How’s the weather where you are? Are those cold north winds beginning to blow? Cleveland in October is an exercise in transition, with a few days that make you think summer will never end, followed swiftly by a reminder that 6 months of clouds and snow are close on our heels. And when you’re in the depths of winter in January or February, wouldn’t a few days of fun, sun, and echo education lift your spirits? ASE offers two superb courses in midwinter: Echo Hawaii on the Kohala Coast of the Big Island from January 23–27, 2012, and State-of-the-Art Echocardiography in Scottsdale, Arizona, February 11–15, 2012. Both offer superb multi-day programs in elegant, though surprisingly affordable, surroundings.
Let’s talk about Echo Hawaii first. This year will offer over 30 hours of CME over 5 days. We meet every morning for cases and didactics, except for Wednesday, when we’ve responded to popular demand by giving folks the morning off (best time for scuba diving or just sleeping in) and starting at noon. Late afternoon we have one to two hours of workshops. My co-chair Jonathan Lindner and I have chosen our faculty with three main criteria: experts in the field, first-rate educators, and no one stuffy….if I see a tie, I will cut if off! We encourage daily interaction between faculty and attendees throughout the course to ensure that you get all your questions answered. If you’re thinking that a Hawaii meeting has to be expensive, think again. We’ve secured rooms at the world-class Hapuna Beach Prince Hotel (named the number one beach in the world a few years back) for just $189/night, and you can upgrade to a premium ocean view room for just $30 more! Like last year, we are encouraging you to submit your original research for poster presentation. Those whose abstracts are accepted will receive discounted registration, grading by the faculty in the most beautiful setting imaginable (you can even lobby Tony DeMaria about your research!), and a prize for the winner. You can also expect a strong international flavor at the meeting, with excellent participation by our Japanese, Korean, and Australian colleagues, among others.
State-of-the-Art Echocardiography offers the same commitment to excellence in echo education with some unique features. The meeting starts with a day and a half learning lab to guide attendees through basic and advanced hemodynamic quantification. You’ll have your own computer workstation, with all appropriate software and a number of preloaded cases, from which you will be guided through a host of quantitative algorithms. You’ll start with the basics (2D EFs, Bernoulli equation, stroke volumes), then progress rapidly through PISA measurements for MR and finish up with LV strain and torsion and 3D visualization of valvular structures and quantification of LV size and function. The main portion of the course will feature “Pioneers in Echocardiography” to celebrate the 25 th anniversary of the Arizona conference, with luminaries like Jamil Tajik, Jim Seward, Sanjiv Kaul, and Harry Rakowski tracing the origins of many methods in contemporary echocardiography. Like Echo Hawaii, State-of-the-Art will integrate sessions on current and emerging applications in contrast-enhanced ultrasound, so you can apply these techniques with confidence in your own laboratories.
While we’re talking about education, I want to tell you about the First Echocardiography Societies World Summit, held in Buenos Aires this past July. This major international initiative was the brainchild of ASE Past-President Roberto Lang, who recognized that there are many areas of the world where echo education is inadequate. By reaching out to the world’s major echo societies (Europe, Latin America, India, Japan, Korea, and China), he and local host Jorge Lowenstein pulled together a first rate faculty, who presented 4 parallel sessions over 3 days to an audience that exceeded 1,200! And this was despite that pesky Chilean volcano cancelling a number of inbound flights.
Two very exciting sessions were organized by ASE sonographer Marti McCulloch. We at ASE have long felt that one of the major reasons for excellence in American echocardiography is the almost universal performance of studies by sonographers (I can’t imagine the diagnoses I’d miss if I were responsible for all my own scanning!). In much of the rest of the world, however, the sonography profession is largely unknown. As part of ASE’s outreach to improve echocardiography worldwide, Marti demonstrated proper scanning technique to rooms full of Latin American physicians and budding sonographers. Using live models (and a remarkable team of simultaneous translators), Marti delivered pearls of advice on scanning and basic and advanced quantitation. All agreed that the First World Summit was a great success, and plans are well underway to hold the second meeting in New Delhi, India, on October 25–27, 2013. We anticipate holding successive summits approximately every two years, rotating throughout regions of the world that are relatively underserved in echo education (Africa, Middle East, Asia, Latin America).
I guess you can tell that it’s always busy in the education realm at ASE. Our courses are consistently rated among the highest for quality and educational content. Please go to www.asecho.org and check out all of our offerings. I really hope we’ll see you in Hawaii or Scottsdale (maybe both!). Who knows, maybe you’ll even find your way to New Delhi in 2013. Curry, anyone?
The American Society of Echocardiography is accredited by the Accreditation Council for Continuing Medical Education to provide continuing medical education for physicians.