Dr. Elizabeth L. Dickson Michelson
ASCO Daily News: What brings you back to the ASCO Annual Meeting?
Dr. Dickson Michelson: As a gynecologic oncologist, the ASCO Annual Meeting is a unique opportunity not only to learn about up-and-coming topics in gynecologic oncology but also to see what else is being done in different disciplines in oncology. In my short career, I have attended the ASCO Annual Meeting several times, and each time there are more new and exciting exhibits, programs, and lectures that help to amplify and enhance my practice. Although gynecologic oncologists have a separate annual meeting with the Society of Gynecologic Oncology (SGO), the topics presented at the ASCO Annual Meeting can be even more late-breaking news, and the data presented take on a different interpretation when talking with medical oncologists.
ASCO Daily News: How has research presented at the Meeting in the past affected how you practice?
Dr. Dickson Michelson: Last year, the discussion of a recent gynecologic oncology group study was interesting, as the medical oncologists had different questions and discussion points than what was discussed at the SGO Annual Meeting. I then was able to bring this information back to my practice, which has enhanced the discussion with other practitioners during our tumor board. At our tumor board, we continue to discuss several of the talking points from last year’s Meeting. That is truly the benefit of the ASCO Annual Meeting: to continue to foster discussion and ideas for the betterment of our patients.
ASCO Daily News: What are some topics that you are looking forward to attending sessions on during this year’s Meeting?
Dr. Dickson Michelson: A unique aspect of the Meeting is being able to take novel ideas from other areas in oncology and apply them. For example, this year, there are lectures on novel immunotherapy that may be applicable to some gynecologic cancers. There are also many topics that are global to oncologic care, such as cost-effectiveness, survivorship, and precision medicine that would be beneficial to hear about and adapt into practice.
ASCO Daily News: How do you plan your time during the Meeting?
Dr. Dickson Michelson: I typically start planning my Meeting with the preliminary program because I like to see which topics are being presented on which days. However, the real planning comes with the iPlanner app for my phone. The app has always been a key component of not only planning but navigating the Meeting on an hour-to-hour and day-to-day fashion. I always attend key Education Sessions (of which there are many), as well as the gynecologic Clinical Science Symposium. I then try to and pick and choose from other topics that may enhance my practice, such as survivorship and precision medicine. I walk through the poster presentations to look at the research that is being done in the field. Finally, I browse the Exhibit Hall to see what novel techniques are being presented.
ASCO Daily News: What advice do you have for first-time attendees to get the most out of their Meeting experience?
Dr. Dickson Michelson: Using tools such as the iPlanner to plan one’s schedule in advance is key for first-time attendees. The Meeting is quite large, and it is easy to get lost during one’s first time there (I know I did). Not only can iPlanner users browse the program by day, but they can browse by track as well.
Overall, the ASCO Annual Meeting is a wonderful way to collaborate with other disciplines to improve our patients’ lives and their care.
About Dr. Dickson Michelson: Dr. Dickson Michelson is a gynecologic oncologist with Aurora Health Care in Milwaukee and is the director of gynecologic research. Within her practice, she focuses on survivorship for women with cancer, opening new clinical trials for patients, and utilizing social media for patient advocacy of women’s cancers. She is also a current board member for Wisconsin Ovarian Cancer Alliance and works with the group to raise money for ovarian cancer research and support for survivors.