Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Guest Blog Entry: What I learned at ASET 2015

I am honored to post this blog entry, authored by Richard Vogel, Ph.D., DABNM who gave a presentation for the ASET 2015 Annual Conference Advanced IONM Course on August 1st.

Many thanks to Dr. Vogel for sharing his blog, and if you would like to read more from Dr. Vogel, please visit  http://neurologiclabs.com/.

August 2, 2015 at 18:19  •  Posted in Professionalism by Richard Vogel  • 
The Neurodiagnostic Society (ASET) is the largest national professional association for individuals involved in the study and recording of electrical activity in the brain and nervous system. The ASET 2015 annual meeting was held in Weston, Florida this past weekend, and I was privileged to be an invited speaker. In addition to me, IONM faculty included:

    Mark Stecker, MD, PhD
    Jeff Balzer, PhD, DABNM, FASNM
    Bryan Wilent, PhD, DABNM
    Mark Helderman, R.EEG/EP T., CNIM
    Rebecca Clark-Bash, R. EEG/EP T., CNIM, CLTM, FASNM
    Bernie Cohen, PhD, FACNS, FASNM
    Brett Netherton, MS, CNIM, FASN
    Stuart Hoffman, DO
    Ashley Kotrady, BS, CNIM
    Adam Doan, DC, DABNM
The first thing that I learned at the meeting is that the ASET annual meeting is a really, really good meeting. I think it is a must-attend event for anyone working in neurodiagnostics. I’ve been in the field for quite a few years now, and I just joined ASET last year…and I’ve never attended one of their meetings before. I have to say that it was one of the best meetings that I’ve ever attended. The people were so nice. The talks were fantastic! The scope of the talks ranged from beginner to advanced, so that everyone can benefit from the content. Obviously, I focused my attendance on the topic of neuromonitoring (IONM).
The second thing that I learned at the meeting (in talking to lots of people) is that there are quite a few technologists working in neurodiagnostics who are actually against technologist licensure because they think it will abolish the certifications that they’ve worked so hard to achieve. This is absolutely false, and I would encourage active members of the society to get the word out to clear up any confusion. I am a strong advocate for technologist licensure, and I support their ongoing endeavors to achieve licensure.
The third thing that I learned in listening to Dr. Cohen’s talk (which was a joint presentation with Brett Netherton), is that there are a lot of people out there working as technologists who are uncomfortable being called a “neurophysiologist”. Also, there are quite a few neurophysiologists out there who are uncomfortable being called a “technologist”. There are lots of different opinions about what job title one should have. I’m sure there will be more discussions on this topic.

The final thing that I learned at the meeting is that many people in neurodiagnostics feel that their employers don’t provide enough support for continuing education. I’m not just talking about financial support to attend conferences, but also time off to attend conferences and money to purchase books, etc. Some employers don’t see any benefit in continuing education. On more than one occasion I heard someone say that their company only cares about the bottom line ($). Some people had to foot the entire bill of traveling to the conference themselves! I think that’s really unfortunate. I met so many people who were just ecstatic about their opportunity to be at the conference and learn new information. The excitement for learning was palpable and contagious! That’s so refreshing!
I decided not to write about the content of the ASET talks/courses because I thought readers would be interested to hear some of the “other” topics that came up in conversation.
I’ve written previously about reasons to join a professional society. If you are not a member of a professional society, I strongly encourage you to join one.