The Association for the Advancement of Medical Instrumentation (AAMI) had their annual conference and expo this year in Denver, Colorado. Over 2,300 healthcare technology management professionals and students from across the nation and around the world came to the Colorado Convention Center for four days full of learning opportunities, networking, and to see the latest innovations, upgrades, and advances in healthcare technology.
Last year Angela Spillane attended the conference as a graduate student in the University of Connecticut's biomedical engineering department. This year she attended the conference as an employee of Mainspring Healthcare Solutions. We wanted to get her unique perspective on the conference and a few thoughts on the brave new world of clinical engineering.
You recently spoke at an AAMI session. Can you talk a little bit about what you discussed?
I was asked to be a panelist for AAMI's first ever student round table. AAMI is actively looking for ways to engage their younger members, so this year, they held a Q&A session about early career advice. We discussed job hunting tactics, interviewing tips, and resume building. It is always a rewarding experience to share what I’ve learned with others and I hope it helps make their job search a little less daunting. Personally, I also learned some new interview questions when AAMI’s CEO and President, Mary Logan, told us her interviewing secrets.
Speaking of jobs and school, during last year's AAMI conference and expo, you were in a bit of a different role. How was last year compared to this year for you?
Last year, I went to the conference just after finishing my first year of graduate school at UConn. As a student with another year of grad school, it was more of just an experience and a way to get to know the HTM field better. The hospital I worked at, UConn Health, was also actively sending out RFP’s for all types of equipment for their new patient tower. This was an opportunity for me to get my hands on some of that equipment and quiz the vendors. Now this year, graduated and working at Mainspring, I got to see the conference from a much different perspective. It was a great opportunity to get to know my colleagues better and see what it’s like to be one of the exhibitors. I also felt like it was easier to navigate this year (the app was pretty awesome) and a nice feeling that I am starting to get to know a lot of people that regularly attend the conference.
Some of your fellow classmates from graduate school were networking for work, did they share their experience with you? It seemed like the perfect venue for it.
Yes! Although we always wish AAMI was before graduation for this very reason, those that hadn’t found the right fit yet got a chance to network to the extreme! One of my classmates put the “Hire Me!” tag on her conference badge and she received a lot of inquiries. She felt really good about all the networking she was able to do and is confident she’ll have a job in no time.
Was there any one thing (or more) that really wowed you during the conference? What gets you excited about the future of clinical engineering?
I don’t think there was one specific thing, but I just love sitting in on sessions where you can tell the speaker is passionate about their work. Security was the big topic this year and I’m excited to see what the HTM field does to get us caught up in the world of ever growing cyber-attacks. I think it’s the possibilities in healthcare that make it so exciting for me, it’s an ever changing field to be in and you never know what the next challenge may be!
If we're not mistaken, you were a past AAMI selfie winner? We trust that's now firmly atop your CV.
I was! I'm hoping to win again this year, but with my Mainspring family!
Looking forward to sunny Tampa in 2016?
I am indeed!