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The double conference dilemma

So next week it’s conference time! But wait… there’s more, it’s also conference time! That’s right, there’s not one, but two conferences happening at the same time and guess who has two different jobs and will be attending both? This guy! That’s right, as of today I’ll be attending both conferences, luckily one will be done virtually so there won’t be a mad dash from one to the other, then back again since I need to be there at the start and end of one of them, it’s wild.

So yesterday when I did my semi-regular weekly roundup of events that will be happening I highlighted a very important issue with something coming up the following week. There are two conferences, one for school, the other for the hospital. Now, I’ve confirmed my attendance with the hospital conference, submitted an abstract, and was selected to present, so obviously that would be the one I need to attend… right?

Well it turns out I also need to attend the other one. Before I started my job at the hospital I was awarded a veterans supplement (spring/summer of last year). Because I was awarded, I need to present some of my work at the conference. So now I have not one, but two conferences I’m giving a talk at, how fun is that?


School-PI and I have been emailing back and forth about the conference and how I can somehow be in two places at once since both have similar time schedules (extra fun!) and it looks like I have a few options available to me. The first would be to attend in person, but that’s not a likely outcome since I need to be at the hospital for the beginning and end of the conference. The second is to give my talk virtually. This is a better option and I’m heavily leaning towards that because it just makes the most sense to me. The third option is to pre-record a video and submit it to the conference with my email so I could get follow up questions if any come up.

Now I’m leaning towards option 2 because there is a good chunk of time during the hospital conference where I would be free to give the talk to the school conference. Oh and to clarify, it’s not a conference held by the school, it’s just what I’m calling it since it’s tied to school. If I go that route I don’t have to spend a lot of time making a video beforehand, which is good since I’m a perfectionist when it comes to stuff like that and I’ll spend several hours making the < 10 minute video. Basically it will save me a lot of time to do it live.

The video option would be my fallback, but only if my schedule doesn’t allow me to attend in person. If this is the case, then I would probably spend several hours getting it right, but at the very least I know it would be the best I could do and wouldn’t have to stress the day of the conference worrying about making sure I’m online when it happens. So there are benefits to this approach, but I still think doing it the day of would, at least for me, be the best option.

And that is the story of how I got sucked into not one, but two conferences. Normally they don’t happen like this, this was just bad luck. The good news is if I graduate on time (which feeling less and less likely now), I won’t have to worry about this issue for much longer. The only really good news about all this is that attending two conferences isn’t too much more work than attending a single conferences (with one being virtual), it’s just a bit of planning. If I had to attend in person, well then we would be having a whole different post right now.


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