Better to write for yourself and have no public, than to write for the public and have no self. - Cyril Connolly
Thursday, February 15, 2007
1. An orthopedic convention is kind of like Home Depot meets Vegas meets NASA. Ortho surgeons use the most toys, tools, and implements BY FAR of any other surgical specialty. The Exhibit Hall here is the size of an airplane hangar. Some of the displays have two stories.

2. There are entire displays set up like jewelry counters hawking the SAME lag screws and bolts you can buy at Home Depot. But thanks to the FDA, manufacturing, and marketing, the same screw that costs $.50 at Home Depot, costs $500. The SAME screw.

3. Lots of ex athletes, trainers, and the like get into Orthopedic product sales because they're familiar with kinesiology, body mechanics, injuries, etc. As a result, you have a lot of big, burly, no necked, crew cut, bodyguard types in business suits, and usually sporting some huge ring of some sort, hawking hardware, implants and braces. It's weird. Personally, it's also my least favorite body type for men by far.

4. You will never see this many rich, white men all in one place at the same time outside of a Republican National Convention.

5. Ditto for trophy wives with lots of "work" that has been done to them in the face lift and silicone enhancement areas.

6. Other than rich white guys, Barbies, and bodyguards, - there are LOTS of folks from Japan and Europe here as well. Every language you can imagine is spoken, and some of the sessions look like the UN Council with people listening to simultaneous translations through ear pieces.

7. With more than 12,000 surgeons, and more than that in other personnel and vendors, there are close to 30,000 people a day in the Convention Center. And every single one of them has a cell phone in almost constant use. I had a hard time getting calls to go through because the network was busy.

8. The US military had a large presence here with MASH units set up alongside the Convention Center, and many, many presentations on field trauma, prostheses and rehab. I spent some time walking through the displays and talking to the corpsmen. The technology is mind blowing, and yet also very basic. Stop the bleeding, stabilize, and ship them out. Tourniquet technology is VERY big - staunch the blood flow, but preserve the limb (or what's left of it).

9. The poster presentations, surgical skills areas, and a LOT of the marketing here would make even Stephen King's stomach turn a little.

10. Very, very, cool stuff.
posted by Broadsheet @ 11:56 PM  
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