Last week I had the opportunity to go to San Francisco, California to attend the 102nd American Medical Women’s Association (AMWA) Conference. Now, I have been a part of AMWA for the past two years, and I co-founded the chapter at my school a few months after I joined. I guess you can say I became very involved very quickly.
Every year the conference committee works very hard to plan amazing events, which include inspiring talks, research presentations, workshops, and networking events. They also make sure to plan in time for attendees to take much need breaks and time to explore the city. For many people attending the conference, this is a chance to break from their routine as a student or physician/researcher and enjoy some time alone, or with a few long distance friends.
On Friday afternoon we had the chance to go exploring. The beginning of the conference is always a bit slower for students – I guess they want to give them time to arrive in case they cannot miss classes. We went down to the Bay Area and just explored. I would recommend renting a car, if possible because it can be cheaper than a taxi or Uber depending on how long and far you intend to explore.
First, we walked through Golden Gate Park. I always heard people from the West Coast say New York was pretty flat, but I did not get it until now. San Francisco has a lot of hills – I mean actual hills you cannot see the other side of until you come down – so I felt like I was constantly hiking through the park.
Next, we made a twenty minute drive over to the Golden Gate bridge. I was beginning to feel pretty hungry – there was a bit of an issue with “vegetarian” lunches at the hotel – but the view really distracted me. The area around the bridge was very pretty with bits of art everywhere. My favorite was the stairs with various greetings written in different languages on each step.
We had a terrible time finding parking and after a forty minute drive plus over an hour of exploring I was not exactly in the best mood. Luckily, we eventually found a parking spot and a restaurant ready to seat us. We had found ourselves in a traditional Italian restaurant and the entire group ended up with the same meal. Honestly, I think we all picked something we thought would come fast. Since April Fools was the next day, we decided to play a prank on our friend and pretend it was his birthday. When the waiter brought out the cake he started singing along. When the cake was placed in front of him, his face was priceless!
We were also very fortunate to stay at a beautiful hotel, both inside and out. There was anpier right by the entrances, followed by a garden and tons of trees. I did not get to explore that far, but a member of my team managed to find some almond trees. He had been set on finding some fresh almonds, but they had not bloomed so he settled on a plant instead.
The remaining days of the weekend we attended the various events and activities offered at the conference. Some of my favorite events were Speed Networking Event; where students and physicians networked in a speed dating fashion, Mentorship Workshop; where you learned how to form, maintain, and navigate a mentorship relationship, and the Awards Gala, a fun night honoring achievements at members and dancing. I also learned I will be continuing on as a member of the national leadership team as the Region 2 Director (NY and NJ) for the pre-medical division. I’m pretty excited for the new year!
All in all, I had a great time this year and hope to be able to attend next year. Maybe I will even get to present some research! I also hope to return to San Francisco in the future.
– Tatyana x
Do you have any upcoming events? Where are you looking forward to visiting soon?