Attending the Online Migraine World Summit
As a patient, patient advocate, and health journalist, I’m often reading and researching about migraine. Some days, that means diving deep into peer-reviewed science journals or attending technical, research-oriented seminars and conferences. Other days, it means going to support groups and attending events geared toward patients. Last April, I attended an event that appealed to all aspects of my life with migraine: the Migraine World Summit.
Accessing top specialists online
The Migraine World Summit is a virtual event that’s held entirely online. The 2018 Summit was the second I’d attended. Both years, I found the Summit had a lot to offer, especially for a free event. However, I wasn't too thrilled with a few aspects.
Personal pros of attending
- The event was online. I can travel by plane only about twice a year without triggering months of vertigo and increased migraine attacks so the online aspect was a major plus.
- As a patient, I’ve dealt with a number of healthcare providers, neurologists, headache doctors, and migraine specialists – often to no avail. The Summit offered exposure to some truly sympathetic and compassionate providers whom I wouldn’t have known were out there otherwise. That exposure helps me keep pushing to find the right doctor for me.
- I have a variety of unusual and frightening symptoms that accompany my migraine attacks. Both years I attended I gained additional insights into the complex and rarer versions of the disease (such as vestibular and hemiplegic migraine) by the researchers actually studying them. The scientific literature doesn't focus as often on these forms of the disease, and so it can be difficult to find up-to-date information on treatments, symptoms, and new findings. From where I stand, more knowledge is always a good thing.
- I came away with some good ideas for new articles and new things to research.
Personal cons of attending
- Some of the speakers were long-winded. A few shorter talks would have been nice.
- As someone who regularly keeps up to date with migraine research, I didn’t hear as much new information as I would have expected.
- The talks were only free for 24 hours. After that, there was a fee associated with accessing an on-demand recording. I would have preferred to listen to the talks on my own time and at a slower pace – especially with so many talks to go through. As it was, I listened to a lot of the talks with half a brain while doing other things and skipped a bunch of others altogether.
Overall, I found the Summit to be informative, interesting, and patient-friendly given my limited (and often uncertain) ability to travel. However, the limited free access made it difficult to get the most out of the event.
Attending this year’s summit
The virtual Migraine World Summit is March 20 to March 28 this year. If you’re interested in learning more about migraine, migraine treatments, and/or migraine research from top neurologists and leaders in the field, you may want to check it out. You can reserve your free ticket for the virtual event here. If you decide to attend, please come back and share your impressions in the comments below. I’d love to hear your thoughts.
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