Why attend international conferences? What is the added value for patients?
Do these types of conferences have an impact on doctors and subsequently on the patients? Do the patients benefit from this type of conferences?
In a recent article in the American Journal of Hematology, TIF alternate member Maria Hadjidemetriou writes how she first learned about thalassaemia, interacted and built a relationship with other patients and doctors, heard about new drugs for Thalassaemia in the First TIF International Conference in Bangkok, Thailand.
In Maria’s own words: “During my twenties, I started reading research papers and attended my first international conference in Bangkok, Thailand organized by the Thalassemia International Federation headquartered in Cyprus.
Meeting patients, doctors, clinicians from all over the world was life changing. The international conferences offered a very rare opportunity for patients to interact and build relationships with doctors—a different breed of doctors. This meeting was the first time I heard about a new drug, deferiprone. It was the first time I met a thalassemic woman who had given birth. It was the first time meeting thalassemics who held full-time professional jobs that they loved. I became determined to achieve all of these things for myself”.