Monday, April 25, 2011

jet set part 1: setting it up

or something like that
in all of my 30 years, i have yet to have a job job -- you know, one that requires travel, with all the glamour of cross-country [or international!] flights and comped hotels and expense accounts. working in medicine does not typically include such fripperies [because who would cover your @$$ in the hospital?], especially during the residency training phase.

racking up the miles

however, i have been steadily moving up in the world at a glacier-like pace, even though it sometimes feels like i'm about a decade behind my college peers who got job jobs. i've never cashed in a single hotel 'point', nor have i ever flown business class. but this week, i will be headed out to colorado [sitting in coach, duh] for my first conference ever during clinical training [admittedly, i did go to one keystone conference during my research years -- one that even involved skiing!].

i will be gone [leaving josh to fend for himself!] for an entire 8 days -- that's over a week packed with pediatric endocrinology, dinners out, networking, and trying to learn as much as i can without getting completely burnt out.

the first four days will be spent at a resort in colorado springs at a program i applied to just for fellows, oddly named 'summer school' -- apparently, no one consulted the calendar, or the weather:

and i'll be leaving 70-80 degree days behind. at least i know when i get back, there will be plenty more to come!

we received our schedules already, and the days are packed from morning until late afternoon with classes, including fellow-led debates on controversial topics in the field [that's what my recent powerpoint prep was for!].

the late afternoons/evenings are a bit mysterious as of now, although we were warned to 'bring clothing that can get muddy.' excuse me? do they not realize that most people choose pediatric endocrinology in part because we don't like getting all down + dirty [it's one of the few patient-care-focused fields with no procedures]?

kidding. sort of. i guess i had better pack some shoes that aren't 4" platforms, then.

the second four days will be in denver at the actual conference of the pediatric endocrine society, with jam-packed days that look like this:


unlike my aforementioned keystone experience, i am super-excited for nearly every presentation! i guess this means i am in the right field.

practicing self-care away from home
i think the hardest part about this experience will be NOT burning out in an exhausted heap just halfway through! i have a plan of attack, though. it involves the following:

sleep seriously, i am SO getting enough sleep during this conference. 8 hours/night minimum, preferably.

workouts are something i am planning to fit in each morning. as endocrinologists do tend to be a healthier group [compared to other MDs, anyway] i am guessing i won't be alone in this. both of the hotels i will be at have gyms, and a lovely reader has offered to bring me to a core power yoga class! i also plan on trying to run outside. this weekend someone reminded me about the altitude in these areas . . . hopefully the oxygen deficit won't be TOO much of a problem!

food + wine events like this provide plenty of opportunities for indulging in restaurant meals, indulgent snacks, and alcohol. however, considering the fact that i just spent the past 48 hours doing just that [and already feel like i need to detox!], i am going to just say no [the fact that i am on a 2WW helps with the wine part] and seek out the healthiest options available. no need to ADD to the sluggishness that will invariably come from sitting in conferences all day. then again, the physician who inspired this article is a pediatric endocrinologist . . .so who knows? perhaps there will be green smoothies and chia seeds at coffee break time instead of crumbling pastries and cans of coke.

me time i plan on blogging each day [so you all can experience the conference with me! aren't you excited?], and taking some time for myself regularly to just read + relax away from all of the hustle + bustle.

advice?? these plans are just plans, and i really am a newb at this! i know many of you who read this are rock star business travelers, and i would love to hear your tips. how do you stay healthy, happy, and centered on the road?

up next: putting life into a suitcase [ie, fun with packing!]