For and about Cancer Survivors in Second Life, and for anyone who has been touched by cancer

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

"Meet the professors" in Second Life

Gabriel Hortobagyi, Chairman of the Department of Breast Medical Oncology at the M.D. Anderson Hospital in Houston, TX and Pier Franco Conte, Director of the Department of Oncology and Haematology at the University of Modena, Italy, are the joint directors of the Advanced Course on Breast Cancer being held this week in Modena. As DrHortobagyi Bravin and PierfrancoConte Blinker they came in world and answered questions put to them by avatar physicians, the press, and other interested people at an open Q&A session at the Virtual Cancer Institute.

Professors Hortobagyi and Conte answering questions over a live video stream put to them by physicians and others attending the conference at the Virtual Cancer Institute.

The professors, who answered questions live from Modena, were enthusiastic about the potential of holding conferences in Second Life and for people to 'attend' from different countries without having to travel. Italian physicians are able to get Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits for attending the course in Modena. Although virtual attendance does not, yet, qualify for CME credits, they foresee that this is a real possibility in the future once the practical issues are overcome.

M Linden addresses the inworld conference

Later, M Linden (Mark Kingsdon , CEO of Linden Labs) addressed the conference. He spoke enthusiastically about the important work this group is doing and about the increasing use that is being made of Second Life by health care providers and educators.

This was a good example of how virtual medical conferences can work. I've attended many real life medical conferences in my previous role as a scientific and medical publisher and the experience was very similar, except that this time, I could type my questions in the 'chat' box from the comfort of sitting at my own computer, or take a discreet break and refresh my coffee when I felt like it. And of course it saves on travel and accommodation! The one drawback is that you can't meet your colleagues face to face during the breaks, but you can always IM the other delegates and make new contacts that way.

The conference still has two days to run. For more information and a link to the detailed program, see my earlier blog piece:

1 comment:

Poppy Zabelin said...

See also the Secondlife Newspaper article about this conference: