It’s been quite a number of years since I’ve attended a conference for work. In fact, I think the last one may have been Search Engine Strategies in 2007 as a speaker. So, when an email came out requesting volunteers to fly out to Phoenix to tweet the event, I jumped. It didn’t hurt that Amir was already planning to attend to present his case in the competition. At the Counsel of Residency Directors Case Presentation Competition (CORD CPC), residents present a rare patient case seen in the ED, and Attendings try to guess the diagnosis. Presentations are judged and winners selected for future presentation at ACEP.
To prepare for the event, I spent a little time brushing up on tweeting; while I consider myself heavy into Social Media, I’m more of an Instagram and Facebook gal. My Twitter handle still echoed my maiden name, and didn’t convey anything about medicine or EMS, so I created a new one.
Amir and I both got into town a day early, so we decided to take a 1/2 day trip to Sedona and rent a JEEP to explore the trails. Amir found a great place on TripAdvisor.com called Barlow’s. We drove 2 hours north from Phoenix to Sedona, and even without a reservation, they were able to rent us “Jennie,” an awesome red, 4-door Jeep Wrangler Rubicon with very “knobbly tires” as Amir says.
We started at the Schnebly Hills Trail which the folks at Barlow told was was good for beginners and probably had the best views. Boy were they right. It took about an hour to drive in and an hour to drive out. We stopped along the trail and hiked up a bit to the Merry Go-Round Rock.
One of the best aspects of the Jennie was that she came with Sirius Satellite Radio (apparently all of Barlow’s Jeeps do). On the way up we rocked out to the Classic Rewind channel, and on the way back down we enjoyed the Pearl Jam Station. After conquering Scheneby Hills, we proceded on to Soldier Pass Trail which we were told was “much rockier and more advanced.”
The trail was very similar to our experience in Barbarella in England, in that the “road” was only wide enough for one vehicle at a time. Fortunately it wasn’t very crowded, and we only had to pull off for others twice.
After our day of intense off-roading, we were starved. Leave it to Amir to find the most random taco truck on the side of the highway. Whenever he suggests an off-beat eatery, I always say yes. He has a track record of success. Sonora Taqueria kept his streak going.
Day 2 the real work started. Amir donned his suit, I gathered my 2 iPhones, iPad mini and 3 apple chargers, and we headed off to the Sheraton Wild Horse Pass for a day of CPC presentations.
The presentations were packed with tons of “nuggets” as Dr. Wills likes to say. I did my best to capture some of the ones that resonated with me most. Sometimes they were coming faster than I could type. And of course, I did a live broadcast of Amir’s presentation via periscope (unfortunately the link has since expired).
Trecia and I were both there representing VCU Emergency Medicine. We swapped ideas on what tweets were getting the most traction, and provided tips on artful posture to optimize photogenicity.
Lunchtime was needed to recharge in more way than one! I only managed to trip one attendee who was texting and not watching where she was walking.
Amir presented his case of a 54YOF with back pain. The Attending response was so well-done that we all found ourselves questioning if a secondary diagnosis should be considered.
All-in-all it was a great conference and event. We learned a lot, met some great people, and saw some great sites. I am thankful that VCUEM allowed me to participate.
Here’s how the tweets stacked up in the end: