Once again, Echo Florida was a resounding success. We had a total of 292 attendees – our learning lab and point of care additional sessions sold out (we limit attendance in each of these session to make sure each attendee gets sufficient one on one attention on the computer workstations and during the hands on training with the echo machines.) Our audience was 58% physician, 36% sonographer, and 6% fellows. Our attendees hailed from the US, Australia, Canada, Columbia, Guatemala, Korea, France, Puerto Rico, Norway, Saudi Arabia, United Arab Emirates and Venezuela. Special thanks to the audience as we had excellent questions from them that prompted many spirited discussions during the meeting.
Highlights of the meeting (at least my opinion):
- Our Saturday Point of Care/Focused Echocardiography Symposium – an excellent review of it appropriate uses. The speakers agreed that this is an important technology but that its use is mainly limited to answering binary questions (is the LV function normal or not? Is there a pericardial effusion present? etc). For us cardiologists, it was amazing to see how these devices are used to assess pathologies of the lung and things below the diaphragm. We all had an opportunity to practice scanning for these abnormalities in the afternoon hands on session.
- Learning Lab – once again we demonstrated that experiential learning by sitting at the workstation is the way to learn the nuances of quantitative echocardiography (basic measurements, basic Doppler, advanced Doppler such as PISA, diastolic function, 3D cropping and quantitation, strain, etc). Special thanks to Marti McCulloch for collecting some great cases and making sure the computers all worked.
- Afternoon workshops – this year based on the prior year evaluations and suggestions we added a series of case based sessions for the afternoons. The audience did a great job diagnosing the CAD in our stress echo sessions. We had an opportunity to review in detail the new ASE guidelines on Comprehensive TEE, Pericardial Disease, Monitorring patients after Radiation Therapy and of course the ever present Appropriate Use Criteria. While it is a toss up as to whether the best cases came from Boston, Pittsburgh or Worcester, the highlight of the workshops was the beautifully illustrated session on Adult Congenital Heart Disease.
- The best lecture on 3D echo that I have ever heard.
- An extroverted faculty that made the learning fun. I was most impressed that all faculty members attended most of the lectures presented by their peers.
- And, of course, the nightly fireworks
Plan to join me next year at the Grand Floridian Resort at Walt Disney World October 11-14, 2014 for the 3rd Annual Echo Florida.