
Moreover, multiple eye-catching professional presentations introduced me to new software and demonstration tools. This highlighted to me the fact how impactful it is to introduce my ideas to peers and audience using high-quality professional presentations approach.
Other than the obvious technical medical learning benefit, I had the opportunity to network with renowned facial plastic surgeons and to organize very insightful observerships at their practices. This was my first time reaching out to such pioneers during and between meeting's sessions. I was amazed how easy-going, helpful, and modest were these experienced colleagues. Not to mention, the valuable advices they gave me to guide my future career.
Besides, it was always a great experience to know colleagues from other countries and to have fun with them after the conference hours.
In 2020 and because of the coronavirus disease 2019 pandemic, I was introduced for the first time—such as many of my colleagues—to the video conferences. The quality of the audio-visual broadcasting to each attendee astonished me. I think it even beats the quality in a classic conference auditorium. Not to mention the ability to interact and exchange with the lectures using the chat function.
While I was amazed by the high-quality contents and the technology per se, the networking and the possibility to know new colleagues through this technology are pretty limited. Therefore, I do prefer attending future meetings physically even if the broadcasting option would be available.
* R.S. attended the conference and E.M.R. helped in drafting and revising the manuscript.
Article published online:
29 November 2021
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