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Preparing for RSNA 2018

First time attending the big meeting in Chicago? Here are some tips for new attendees.


Winter is coming… along with the largest medical conference of the year. For the first-timer, the RSNA meeting overwhelms the senses. Vendors arrange the newest equipment on plush carpet that will soon to trampled by thousands of healthcare professionals from around the world. Academic elites clash with the titans of industry. How does the junior resident or medical student survive? Below are few tips from a resident insider to assist you in planning your trip to the Windy City this November.


  1. Download the meeting app

The RSNA offers a comprehensive mobile app to assist in your daily planning. Each hour multiple sessions begin and end, which makes identifying and remembering the sessions you find a challenge. The meeting app allows for a custom schedule based on the sessions and sends notifications to your device as they approach. In addition, the map of McCormick Place helps navigate you to the session. You can also view the “Case of the Day,” and all vendors who fund the conference. The app will become available for download a few weeks prior to the meeting.

  1. Bring a power supply

Your mobile device is critical. Electrical conduits to charge your device are scarcely available when convenient at McCormick Center. Between texts, tweets, emails, apps, and boredom, you are bound to receive the “low battery” notification. A trusted and charged power supply will serve you well through the week – preferably one that has more than one output channel and a high capacity for multiple cycles.

  1. Focus on the shuttle

Once you arrive at your hotel, daily transportation to and from McCormick Place will be a key logistical concern. RSNA provides multiple shuttle routes around downtown Chicago, bussing attendees to and from the conference. Each route deposits riders at many hotels. Be sure to book your hotel or AirBNB along these routes and attempt to stay as close to the first stop as possible. Buses fill quick at night and after a full day, you will want to arrive quickly at your hotel to relax, eat, and socialize. Alternatively, Chicago accommodates both Uber and Lyft which are very reliable.

  1. Socialize

Plan to attend the RSNA/ACR RFS reception, the RADPAC® Radtoberfest, alumni gatherings, and any impromptu lunches or happy hours that occur throughout the week. These structured events provide ample time to unwind from the busy day and relax with colleagues. Also, be sure to frequent the resident lounge for free coffee, snacks, and lunch. Need I say more? The lounge also provides a great venue to network among fellow residents, rekindle relationships from medical school, and link up with your home program.

  1. Network

Talk to anyone and everyone. The conversations with residents, attendings, and industry professionals will add tremendous value to the RSNA experience. Attendings at all levels will be flattered to have your attention and are not bothered by your presence. In certain situations, attendings will often incorporate you into their conference experience. In addition, use social media to connect. Twitter is a great way to keep a pulse on the meeting’s happenings.

  1. Schedule Personal Time

RSNA will you mentally and physically so be sure to schedule time to unwind and soak in Chicago’s rich culture. I suggest visiting the Art Institute of Chicago, located just a short ride away from McCormick Place. You may just find me there, lost in a gallery surrounded by Cézanne and Seurat!

Above all, enjoy your first visit to RSNA! When the meeting is over, you will find that fatigue sets in, but also a pride and enthusiasm for radiology. And be sure to follow me on Twitter leading up to and during the conference at @ChorneyMD.

Michael Chorney

Michael Chorney, MD, is a diagnostic radiology resident at Pennsylvania Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania Health System.

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