A few months ago I attended a medical conference organised by The Medical Student Journal Club in Slovenia. The conference consisted of debates between medical students, which is a great concept that I thought worked very well. Two medical students, usually from different countries, take on the same topic, one presenting the Pro side and the other the Contra side. They have a short Powerpoint presentation, after which the audience is invited to comment and ask questions. This was the third Pro et Contra congress I attended, having been an active participant each year since it was first organized. It was an easy decision to come back each year because it’s different than the medical conferences I’m used to. It takes place during the weekend, and it’s a perfect blend of learning about medicine in a more interactive way, sharing opinions with my peers and senior doctors, meeting medical students from different countries and having a nice time exploring Slovenia. Not to mention the organization is absolutely amazing, with every moment of our stay taken care of.
I realize most of the readers of this Blog are from the USA, and the likelihood of one of you visiting this medical congress in Slovenia is very low. I’d be happy if I got more people to attend the Pro et Contra congress; however that’s not what this post is about. Even though the debates at the last Pro et Contra congress were amazing, the opening ceremony involved a group of doctors performing a few popular song parodies on different medical hot topics, the audience participated in discussions more than ever before, and I went home with a prize for the best foreign speaker (a generous gift of Harrison’s manual of medicine), what made the biggest impact on me was the guest lecture given by a pilot, captain Tomaž Prezelj. Yes, a pilot gave a lecture at a medical conference, and it was simply superb. It is almost two hours long, but I advise you to take time out of your busy schedule to watch it. Captain Prezelj compares five different attitudes of pilots and the ways they can affect flight safety. The great responsibility, human nature, and high risk environment pilots work in easily translate to the experience of doctors and medicine. It’s all about human error. So, without further ado –