Written by Kim Cordell | Product Development Administrator, European Medical Journal | @EMJ_Kim
With members of the EMJ team jetting off across Europe this month to attend a grand total of four medical congresses, which will of course be reviewed in their respective publications, we thought it was high time we took a breather. I sat down with one of our Editorial Administrators, Harry Baldock, to talk about his time at congress during this busy period.
Q: Tell me about your role in EMJ.
A: As an Editorial Administrator here at the EMJ, my main role is to facilitate the publication process. I liaise with authors, oversee the peer review process, and edit the papers ready for publication. It’s an interesting and varied role; I get to talk to people from different backgrounds, from all over the world, and read all sorts of interesting material. The role gets even more diverse when attending medical congresses, taking on journalistic and marketing aspects, such as interviewing the journal’s Editorial Board, filming various events, and attending press conferences. No two days are ever the same.
Q: Describe medical congresses in three words.
A: Busy, exciting, and important.
Q: What congresses have you attended for the EMJ, and where were they held?
A: This year, I have attended the European Society of Cardiology (ESC) congress in Barcelona, Spain, the European Society for Medical Oncology (ESMO) congress in Madrid, Spain, and the European Association for the Study of Diabetes (EASD) annual meeting in Lisbon, Portugal. Iberia is a beautiful part of the world and I’m very lucky to get the chance to travel to historic cities like these as part of my work (and enjoy plenty of tapas!).
Q: Explain a day in the life of Harry Baldock at a medical congress.
A: Wake up nice and early; for some reason, the most important press releases always seem scheduled first thing in the morning! Next on the agenda is an interview with one of our Editorial Board members. This involves booking a quiet room at the congress centre, setting up the camera and other equipment, and conducting the interview. It’s always fascinating to have an experienced medical professional talk candidly to us about their research and share their thoughts about congresses and EMJ journals.
The afternoon is made up by a real mix of tasks, from staffing the EMJ booth in the exhibitor’s hall (please come and see us!), to filming footage of the congress centre, to talking with members of various institutions. There is rarely time for a break, but that’s ok; the press centre is stocked with all sorts of goodies to keep you going throughout the day. The early evening closes with an absorbing symposium session, then it’s off to dinner to decompress with colleagues (did I mention tapas already?!).
Q: What has been your personal highlight from your time at congress so far?
A: Probably the ESC press conference where the results of CANTOS trial were revealed. This trial is the first to validate the concept of using anti-inflammatory medication to treat atherosclerosis; not only did the treatment have a significant effect on atherosclerosis, it also hugely reduced cancer mortality.
The journalists were instantly abuzz and I knew I was listening to something important that was potentially going to change millions of lives. For the rest of the congress, the lead scientist, Dr Paul Ridker, was on every TV screen as if he were some sort of rock star. It was really cool to be right in the heart of something so revolutionary.
Q: What can our readers expect from each congress review coming up?
A: Excitement of course! Congresses are amazing examples of what people can achieve when they unite to tackle a global problem, and we try our best to convey that same passion in our congress review. Readers can expect a variety of highlights from the event, including an overview of the opening ceremony, the various awards presented, key symposia, and, of course, the latest in cutting-edge research. There should be something for everyone and I would encourage anyone with an interest the medical world to take a peek.
EMJ TalkTime provided a great opportunity to get an insight into congress from Harry’s perspective, and with less than a month until our next publications are here, we hope you’re as eager to see the final product as we are! The team will be spreading the joy across our social media channels, so keep your eyes peeled to make sure you don’t miss out!