For our next post in the series Navigating DDW as a First-Timer, guest author and AGA young delegate Kenneth W. Hung, MD, MS, shares his advice for trainees attending DDW. Have more questions that aren’t answered here? Ask them in the comments below!
My first experience at Digestive Disease Week® (DDW) was as a trainee, trying to navigate through a massive convention center and attend as many sessions as possible. DDW is the premier conference on digestive health, and it can be overwhelming at times, especially for trainees, students, residents and postdoctoral fellows. To those attending DDW for the first time, welcome. Below, I’ve answered a few questions that you might have about DDW. I hope these tips help you get the most out of this year’s meeting.
Q: What’s the best resource to organize your time on-site?
A: Get the DDW Mobile App. The mobile app contains all relevant material for the conference, including a helpful schedule of events. Filter by DDW Tracks in the app to search for topics of interest (e.g. hepatology, inflammatory bowel diseases) as you plan your days. The 2020 ap will be available to download in the spring of 2020. Because multiple sessions occur simultaneously, it is impossible to attend everything at DDW. Your registration includes access to DDW On Demand, so you can still watch the sessions you didn’t attend (or ones you want to rewatch) up to two years afterwards.
Q: What is your favorite type of learning opportunity at DDW?
A: Several societies, including AGA and ASGE, have postgraduate courses that provide comprehensive, evidence-based information on pretty much anything relevant to gastroenterology. I have always learned something new and discovered the latest evidence from these postgraduate courses. These sessions cover high yield and pertinent topics in clinical practice and are not to be missed. ASGE also offers hands-on sessions for people who want additional experience in endoscopic techniques.
Q: What’s the best way to network at DDW?
A: DDW is the perfect place to meet a future collaborator or colleague, but I know that networking can be anxiety-inducing, particularly for a trainee. DDW offers a few opportunities to make networking less intimidating:
- Connect with fellow trainees and young faculty in the DDW Trainee and Early Career Lounge. Meet with thought leaders in a more relaxed atmosphere and hear their thoughts during talks such as “Finding a Job” and “Building a Clinical Research Career.”
- Ask faculty, fellows or your mentor to introduce you to other people in the field to make networking less awkward.
- Take advantage of the Poster Hall. Attending poster sessions not only allows you to learn the latest research, but also to meet people with similar interests. Presenting in the Poster Hall is also a great opportunity to talk to people interested in your research. Society leaders will also be in the Poster Hall every day to meet with presenters.
DDW is an outstanding experience to see the breadth of gastroenterology and meet people. Member trainees, students, residents and postdoctoral fellows also receive complimentary registration until March 18. I hope you enjoy your experience at DDW!