I spend the last weekend at Desaru Lotus Hotel conducting the ICF 2013, from 6th Dec - 8th Dec 2013.
When I reach Desaru ( after about 5 hours drive. We stopped for 45mins at Pagoh for break ), I arrived at Bandar Penawar, and duely went to the famous Johore Laksa store n Jln Kota Tinggi for my laksa fix, then to Desaru to set up shop.
The Hotel itself had good facilities for children to run around. But we had no time for that. After a simple dinner with the delegates, early arrivals, I sat up late till about 1am, as my faculty arrived one by one. Dr Wasan came in at 11pm and Dr Munawar at about 11.30 midnight and Dr Koh TH, 30 mins after that. After seeing that they had some food, I went to sleep. Prof Wan, who drove from KL was stuck in a terrible traffic jam and arrived at 3am. One of the doctors ( delegates ) was stuck in the same north-south Hwy traffic jam and decided ( because of children restless in cars ) to stay overnight in Ayer Keroh overnight.
The educational program started on 7th Dec 8.30am with first talk by Prof Koh TH, on PCI in AMI. From 9.30am on 7th Dec till 1pm on 8th Dec we had 3 lectures and we must have seen about 40+ angio / PCIs. I lost count. There were so many, many planned, some unplanned from all over Malaysia, Indonesia, Thailand. This time we had a truly ASEAN faculty. Prof TH Koh ( Spore ), Dr Munawar ( Indon ), Dr Wasan ( Thailand ), Dr George Lau ( Sydney-Australia ) and Prof Wan Azman ( Malaysia ). Of course, Dr Tamil Selvan and Prof Oteh also moderated some of the cases. There were a total of about 43 delegates and 5 faculty.
In my opinion, the cases were much better prepared this time and the teaching points were clearer. From the verbal feedback that I received, all were happy with the lessons learn, level of discussion and depth of cases seen ( both quantity and quality ). I also learned that many of my colleagues in Public Hospitals were using Ticagrelor for ACS patients. I did not know that ticagrelor has penetrated the market so well.
On Saturday evening, the sponsors had 10-15 mins each to speak on their product. Abex Medical, Abbott Vascular, Boston Sc and Medtronic International each gave a short presentation.
The weather was great. We had sun most of the time. Rain only affected us when we go and when we returned.
All in all, we had a good time learning and getting to know each other.
There is a suggestion that we should hold our next meeting, ICF 2014, at Kota Kinabalu on the first wekend of December. That sounds like a good idea, but it does cost a fair bit. The airtickets ( we need to fly almost 45 doctors and faculty there ) is expensive. Raising funds for this meeting is becoming very challenging, as companies cut back on their sponsorships. This meeting we miss 6 main pharmas, and some device companies also scale back. Going to KK to learn together is a good idea, but must first find the means.