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I’ve Registered for ASH. Now What?

Hematopoiesis Career Advice

Although the 64th ASH Annual Meeting is listed as taking place from December 10-13 in New Orleans, you will not want to miss our huge trainee-dedicated event, ASH-a-Palooza, occurring on December 9 at the extravagant Mardi Gras World!

ASH-a-Palooza is the best way for all trainees, from medical students to residents to fellows to doctoral students, to kick off the ASH annual meeting with tons of food, our meet and greet mentoring program with famous hematology faculty, and live music to celebrate reconnecting with colleagues in Bourbon Street style.

After you’re done rockin’ at ASH-a-Palooza, planning the rest of your ASH Annual Meeting can feel daunting. Which sessions do I attend? How do I connect with other trainees?

Don’t worry! Whether it’s your first ASH or your 50th, we’ve got your back. Dr. Ajay Major, previous chair of the Trainee Council, and Dr. Becky Zon, current chair of the Council, are here to share a preliminary schedule and what we think is important to consider as you plan your trip to NOLA.

Welcome to ASH-a-Palooza

Friday, December 9:

  1. ASH-a-Palooza: 12:30 p.m.-5:00 p.m. (all times Central time) at Mardi Gras World
    • Join us for an afternoon of career-focused talks, including our main stage ASH Talks as well as ten-minute Blood Drops microlearning talks and one-on-one Blood Buddies mentoring sessions.
    • There will be a Government Relations table so stop by to talk about advocacy opportunities.
    • At our inaugural Blood Wars hematology jeopardy at ASH 2021, the trainees beat the faculty at their own game. Want to help us do it again? Sign up for the jeopardy team by emailing [email protected].
    • For those trainees attending virtually, the ASH Talks and Blood Drops microlearning talks will be available on the virtual platform as a livestream and pre-recorded sessions, respectively. You can also sign up for virtual mentoring Blood Buddies sessions on the virtual platform as well.
  2. Trainee Reception: 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m. (immediately following ASH-a-Palooza) at Mardi Gras World
    • Open to all trainees to socially connect with colleagues, or to meet your new co-fellows after a virtual fellowship interview season.

Trainees at the ASH Annual Meeting

When it comes to planning which talks you want to attend during the annual meeting (check out the preliminary 2022 program here), Dr. Major recommends that new attendees prioritize the education program sessions. These educational sessions are high-yield introductions to foundational topics within hematology, such as the updated approach to newly diagnosed multiple myeloma or challenging thrombocytopenia management cases and are led by panels of expert hematologists who are excellent teachers. Not only are they great for your own learning (who doesn’t need a review of anticoagulation?), but they can be excellent opportunities to network with panelists who are passionate about medical education and seek mentorship opportunities. Dr. Zon would also like to highlight the following two Education Program sessions: Reproduction and Sexual Health in Sickle Cell Disease, and Obstetric Management and Complications in Sickle Cell Disease in High and Low Income Countries.

Saturday, December 10:

  1. Career Development Lunch Session: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
    • Come join us for a free boxed lunch and the opportunity to meet in small groups with career hematologists across the spectrum, including basic, PhD, clinical, and translational researchers, as well as those working in private practice, industry, and government. This is an in-person only event.
  2. Ham-Wasserman Lecture: 12:30 p.m.-1:30 p.m.
    • Dr. Zon wants to highlight this lecture as one of the best at the Annual Meeting. This year’s talk is about the pathophysiology and clinical implications of the increased risk of leukemia in children with Down syndrome. This session will be chaired by ASH President Dr. Jane Winter.

Another piece of advice from the two of us: you will feel like you are missing other sessions. It’s inevitable with how much is jam-packed into the meeting. Fortunately, you will be able to watch the recorded sessions later, and we recommend following the #ASH22 hashtag on Twitter to get live-tweet updates from other attendees about key findings and slides from other talks.

Sunday, December 11:

  1. ASH Foundation Run-Walk: 7:00 a.m.-9:00 a.m.; be sure to register in advance.
  2. Trainee Didactic Sessions: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
    • In these career-focused sessions, a panel of hematologists will begin each session with short didactic presentations on practical career-focused topics, including how to write the best CV, what it means to be an entrepreneur, making the transition from trainee to faculty seamlessly, and best practices on giving a scientific presentation, followed by live Q&A sessions.
    • The sessions will be live streamed and virtual attendees will be able to ask the panelists questions in real time.
  3. Inaugural ASH LGBTQ+ and Disability Community Events:
    • Attend the first ever ASH LGBTQIA+ Community brunch and Disability Community breakfast! Dr. Major is co-hosting the LGBTQIA+ brunch with Dr. Dávila Saldaña. These are new initiatives created by the ASH Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Programs Subcommittee, and we look forward to meeting you there!
      • LGBTQIA+ Community Networking Brunch (for in-person participants): Sunday, December 11, 2022: 11:15 a.m.-12:15 p.m.
      • Disability Community Networking Breakfast (for in-person participants): Monday, December 12, 2022: 7:30 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
  4. Announcement of Awards: 1:30 p.m.-2:00 p.m.
    • Dr. Zon recommends this as a very motivating session, which highlights awards including the Wallace H. Coulter Award for Lifetime Achievement in Hematology, the Award for Leadership in Promoting Diversity, the Mentor Award, and service awards. The Coulter Award this year is going to Irving Weissman, MD, who is one of Dr. Zon’s idols!
  5. Plenary Scientific Sessions: 2:00 p.m.-4:00 p.m.

Another quick tip on planning your ASH Annual Meeting: ask your mentors if there are specific sessions that they recommend for your area of interest, or if there are specific people that you should meet in-person to start building your own network. Trainees have used networking at ASH to design and conduct their own studies and even to build a virtual fellows network on Twitter, so be sure to keep an open mind to new opportunities.

Monday, December 12:

  1. Trainee Didactic Sessions: 12:15 p.m.-1:15 p.m.
  2. Ernest Beutler Lecture and Prize: 1:30 p.m.-2:30 p.m.
    • Want to compliment the complement system? Come learn about Drs. Hillmen and Atkinson’s discoveries on PNH and CD46.
  3. Women in Hematology Networking Session and Dinner: 7:30-9:30 p.m. at Hilton New Orleans Riverside
    • The ASH Women in Hematology Working Group is an incredible group composed of individuals dedicated to improving care of clinicians and patients who identify as women. This year, trainees were added to the group, including Dr. Zon, which has led to many new opportunities for trainee engagement. The working group works to improve the environment for female hematologists and provides a safe space for networking and discussion of unique hematologic issues that affect our female patients. The group expanded and created a Maternal Health Working Group this year, dedicated to patients with reproductive and hematologic conditions, including neonatal intensivists, obstetricians, and hematologists.

Tuesday, December 13:

  1. William Dameshek Prize and Henry M. Stratton Medal Award Announcements: 8:45 a.m.-9:00 a.m.
  2. Late-Breaking Abstracts Session: 9:00 a.m.-10:30 a.m.
  3. Presidential Symposium: 11:00 a.m.-12:30 p.m.
  4. Best of ASH: 12:30 p.m.-2 p.m.

Trainee Lounge

The Trainee Lounge, located in ASH Central (Ernest N Morial Convention Center, Hall F), is a casual space with coffee and snacks where trainees can take a break from the conference bustle and catch up with colleagues. The Trainee Lounge will be open at the following times:

  • Saturday, December 10: 8:00 a.m.-6:00 p.m.
  • Sunday, December 11: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Monday, December 12: 8:00 a.m.-5:00 p.m.
  • Tuesday, December 13: 8:00 a.m.-2:45 p.m.

Important Meeting Logistics

We’re looking forward to seeing you at ASH-a-Palooza. It's going to be an absolute blast (of confetti, literally!).

Confetti at ASH-a-Palooza

Please say hello, and don’t hesitate to reach out to us on Twitter with any questions.! Be sure to keep an eye on the ASH trainee website and follow #ASHTrainee on Twitter for updates.

Acknowledgement: Edited by Dr. Ann Marie Mojica and Dr. Ted Wun.

Dr. Zon is a consultant for and has equity ownership in Amagma Therapeutics. Dr. Major has no relevant conflicts.