This post was published in 2014 and I have updated it for ASGBI 2017.
This week it is ASGBI and just about everyone who thinks that they are anyone in general surgery in the UK is there.
Here is my guide to some of the types of people you get at ASGBI:
The reps have a secret agenda, the chances are that you aren’t it, nonetheless they have to be polite and humour your enquiries and idiotic questioning undertaken to fulfil your agenda; trying to see down her low cut top and check out her impressive tits.
I have an ASGBI shopping list, pens, a novelty USB drive, mints, a rucksack and something childishly smutty, like anal dilators.
The newly appointed consultant
This guy is cock of the walk, he wants to show his colleagues just what a great decision they made appointing him. He will have 3 videos, 2 talks and a few posters. He will ask lots of questions, slag off other people’s work and will be wearing a suit.
The bonkers staff grade
Bonkers staff grade does a nice wee job in a district general hospital and does nothing but hernias, haemorrhoids and gall bladders. Inexplicably they will be at a practical session about trans anal microsurgery and a talk on the new Reboa balloon in major trauma, where they will ask questions like “usually in trauma we do a diagnostic peritoneal lavage”. No, we don’t.
Party boy is on a mission, a mission to get trashed like it is 1996 and throw up during the plenary lecture and not recall anything about the presentation he gives because he was still drunk. Woo hoo!!
The post-CCT registrar
This guy will hopefully be a newly appointed consultant next year but right now he is sweating and stressed. He is looking for a job, he has to ditch party boy and bonkers staff grade who are both making him look bad (really bad) and start speaking to people and making a good impression. He has 4 posters (disaster) and the medical student he supervised has been given an oral presentation, the little bastard.
He is getting a lot of love from the reps, not as much as new consultant but enough to make him feel important.
Good Guy Professor
Good guy is loved by everyone, he knows everyone and keeps his team (including party boy, bonkers staff grade and all the registrars) on speed dial and firmly on his radar. He manages to look after everyone and deliver a superb plenary talk. The team would walk over coals for him, they all want to sit beside him in the pub. He buys all the wine and has never tried to shag his trainees, well at least none of the current ones.
The Sex Pest
This man is easy to spot, he’s staring at every female (10% female delegates) like he wants to lick her. He has delivered a few talks, but is feeling inadequate because his old SHO has somehow become a Professor and has a hot second wife and an A merit award and he is feeling hard done to. It would help if he could have sex with someone, anyone. He sits with his legs open looking at his crotch and licking his lips when a woman is presenting and smiling at her, like a wolf. He will try to grope a ripe young medical student if he gets within feeling distance.
Wanker is a junior registrar in a suit. He has his name badge proudly on display and has been up to every important person and introduced himself. He goes to every session from 8am to 6pm and all the lunch sessions too. He makes notes and takes photos of himself with notable professors from around the world that he puts on Facebook. His colleagues hate him, he eats lunch alone because he makes eating noises and talks shop.
The Specialist Surgeon
Fuck knows why he has come to Glasgow. All he talks about is how he has three presentations at his specialty meeting. He asks stupid questions that begin “this is more of an observation..”. He hates general surgery and only knows about polyps of the anterior rectum that are more than 2cm and less than 4cm. He doesn’t do other operations or any scopes or any general surgery like hernias and gallbags (please, I’m special) or on call (yuck!) because he is so special.
I have a military style attitude to this meeting; get in and get out. Arrive late and leave early. Bring a faithful wingman if possible and avoid all of the above apart from Good Guy Professor.