Medical Student First Time Attendees

Welcome! This is the premier anesthesiology conference of the year, where thousands of like-minded individuals gather to learn, discuss, and teach. As a medical student, it is easy to feel overwhelmed by the plethora of sessions to attend and exhibits to see. Generally speaking, your level of training helps guide the kind of experience you can expect.

While there is no restriction on who can attend which lectures, the ASA Medical Student Component Governing Council has curated a schedule of sessions specific to medical students. These lectures were selected for their relevance to those early on in their training, or perhaps still undecided about the specialty. We encourage you to attend these academic sessions, walk around the exhibit halls, network with peers and physicians, present research, and explore the attractions of the host city.

As an MS1, we congratulate you on taking the first big step towards your specialty exploration! Try to simply absorb as much as you can and identify if the field of anesthesiology seems like the right fit for you. It is reasonable to start considering what residencies are looking for in an applicant. How will you map out your med school course to prepare?

As an MS2 and MS3, you should aim to present research or run for leadership positions. Start thinking about which residency programs interest you, and which you may want to go to for an away rotation.

MS4s typically find the Meet and Greet on Saturday afternoon most valuable, as they will have just recently submitted residency applications. Can you envision yourself training at a program for the next 4 years? Try to remember the names of the doctors whom you run into. It is always helpful to ask for their business cards, or jot down a few notes on your phone about a memorable conversation or interaction. You never know when you will encounter them again.

Questions to ask yourself:

  • How can I build and cultivate a professional network at this conference?
  • What do I want to achieve? Who should I connect with to get there?
  • How do I augment a conversation and make it into a connection?

Additional tips:

  • Use the conference app to search for topics you’re curious about and have a game plan in mind!
  • Look for learning objectives reviewing foundational basic sciences or clinical care concepts or hot-button issues in anesthesiology.
  • Look for speakers that are leaders in the field you’re thinking about or affiliated with institutions you’re interested in.
  • If a session isn’t for you, that’s OK—just tactfully find another.
  • Consider educational sessions outside of the medical student track and visit poster presentations, medically challenging cases, institutional or state society meetings, and the exhibit hall.