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A question about Q&As



So, what is it with the Q&A after postgraduate meetings?

I realise that I have to sit through these educational jollies once in a while to pacify the revalidation inquisition. I accept that there will be a few fleeting minutes worth of stuff relevant to general practice at the start of each lecture and that the speaker will soon start to plug the amazing new surgical technique that his department has developed or the ground breaking new research his team are undertaking, complete with video footage of endoscopic procedures, MRI images and impenetrable graphs of data that are completely illegible to anybody in the fifth row or behind.

That much I can endure in the name of education. But, really, what is it with the Q&A?

The audience have sat politely through the speaker’s presentation and now we’re all looking forward to a well earned coffee and a pee. But we all have to sit cross legged and caffeine depleted while five or six doddery old gits wait for the microphone to be passed along the row to them and then ask questions designed, so it seems, to do nothing except prove beyond any reasonable doubt that they haven’t paid attention to a single word the speaker has uttered since his opening gambit.

I realise that I am accelerating toward ‘doddery old git’ status myself, even if I would prefer the term, ‘National Treasure’ but if I ever, ever, come up with a question to a speaker at a meeting that not only calls into question whether I’d been listening or even attended medical school in the first place, please, take me into the car park and shoot me.

By all means ask the speakers to stick around afterwards for a chat but let’s kick the post lecture Q&A into the long long grass where it belongs.