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July 4, 2012

Usefulness of Medical Conferences

Author Affiliations

Letters Section Editor: Jody W. Zylke, MD, Senior Editor.

Author Affiliations: Brigham and Women's Hospital, Boston, Massachusetts (Dr Antman; eantman@rics.bwh.harvard.edu); Duke Clinical Research Institute, Duke University Medical Center, Durham, North Carolina (Dr Harrington); and Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions, Baltimore, Maryland (Dr Tomaselli).

JAMA. 2012;308(1):31-33. doi:10.1001/jama.2012.6374

To the Editor: As leaders of the Committee on Scientific Sessions Program of the American Heart Association (AHA), we wish to highlight evidence from our own experience supporting the utility of medical conferences even in the presence of an increasing number of digital formats for information transfer.

Missing from the discussion by Dr Ioannidis1 is the benefit to attendees of being immersed in an environment in which scientific discussions among peers are constantly occurring. While reading a journal article or hearing a video clip summary are valuable, they cannot replace the enrichment from face-to-face networking. Ioannidis seems to emphasize the plenary sessions at conferences and does not discuss the extent to which meetings provide investigators the opportunity to present their own original research.

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