family practice issues and general life events

Posts tagged ‘travel’

Convention woes

There has been a delay from my posting, and I will blame it on being at a convention last week.  That sounds like a good excuse.  It is for the very minimum true.  This year, my husband (also a physician) has to take recertification exam to maintain his board certification in family practice.  Which is a process in the osteopathic world which includes a practical exam with manual medicine and a online computer exam about medical knowledge.  The manual medicine exam occurs only at conventions twice a year.

This year the spring convention falls during our kiddos spring break and is in Orlando.  A tax deductible trip to Disney World?  Well sign me up.  Well ok, the trip to Disney World itself is not deductible, but the airfare, hotel and some of the food do qualify as business expenses.  And the amount of time is not out of the realm of normal.  He tested on Tuesday and we arrived on Sunday.  The convention started on Thursday.  (well there were some extra hours on Wednesday, but that would have interfered with our day at the Magic Kingdom)

So this is where the woe comes in.  First of all, topics did not seem to be very interesting.  While I can understand one lecture of disasters- 5 seems like a little bit of overkill.  And sorry to tell you, I don’t care what HIPPA says, but if Armageddon hits tomorrow, I don’t give a damn about my electronic medical record system.  I will be taking the kids, and heading to some place safer.  And besides are we really buying this terrorism is coming, and the floods, tornados and hurricanes.  What the heck?  While there might be a legitimate risk, this overwhelming fear is the reason that a poor child with a broken leg in a wheelchair had to be patted down by security over the weekend.  If everything is high alert you will manage to make everything less.

Then apparently HIV takes center stage.  Again, I understand one lecture.  I have HIV patients, I don’t treat their HIV.  Why?  Because it is too complicated.  I talked to oncologists who treat CANCER who don’t want to treat HIV.  Why?  Because of the complexity, it needs someone who treats HIV and maybe little else.  As a family doctor, I need to know about treatments, side effects and diagnosis.  It is overkill to make it take such precedence at a family practice convention.  

And what actually made this all worse- seating.  Whoever decided how to arrange the rooms needs to be replaced.  Why for a lecture hall would you arrange tables in a circle.  First of all, it puts about 1/4 of the people facing away from you naturally, and additionally it also takes up more room, allowing for less to be in the room.  Either rectangle tables should have been used, or none

I was asked to leave during a lecture for sitting in a corner of the room with my boys.  We were not making any noise, but apparently we were a fire hazard.  We were not near the door, but merely by sitting on the floor in the back.  There were no seats available, despite being told there were seats in the front of the room.  However, I couldn’t see seats in the front, talk about rude weaving ones way through the seats to the front, for there maybe to be seats.  I don’t think that is good.

Anyway, if I am going to pay for a convention, pay for the travel and room it should have worthwhile lectures and have seating room.  Add to that parking at the hotel that was selected cost more than it cost at Disney World, the days we were there cost $14 a day to park.  While this is not cheap, it is still less than the $15 a day at the Gaylord Palms.  This is a nice hotel, but seriously?

Additionally, at 10 AM the coffee allowance and coke allowance for the day had been used on Thursday morning.  I understand trying to save money, but go to a cheaper hotel for the amenities and room- don’t try to be cheap on the coffee and drinks.  It really looks bad.  Paying that rate for the hotel (which I didn’t) is not easy for everyone.  Anyway, this convention was poorly planned or it seems like it.  It would discourage me from going next year, except that I have to recertify myself next year.  Unless the lectures are more interesting, I probably will consider not staying for the lectures.  And as of right now, my husband will be staying at home with the kids while I go and take my test.

Anyway this is my excuse for not being online and blogging for over a week.


Why you should not get to the Vancouver Airport 5 hours early

While this seems like a no-brained, that is what I am doing right now. Though in my defense it was not entirely by choice. Actually we just got off of a cruise and when I was arranging airfare, I was told by the cruise ship to make sure the flight was after noon. Great easy enough. So I booked a direct flight to DFW for 2:25, not realizing there was a 12:15.

Anyway, apparently you cannot even check in for you flight at Vancouver until you are within 3 hours of your flight. So we are not even at the gate, we have a huge pile of luggage that we would have to lug everywhere, and therefore we are stuck here.



Anyway, you might ask “Well, why did you get to the airport early?”. Well, you disembark a cruise ship pretty much when they tell you to. So we cleared customs, collected our bags, and boarded the shuttle bus to the airport. Upon arriving we were told that we cannot check in until 3 hours before departure time. So we are here, stuck, waiting.


Little Rock adventure

Last weekend we took an extended weekend to take our children to the World Championship American Tae Kwon Do Association.  We decided to leave a few days early, and see what there was to see in Little Rock.  Our initial impression, not much.

Every museum that would appeal to a family with kids that was listed in the hotel book they give you, when looked up on the internet either said “Closed” or “Under Renovation”  Really?  I would think that renovations would be best in the fall or winter, but maybe they see mostly school children, so what do I know.  So then we looked up things to do in Little Rock and got the same responses.  And in fact, we found a blog that even said, “Don’t bother to look for things to do in Little Rock, because everything is either under renovation or closed.”  Apparently the blogger was as frustrated as we were.  (I do apologize for not citing this blogger correctly, but since I only remember the comment, I don’t know who to give credit to)


So we decided to try the GPS.  It suggested the Toltec Archeological Park.  Having nothing else to do, we drove the 15 miles out of Little Rock and gave it a try.  Toltec is an ancient Indian set of mound of which only three remain, the rest were knocked over by farmers, but there are two trails you can walk, and it is fairly cheap, so if you are in Little Rock, it is definitely worth checking out.

The kids enjoyed the ability to walk (run) the path stopping at the markers and learning about the Toltec.  And at least some sunk in because my oldest, who is definitely ADHD even retained some of what was read.

Sometimes you just have to sit in the dirt

And there was some shady areas, but the favorite part of the walk at least for the kids was the feeding of the turtles in the Mound Lake.

However, I would recommend doing the tour early at least in the summer, because we were definitely hot and sweaty by the end of it.  So we thought it would be the perfect time to visit the Little Rock Museum of Art.  And just in time, because they had an impressionist exhibit that was ending that weekend.

On the way back to our hotel, my husband noticed what looked like a submarine, so we had to go and investigate.  He was disturbed that he had missed that sub, but it was 11 o’clock pm when we drove into town the night before.  But it was indeed a submarine, so we decided to go take a look at the USS Razorback.

Trying out the cot

Assuming you are not claustrophobic, it is an interesting tour.  However, the stairs down and up into the sub can take your breath away

I have to climb those?


I really did not want to climb the stairs back up.  The ones down were somewhat terrifying.  Don’t ask me why.  But since I did not want to stay on the sub for the rest of my life, up the ladder I went.

Don’t get me wrong, it is an interesting tour and definitely worth checking out, if you are not claustrophobic, but it is also a little heart stopping, or at least the ladders are.  But how often do you get the chance to see a World War II sub?


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