Before I joined the AHA 2021 Scientific Sessions, I was not sure what to expect from this virtual conference. The COVID-19 pandemic caused a pivot towards virtual events and remote discussion. With every virtual event is the concern of a poor audio or internet connection, or less than smooth transitions between speakers which distract from the content. However, the conference lacked these technical faux paus, and was a great experience. There was so much opportunity to learn about emerging research, and hear from leaders in cardiovascular health. The sessions focused on the future, improving health outcomes and preparing early career professionals. There was significant acknowledgement of the impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on health outcomes and disparities, and implications for the future through the lens of cardiovascular health. What stood out was not only the depth of insight among the speakers and transformative research, but the dynamic conversations and presentations.
As a spectator of these sessions, I was struck by the emphasis on career building and the angles in which this can be addressed and improved upon. Utilization of social media and networking were emphasized as methods to both reach the public and support collaboration. Cardiovascular experts and researchers divulged their best methods for moving forward with research and clinical practice.
I was also inspired by the work of award recipients, such as the Distinguished Achievement Awards and the Early Career Abstract Awards. As an individual in my early career, the experience of the recipients encouraged me to explore unique areas of my own research and delve into projects focused on improving clinical care.
Overall, the AHA 2021 Scientific Sessions were informative, intriguing and motivating. I look forward to future AHA conferences and hope that my career will take me on a similar path to the impressive speakers highlighted during the events.
“The views, opinions and positions expressed within this blog are those of the author(s) alone and do not represent those of the American Heart Association. The accuracy, completeness and validity of any statements made within this article are not guaranteed. We accept no liability for any errors, omissions or representations. The copyright of this content belongs to the author and any liability with regards to infringement of intellectual property rights remains with them. The Early Career Voice blog is not intended to provide medical advice or treatment. Only your healthcare provider can provide that. The American Heart Association recommends that you consult your healthcare provider regarding your personal health matters. If you think you are having a heart attack, stroke or another emergency, please call 911 immediately.”