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Quality and variety combined

By Pat Kelly - 25th Nov 2022


The Haematology Association of Ireland (HAI) Annual Meeting 2022 featured a packed line-up of topics relevant to haematology professionals and specialists and was notable for the variety of clinical areas covered by national and international experts. Dr Feargal McNicholl, HAI President, spoke with the Medical Independent (MI) at the conference and touched on the overall content and attendance. “We have been discussing this and one of our visiting speakers commented on how impressed he was with the variety and the quality of the topics and the international speakers here,” said Dr McNicholl.

“In haematology, as well as in a number of other specialties, things have become so sub-specialised now that people tend to go to meetings [for content on] their own specific area or their own specific specialty,” he continued. “Haematology is actually a very broad discipline – [it incorporates] coagulation, lymphoma, leukaemia, aplastic anaemia, bone marrow failure syndromes, and chronic lymphocytic leukaemias, among others.

“What we have had at this conference is a spread of really top quality national and international speakers on state-of-the-art topics,” he continued. “That’s of great benefit to those of us working in those particular areas, but it’s also very informative and important to keep abreast of all these other disciplines that we may be in contact with peripherally, but not centrally, so there has been a lot of learning here for a lot of people.”

Dr McNicholl also commented on the quality and variety of the oral presentations and abstracts at the conference. “I was extremely impressed with the range and diversity of the orals and abstracts submitted by the people here in Ireland, and the breadth of research that is going on across the whole island,” he told MI.

This year was also the first year since 2019 that the Association was able to have its annual meeting face-to-face, and this is a significant factor, Dr McNicholl said. “It’s very important, and it gives us an opportunity to talk to our peers and discuss common issues… having it all in the one venue where we can attend all the talks together and eat together has been a marvelous facility for networking – it has been a tremendous success and there is a real buzz around the event,” he said.

In terms of his priorities for his Presidency, Dr McNicholl stated: “The real aim has been to try to consolidate the haematology community as we now come out of Covid,” he said. “The re-establishment of those relationships and opportunities for collaboration between departments on the island is important for the benefit of our patients.

“One of the things we have really noticed over the past two-and-a-half years is how important collegiality and contact are for our own ability to practise, and that also benefits our patients,” he concluded. “We are social creatures – what we achieve, we achieve working together, so we are delighted with this meeting. We are delighted with the enthusiasm, with the participation, and we see this as a launch pad for our meeting next year, which will be held in Galway.”

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