Turtles and tutelage: CME in Darwin’s playground

Issue: BCMJ, vol. 51, No. 5, June 2009, Page 230 Back Page

In April the BCMJ hosted its second CME cruise conference on board a luxury 100-passenger ship, sailing through the beautiful Galapagos Islands.

Fifty participants earned CME credits attending 16 sessions presented by past and present members of the BCMJ Editorial Board (Drs Lindsay Lawson, Heidi Oetter, Dave Richardson, Tim Rowe, Tony Salvian, Bob Vroom, and Jim Wilson) and a number of guest speakers (Drs David Lawson, Neil Mclean, Anne Priestman, and Clarissa Wallace).

Participants began arriving in Ecuador’s capital city of Quito one to two nights before departure for the Galapagos. A tour of the old and new city preceded the first two presentations held at the Marriot Hotel, and then the group was up early the following day for a flight to the port of Baltra, where a quick Zodiac ride had passengers on board the Celebrity Xpedition by early afternoon.

The Galapagos Islands remain relatively untouched by human exploitation, and all guests are constantly reminded to protect and conserve this unique environment when onboard and ashore. No plants, rocks, animals or their remains (such as bones), pieces of wood, coral, shells, or other natural objects can be removed or disturbed from their natural habitat. These rules are strictly enforced to help keep the archipelago’s fragile ecosystem intact. The Xpedition is one of the most environmentally advanced ships afloat. All waste streams are processed on board and nothing but processed food waste is ever disposed into the ocean. The mantra of the staff and naturalists is, “preservation of the environment is everybody’s responsibility.”

Presentation topics in this Family Practice Refresher included travel and diving medicine, adult cystic fibrosis, high-order multiple pregnancies, e-health, atherosclerotic carotid artery disease, thyroid, lung cancer, and others.

Most sessions were held midday, between morning and afternoon ex­cursions lead by expert naturalists to see the famed wildlife and geological diversity of this remarkable archipelago. All walks on the islands were on marked trails only and were always lead by naturalists.

A somewhat similar display of diversity was seen when endocrinologists Drs Priestman and Wallace, aka Captain Resistance and Miss Deficiency, respectively, donned a purple cape and beauty-queen sash to set the record straight on type 2 diabetes. Melding game-show antics and education to great effect, their entertaining interactive session relied on participants choosing topics for discussion from a Jeopardy-like board of options.

BCMJ editor Dr David Richardson’s talk on humor in the medical office was one of two evening sessions held following dinner when, primed by good food and drink, and days spent in a spectacular locale, attendees were ready for a little entertainment with their education. And he delivered a crowd-pleaser.

The small size of the Xpedition fostered an easy camaraderie and physician-to-physician interaction. Passengers could ride on any Zodiac available or sit at any table in the dining room and be sure to know someone. The feedback we’ve received from participants confirms that this event was a success and we’ve had many suggestions for future destinations for the next BCMJ CME cruise.

Thanks to our sponsor Ultima Medical Services and to Sea Courses Cruises for another successful collaboration.

Let’s do it again soon.

1. Kicker Rock

2. Blue-footed booby

3. Lans iguana

4. Giant tortoise

5. L–R: Drs Brian Fitzsimmons and Michael Farner

6. Mrs Caroline Yelland and Dr Joel Yelland with marine iguanas in the background

7. Frigatebird

1. L–R; Mr. Bill MacEwan, Mrs Carole MacEwan, Mrs Nimmi Bhachu, Dr Devinder Bhachu, Mrs Anda Pawlovich and Dr John Pawlovich

2. Marine iguana

3. L–R: Mrs Mohinder Gosal, Mr Roshan Gosal, Dr Manjit Gosal

4. BCMJ editor, Dr David Richardson

5. CME presenter Dr Timothy Rowe

6. CME presenters (L–R) Drs Anne Priestman and Clarissa Wallace


. Turtles and tutelage: CME in Darwin’s playground. BCMJ, Vol. 51, No. 5, June, 2009, Page(s) 230 - Back Page.

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