I have just returned from the 13th conference of the International Society of Travel Medicine which was held in Maastricht from 19th - 23rd May 2013. This is the largest meeting of travel medicine practitioners held every two years and this time there were in excess of 1300 delegates. Sessions run concurrently from 8am to 6.30pm and its a challenge to keep up with the pace! I was presenting on the topic of 'Helping the Professional Communicate Risk'. There is little information on the subject in the travel medicine literature so it was interesting to write and present. A wonderful feature of the meeting is the 'networking' of fellow travel medicine colleagues. Over the years I've built up many good friendships not only with UK based people, but many colleagues abroad as well. During the meeting the Committee of the Travel Health Nurses in The Netherlands held a 'Meet and Greet' lunchtime gathering. This was a great event where we were gifted with many Dutch treats, participated in a quiz and then participated in a 'speed networking' activity discussing many issues in the travel medicine field across the globe! It was a great event and their hard work to provide such a 'party' was much appreciated.
Below is a photograph of three friends - from left to right, Karen Avery from the USA, Susan Koeman who is the Nurse Consultant in LCR (which is the National Coordination Travel Advice Centre in The Netherlands - see here ) and Rhonda Martin also from the USA who I know from many years ago as she was then a student on the Diploma in Travel Medicine course in Glasgow!
The next big travel medicine meeting abroad for me is the 5th Northern European Conference on Travel Medicine in Bergen, Norway 5 - 8 June 2014 - and the next meeting of of the ISTM will be held on Quebec City, Canada 24 - 28 May 2015!