Something To Look Forward To: A Nigerian Medical Conference

by Lorien E. Menhennett

In my current situation, it helps to have things to look forward to. They can be little things, like going out for gelato with my mom after cleaning out junk from my old house yesterday, or bigger things.

This Thursday through Saturday, I have something a bit bigger to look forward to – I’m going to a Nigerian medical conference. It’s the annual conference of the Association of Nigerian Physicians in the Americas (ANPA), and luckily for me, it’s being held in a swanky Chicago hotel this year.

In case you’re scratching your head, wondering how in the world I got invited to a Nigerian physicians conference … no, I am obviously not Nigerian. But I have a dear friend who is. In fact, I met her at the 2010 OldPreMeds Conference. (OldPreMeds is an organization that hosts an online forum for non-traditional pre-medical and medical students, and I have been involved with the group since last year. Click here to visit the Web site.) My friend was living in Washington D.C. at the time, but she moved to Chicago in January to complete her pre-med classes at one of the universities here. She registered for the ANPA conference, gets to bring a guest, and voila – my invitation.

I’m really excited about the conference – some of the seminars are focused on Nigeria, which should be very interesting. Others are more global in nature. My minor in college was International Studies, so those global issues have always fascinated me.

The conference is organized into themes: Women’s Health, Children’s Health, Health Care and the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, Responsible Conduct of Research, and Medical and Dental Education in Nigeria.

Among the seminars I will be attending are:
– Women and Bleeding Disorders
– Infertility in Women
– Cancers in Women: Innovations in Therapy
– Female Circumcision: Controversies
– Overview of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act
– What Does Professionalism Mean in the New Age?
– Conflict of Interest in Research and Academia
– Teaching Biomedical Sciences in Technologically-limited Medical Schools: A Nigerian Experience

The speakers are from across the United States and the world, and the attendees will be as well. So not only will it be a great opportunity to learn, it will be a chance to network with people I might never meet otherwise.

I will definitely post more post-conference to let you all know what I thought, and some of what I learned.