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Taking a Break by Attending WCN 23: Vivek Kumar on How the Congress Recharges Him Professionally and Personally

I work in a large tertiary care academic center in North India. In addition to patient care, we have academic responsibilities that involve teaching and training resident doctors and fellows. Like many others, we work in teams. The professional demands of our roles do not differentiate between seasons, months, or times of the day. Feelings of hope and success are frequently interrupted by moments of failure, despair, and at times, helplessness. These ups and downs keep us busy throughout the year. To keep ourselves motivated, we often ask ourselves: “How can we improve our training and care delivery?”

Like us, nephrologists across the world have incredibly busy professional schedules. The waiting lists for patients with acute or chronic kidney diseases in emergency rooms, out-patient clinics, and in-patient wards are ever-increasing. The burden overshadows the availability of professional expertise by a huge margin. We often talk of time and resource constraints. Despite circumstantial preoccupations, providing care to our patients and working to improve their outcomes are immensely satisfying. We all have our stories, successes, and failures. The World Congress of Nephrology (WCN), the ISN’s flagship conference, offers us a platform to share our experiences, learn from others and develop networks to achieve common goals.

The professional break to attend the congress is a welcome disruption to our weekly routines and gives us the much-needed time to think beyond our usual daily goals. The diverse exposure to knowledge at WCN is a powerful stimulus for introspection and innovation. The clash of ideas and brainstorming opportunities ultimately bring out the best in you and your team.

I especially want to highlight the importance of informal discussions outside the scheduled programs. It is mostly during such conversations that new ideas are born. Outside professional goals, such breaks also encourage a work-life balance. You can enjoy quality time with family, colleagues, and friends. By the time the congress ends, our brains are simmering with ideas we plan to implement. Sharing our advances at a future WCN then becomes a new goal. In a way, WCN re-ignites our passion for professional excellence. Therefore, it’s unsurprising that we are all eagerly looking forward to attending WCN’23 in Bangkok.

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