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My experience at the American Society of Hematology Annual Meeting

Written by Serena Flórez Marqués, BS Candidate, University of Puerto Rico and alumna of the 2023 Institute for Public Health Summer Research Program

Marques , right and Bria pose in front of abstract at ASH Annual Meeting in San Diego, CA

At the 65th ASH Annual Meeting and Exposition in San Diego, California, I recently had the opportunity to present the project: Survival Outcomes in Patients with Intermediate-Risk Pulmonary Embolism Treated with Low Molecular Weight Heparin or Unfractionated Heparin: Time to Start of Anticoagulant Therapy. By enabling me to present to residents, fellows, medical doctors, scientists, and other multi-national members of the hematology community, this experience enriched my academic development and networking. I had the honor of sharing this experience with Internal Medicine Resident, Kelsey Bria, MD, with whom I have worked since the beginning of this project. Given that the nature of the project focuses on time, these interactions and receiving diverse feedback proved very relevant in expanding my perspective and raised many other questions regarding how institutions approach Pulmonary Embolism and which variables to consider in the future. 

At the annual meeting, I had the opportunity to attend many sessions that brought continuity and aligned with what I learned during the summer as a RADIANCE Scholar. These sessions centered on current research, treatments of hematologic diseases, and other topics. The micro-learning session that impacted me the most included open discussions about outcome disparities, health equity, and the importance of social determinants of health. One key takeaway from this session was that systematic collection of demographic data related to social determinants of health should be studied further and accompanied by partnerships with social services and trained health care providers to properly support patients. After this experience, I feel more determined than ever to continue embracing research experiences in outcomes research and public health. 

I am very grateful for all the support I have received. This would never have been possible been possible without the support and preparation to me by the Summer Research Program- RADIANCE track.  I also thank the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and the Department of Hematology for making me feel part of the team during the summer program and my time in San Diego. Finally, I would like to thank mentor,  Kristen Sanfilippo, MD, MPHS who has been there for me since day one. I have developed great admiration for her patient care, work ethic and research experience. The quality of the mentorship I have received from her exceeds all I could ever imagine and makes me desire to become a mentor one day.