Road to the Symposium Blog – March 13th, 2018

By Anthony Reckard

Last year I attended the OHDSI Symposium for the first time. Having completed a handful of OMOP conversions and coming from a background of computer science / healthcare analytics, I wasn’t sure of what to expect. I was pleasantly surprised and very impressed with what I saw. Here are my highlights:

Large diverse audience. Over 400 attendees from all sorts of disciplines and geographies.
Excellent research presentations and showcase
Meeting new people and learning from the community
Gained insights into real world use cases and the power of the OMOP CDM
Inspired to get more involved
Aside from being impressed by the work that went into the content of the symposium, I have to say that it was equally impressive of how well each attendee was cared for. The facility was extremely comfortable. We had WiFi in all conference rooms and food and drinks seem to appear out of nowhere.

The fact that the registration was “free” made me wonder who organized this thing? Like Maura said, “tacos aren’t free”, so how were the costs covered? Could this be sustained year after year? Thankfully I was made aware of the planning committee that is responsible for making the symposium happen and was able to volunteer to be part of the team. Now I am looking forward to getting past the initial learning phase and on to providing a helping hand for the 2018 symposium.

See you in September!

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Check out Maura Beaton’s blog entry here: https://www.ohdsi.org/road-to-the-symposium-blog-march-1st-2018/

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