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Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Return to New Orleans

This is my first time back to New Orleans since Katrina, and I was looking forward to returning to this city—except, of course, the heat and humidity. The meeting is always full of activity – meetings, lectures and symposia to attend (or participate in), friends to see, and the dinners. And in New Orleans, there are so many fine restaurants that the difficulty is choosing one. I always find it helpful to use the Tripadvisor website.

Unfortunately, my Saturday plane was canceled and I missed a symposium in which I was supposed to serve as discussant. Frustrating, as I understand it went well, and there was standing room only.

After a few meetings, I went over to the convention center to register, which very easy with the self-service terminals, and then ambled around the book exhibit. This is always a great place to browse and see what new books are out. I avoid the drug company exhibits. These days the reps look so bored, I kind of feel sorry for them. I met Nancee Blum, a friend and colleague, and we jointly decided to attend the Guttmacher lecture featuring Robert Simon and Ken tardiff on violence. These are two giants in that tiny field, and I was anxious to learn a few new insights. The lecture was in a large room that was packed with people, and facility staff were quickly placing more chairs in the back of the room.

Dr. Simon began with an analysis of the tragic murder of Wayne Fenton. Sad, but instructive. He met with a psychotic patient in a locked, private office on a weekend without anyone around. The patient’s father ran errands and returned only to find Dr. Fenton bludgeoned to death.
After the lecture, Nancee and I made an executive decision to return to the hotel. On our way, we ran into a former trainee and relaxed at the Riverwalk and caught up. We then returned to our French Quarter hotel on the streetcar.

Donald Black, M.D.
University of Iowa Carver College of Medicine

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