Sunday, October 28, 2012

NSGC Conference

This past week I spent some time among my kind: genetic counselors!  Our national society holds an annual education conference every year and as second year students, we are encouraged to attend.  It is considered to be a place to learn, network, and even potentially interview.  It was a whirlwind couple of days!  On Wednesday, we landed in Boston and found our rooms on the 36th (that’s right, 36th!!) floor.

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What a view, huh?  The first night there was a welcome reception in the exhibitor’s suite.  We were given “passports” which we had to get stamped by all the exhibitor participants.

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All of them had booths with swag and informational materials so when you visited each company they would chat with you, give you more papers than you could handle, and put some ink on your card.  When you finished all seeing all the people, you got to turn in your “passport” for a chance to win one of several prizes including iPads, Kindle Fires, and plenty of Amazon gift cards.  Neat idea huh?

After the reception we were al fairly tired so to bed we went.  Good thing too because the next day started at 6am.  There was a sponsored breakfast session on non-invasive prenatal testing (which I kind of talked briefly about here) which featured ham, cheese, and egg croissants, fruit, yogurt parfaits, danishes, and pastries.  Good presentation, good food.  The rest of the day was all sorts of educational.  Sessions on psychosocial issues of cancer susceptibility, pan-ethnic expanded carrier screening, the possibility of a clinical doctorate in our field, more non-invasive prenatal testing, panel testing, and infertility.  Lots of awesome information.

Besides the craziness of educational sessions, there were receptions and parties too.  If you remember my Myriad experience, you’ll know they were pretty awesome and even invited all of us to their Thursday night reception.  There were heavy appetizers (including a stellar baked brie!) and a nice cake based dessert table.  There was also an open bar.  Hours of mingling and chit-chatting later, I hit the bed beyond tired.  There was also a party on Friday night put on by Ambry.  They rented out a restaurant and had an open bar and appetizers as well.  I had a great time catching up with friends from other genetic counseling programs and we even made a flipbook thanks to the photo booth!

Eats from the weekend included all sorts of things including a lot I didn’t have the courage to take pictures of.  There was something mildly “wrong” about whipping out my iPhone in the middle of an educational session at seven in the morning to take a picture of my plate.  When I did get snapshots of was pretty stellar though: a peanut butter, plantain, dulce de leche, and almond open faced sandwich, a Chambord margarita, some great raspberry beer, and really tasty chips.

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After getting home last night, I am wiped.  I will say though that I’m a bit sad that I can’t spend today doing absolutely nothing.  Instead, I have a baking appointment in the early afternoon and I should spend the whole evening studying for the embryology exam.  Blah.  Coming back to reality is always a drag but I had a great time at the conference so it’s all a fair trade on some level.  Hope you all are having a stellar weekend!

Questions: How do you detox from being away at conferences?
What’s the best and/or worst part of coming home from a trip?


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