Home / Recent Articles / 2018 SNMMI Mid-Winter Meeting – A First Timer’s View


by Nicole Holsclaw CNMT, NMTCB(CT)

As a fairly recent graduate from the IU School of Medicine in Nuclear Medicine Technology and recently certified NMTCB(CT), I decided it was time to discover what the SNMMI really had to offer within their meetings.  After two years of working for a great organization with Franciscan Alliance of Indianapolis, they supported and encouraged my participation and involvement with the Society.  The only other experience I had with the SNMMI, was as a student.  As I’m sure you can all imagine, me a student, naïvely sitting through presentations where I am completely oblivious to any content or information the speaker had to offer.  Now, with a few years under my belt, I thought I had more of an opportunity to really take home what I’d hope to absorb.  I have to be honest though, living in a state where the wind hurts your face, Orlando looked even more appealing.

When I first arrived to the hotel to check in, I noticed numerous people with matching lanyard ID tags.  Creepily trying to read them without being noticed, I realized many were MDs.  That made me a little nervous and intimidated.  Who would I talk to? I’ve never been around so many professionals.  I quickly check in, grab my program book, and tuck my lanyard in my purse.  I had already checked out the classes online prior to the meeting.  So, I had an idea of which ones I was interested in attending.  I was eager to go to the seminars regarding Radioiodine Therapy, and there were many.  Where I work, any type of thyroid imaging and therapy is a big part of our patient population.  I really wanted to see how our organization compares to others when it comes to patient preparation, protocol, and dosing.

After attending Thursday’s seminars, my brain was on overload.  There was so much information, great information, but I felt I did not take proper notes.  There were even times that some of the information went over my head.  I thought to myself, just open your mind and remember this is a learning experience.  As I walked through the lobby alone and a little overwhelmed, I passed the hotel bar and saw some familiar faces!  Some of our leaders from the Central Chapter were gathering together, talking shop, and enjoying the atmosphere.  I sat down to join them, briefly discussing the presentations.  It was an encouraging moment, to sit with other professionals, and really take in the experience.

I spent the rest of the weekend meeting new people, making new friends, and trying to absorb as much information as possible.  There were so many great presentations showing rare cases among patients.  The greatest part was getting back home, and actually seeing for the first time one of those rare cases and knowing what I was looking at.  Reminder, I’m still new at this, I have much to learn.  I will definitely go to another meeting.  Not only did I receive the many CEs I needed, but I took away more knowledge than I ever anticipated and now the motivation to get more involved with our Society.

The Mid-Winter meeting offered up to 22 hours of continuing education.  If you’re they type of person to get all of your CEs out of the way in one sitting, well this is just what you’re looking for!  Not only can you bust out most of those CEs in one weekend, but you get the amazing opportunity to gather with other professionals in your field.  You’re given the chance to listen and learn from those who have spent their entire careers trying to make a difference in Nuclear Medicine.  You can collaborate ideas, opinions, and help lead in the evolvement of medical imaging.  Though the atmosphere was professional, there are many times where the conversation was more relaxed, allowing to welcome new faces.  This is important considering the SNMMI is always looking for support and involvement from members, and non-members.  The seminars helped show how technologists and MDs really need to work together in order to give that patient the best quality of care.  Listening to the seminars given by MDs really opened my eyes as a technologist to make sure I gather all the information and patient history in order to provide the best care for that individual patient.  After participating in my first meeting hosted by the SNMMI, I am definitely eager to attend more in the future.  I hope to continue to advance in my personal education throughout the field and meet and collaborate with new colleagues over the years.