Patients/Families are given many opportunities to network with other families as well as with some of the top mitochondrial specialists from around the world. The two day patient/family program offers two tracks to meet a variety of needs – affected adults, parents, beginners, advanced track, and an opening session targeted for all attendees to prep them for the entire conference. (Dress during the symposium sessions is casual; you’ll be sitting a lot, so wear something comfortable! You may want to bring a light sweater or sweatshirt, as all rooms will be air conditioned. For the banquet on Friday night, suggested dress is business casual.)
The Doctor is In
An all time favorite with past symposium attendees, The Doctor is In offers patients and families the opportunity to meet with some of the top specialists in mitochondrial medicine one-on-one. Hours of operation are provided at registration and posted in the networking room
For the past two years, the symposium has included the Ask the Mito Doc panel, and last year, organizers split into two panels – affected adult AND pediatric. The panels consist of mitochondrial specialists who have experience with adults and/or pediatric mitochondrial patients. Questions are submitted ahead of time and some are taken from the floor depending on time.
Each year, a networking room is open to all patient/family attendees and a message board is provided for folks to connect.
Attendees are also seated by geographic region during the Friday lunch to help people connect with one another – it is not mandatory but most attendees take advantage of this opportunity!
Value of the UMDF Symposium – Bringing Patients/Families to the Bench Researcher
In my opinion, this conference is very special because scientists with and without specific medical background get together and can meet with patients and their families who are, unfortunately, affected by a disease that we try to investigate. This “bench to bed” strategy creates an atmosphere that is very challenging and motivating. ~ Suzanne Arnold, PhD,