The 2017 AMPHL conference comes to a close. Our precious opportunity to learn about new technology, new accommodations, new techniques for approaching challenges, and, most importantly, the chance to see old friends and make new ones—goes by too fast.
When I was considering applying to medical school, I had serious doubts if it was even possible with my profound hearing loss. I sought advice from many different people. Two close college friends responded very differently. One said, “Of course you can do it!” The other, who was a student at Harvard Medical School, seriously doubted me.
How far AMPHL has come. As a newly minted medical student, I remember walking into the hotel lobby for AMPHL’s first conference in 2001, and immediately meeting two new friends who were likewise at the beginnings of their careers. That conference took place in a single room and lasted a day. Though I can’t remember the specific topics, we all knew they were relevant to us. The socializing afterwards helped us develop a nearly instant kinship, and that remains my personal favorite aspect of the organization to this day.
My first perception of AMPHL was mainly of an organization whose members were concerned mostly with amplified stethoscopes and navigating the issue of hearing loss during the job application process. Neither of these issues were directly related to succeeding in a surgical career. A good twelve years passed before I met a fellow member, Sam Atcherson, who encouraged me to attend an AMPHL conference despite there being no other surgeons in AMPHL at the time.