Continuing our features of some of our longstanding attendees and their memorable experiences from DDW, our next DDW reflection comes from Dr. Sunanda Kane, a DDW attendee for more than 30 years.
Q: Can you describe your first experience attending DDW?
A: I was a young research assistant when I attended my first DDW in 1987. It was a huge meeting with a million things going on. The promotional items were fewer then but fun — I still have my Tagamet Tommy Tummy posable figure!
Q: How have you seen DDW change/evolve over the years?
A: A lot more clinical symposia have been added, and the meeting length has been shortened making it more dense.
Q: What has attending DDW done for your career?
A: I have been able to meet personally with people I wanted to collaborate with, see others’ work and get involved with changing the GI field via committee work.
Q: Who is the most influential person you’ve met at DDW?
A: I would have to say it was actually Steve Hanauer who has been my boss and mentor. When I was a fellow, he was able to get the program changed so that he could attend my session which would have been impossible with the original schedule. Who has such pull to get the DDW schedule changed!?
Q: How did you first learn about DDW and what made you decide to attend?
A: I attended my first DDW because my research poster was accepted and I wanted the experience of presenting it.
Q: What would you tell someone who is on the fence about attending DDW?
A: Attending DDW is extremely beneficial. DDW, while massive in scope, can be a one-stop shop if you need to be exposed to multiple aspects of gastroenterology and/or hepatology.
Q: What has been your most inspirational DDW moment?
A: My most inspirational moment was having to present a session when the AV equipment stopped working. I was able to present without my slides and was granted confidence for my ability to do so.
Q: How do you envision DDW another 50 years from now?
A: In 50 years, I see DDW being completely virtual.
Make sure you keep checking the DDW Blog for more attendee reflections. If you have been attending DDW over the years and are interested in providing your own reflection, please email Kristenn Fortson for an opportunity to be featured.