I had the pleasure of attending the 7th annual Women in Surgery Career WIS Symposium in Orlando, Florida 2 weeks ago with another Washington University of Health and Science student Sujatha Chetty. There were over 400+ attendees that ranged from surgeons to residents, to interns to medical student and premedical students.
The conference included lectures about how maintaining a healthy balance of family life while being a surgeon, marriage, divorce, malpractice insurance, the importance of networking, disability insurance/rates, foreign medical graduate experiences, and we also went on a “speed date luncheon”. There was great food, excellent vendors form all over the world, and even a virtual Da Vinci Robot lab, where you could use the Da Vinci in a virtual surgery case. Overall; I must say that I did enjoy my time at the WIS symposium. The symposium was very well organized; with that said, my favorite part of the weekend was the speed date luncheon. The luncheon was a great way to meet different attending surgeons from all over the world. When the conference braked for lunch, everyone went to a huge ball room full of round tables and boxed lunches, so we could easily get up and move with our food in hand. We were all assigned a table number where we met as a group of 5 per table. We spent over 3 hours hopping from 20 different tables; we had 8 minutes to ask questions and give our basic biography.
I enjoyed listening to everyone’s different stories about how they got into medicine. When the 8 minutes was up, we packed up our lunches and hopped to the next table to meet the next attending surgeon. I thought that was a clever way to network and break the ice with the other females who were at the seminar.
I felt so comfortable with everyone who attended the symposium that weekend; the amount of knowledge in one location was so incredible to see. I was received several book recommendations which I have just ordered on Amazon that will be helpful to me when perusing my career in plastic surgery. The final day of the WIS symposium was very short and sweet; the day was filled with goodbyes and I’ll see you next years. I found that being in a location with so many people who have a common goal was very inspirational experience. I made over 400 different contacts that weekend by receiving a typed list of everyone’s phone numbers and emails who attended the seminar.
I’m looking forward to attending the next Women In Surgery Career Symposium in Orlando in 2017.