Although I was there for the conference, I really wish that I'd had more time to explore my old neighborhood. My driver back to the airport had actually grown up in the neighborhood where I lived while an intern, and he and I talked about all the changes that Chicago has seen. Like everywhere else, Chicago is being affected by the economy, and we talked about the projects started and not yet complete.
Anyway, on Sunday we had the med student Residency Fair where I was able to share our program with perspective applicants. I was able to meet a lot of people from a variety of programs and hopefully sell them on coming out to Buffalo to interview. We then checked into our hotel and hit one of my favorite spots for Chicago style deep dish pizza - Edwardo's!
I was worried for a sec, because a number of buildings along the street were torn down, but we turned the corner, and there it was! The sauce is still thick, the cheese even thicker and the spinach and mushroom filling, still fresh. Yummy! My colleague thoroughly enjoyed it as well. This one is off Congress, on a street just west of State across from the Chicago Public Library. I remember flying a frozen pizza back to California just to share the taste with my family. Oh, yeah.
During the rest of the week, our days were filled with meetings, our nights with going to different restaurants and having way too much fun! I passed Garrett's several times while out, but I was never able to actually make it into the store. Plus, that large poster board on the table, yeah, I had to carry that on the plane. They wanted to charge me for an extra carry-on which I was able to avoid going to Chicago, so I opted out of stopping at Garrett's to bring back a tub of their popcorn which would have been too much for the trip back. :( Next time.
The conferences ranged from boring to interesting, and it is very exciting to hear what is happening in other parts of the country. While Buffalo is just setting up their hypothermia protocol for post-cardiac arrest patients, other parts of the country, ie: U of Pittsburgh are writing and publishing their results. We have hundreds of possible lectures to choose from, and I chose all the ones I thought would help me at this stage in my career - mostly dermatology and cardiology topics.
However, I did go to some fun ones like "1001 Uses for Duct Tape and a Safety Pin." It was taught by an attending who does Wilderness Medicine, and who shared photos and stories of his travels all around the world. He works sometimes at the clinic on the road up to Mount Everest, and the stories he told about saving lives with just the basics are amazing. I left the meeting both inspired and humbled. There's so much to learn.
I was also very excited to see some friends from medical school who I hadn't seen since graduation and who are now attendings in different parts of the country. It was kind of funny to explain to them that I was still a resident, but we all follow different paths. I exchanged addresses and emails with them. A whole new set of connections.
Finally it was time to come back home to my current world. The children behaved, and my apartment seems to be intact. I worked yesterday and am starting a stretch of nights tonight. Will be exciting to see what I can apply from the conferences I attended this last week just as it is exciting to be contemplating my future...!