At the end of July, I was very fortunate to be able to attend the AAFP National Conference for Family Medicine Residents and Medical Students. I could only attend the conference for a day and half so I had to make my time count! I made sure to take advantage of both the conference and the city while I was there.
Once I landed in Kansas City I took the airport shuttle to my hotel. My hotel room wasn’t available upon my arrival, but I knew exactly where to go to pass the time. I walked 0.7 miles in the deserted streets on a barbecue pilgrimage. It was very hot, and I presume the streets were quiet because most other sensible people knew to stay in the air-conditioned indoors! The walk paid off though because the meal and service I received at Fiorella’s Jack Stack were outstanding. I had the burnt ends, pit beans, and spicy BBQ sauce and it was incredible – totally worth braving the heat.
At the conference, I focused my attention on the expo hall. Opening night on Thursday was overwhelming. I had a list of booths I planned to visit, but my plan fell apart when I saw how crowded my chosen booths were. I only went to a few booths and I was a bit disappointed when I left that evening, but I made a new plan for the next day. On Friday morning, I had a consolidated list of booths to visit and renewed energy to make the most of the experience. It was easier to find my way around and it was much less crowded. I successfully visited about 10 booths that I deemed high value targets and made some notes about the programs’ pros and cons. As lunch time approached, I felt ready to go, armed with new knowledge about my favorite programs and hungry for more barbecue…
This time I brought a classmate from AMC with me to Jack Stack. We had another fabulous lunch, complete with outstanding bread pudding for dessert. After lunch, I had just a couple more hours to spare before catching my return airport shuttle. I wanted to see some of Kansas City’s fountains so I asked a valet at my hotel how many I could reasonably see on foot in about 30 minutes. The shuttle van driver overheard my request and generously offered to drive me to see a few fountains instead, since I wouldn’t have seen many on foot on my own. He drove me to see four fountains and told me more about Kansas City along the way. It was cool to have a local give me a tour. With the time I had left, I even managed to stop by the hotel pool for a quick swim before leaving for the airport.
In a little over 24 hours I had a whirlwind tour of Kansas City style barbecue, many residency programs, and even saw a few fountains! I’d call that a successful trip!