By Oren Fix, MD, MSc, FAASLD
It’s natural to feel overwhelmed the first time you attend The Liver Meeting®. The meeting program is packed with overlapping sessions and the convention center is packed with thousands of people. If you don’t know where to begin, you’re feeling anxious or lost, or you just want some great advice, you’ve come to the right place. After you read this, you’ll understand why The Liver Meeting® is not only the premiere place to learn about the latest advances in liver disease, but also the place to learn some of the basics, network with your peers and meet new people.
There is no single Liver Meeting® for everyone. The meeting is designed with a lot happening at once because attendees have varying interests. There will inevitably be simultaneous sessions that you want to attend and you’ll have to make choices. But if you can’t decide or don’t want to, look at the suggested schedule in Table 1. Consider this your starting point. If you don’t want to make any more choices, go with this schedule and I promise you won’t go wrong. For more tips, see Table 2.
This is a day of events programmed just for you (see Table 1). You’re going to want to go to these sessions.
For many people, The Liver Meeting® is as much about creating connections and developing your network as it is about getting updates on hepatology research and clinical advances. As you make your way through the convention center crowd it may be hard to believe that the world of hepatology is actually relatively small. Networking at this meeting is critical to your career and should be nurtured. Make an effort to meet new people, including your peers and AASLD leaders. These are people you will see again and again at future meetings, on the interview trail and throughout your career. The connections you make at this meeting can open doors and lead to important opportunities, and can also lead to strong, lasting friendships. Take time to nurture these new relationships. You’re also going to want to take a break once in a while, meet up with friends or just relax and take it all in.
The following events are great opportunities for networking at The Liver Meeting®:
Make sure you review the program so you know where each session is located.
Start with the default schedule in the table above. You won’t go wrong if you attend most of these sessions.
If you have more time, review the program before the meeting and highlight your can’t-miss sessions. Create an itinerary for yourself before the meeting but don’t be afraid to deviate from it as you go.