SABC: What’s Up With the Badge Nazis?

San Antonio Breast Cancer Symposium

Image courtesy of Flickr user Eddie~S' under creative commons license

Image courtesy of Flickr user Eddie~S' under creative commons license

I—and the other attendees of SABC—have been pestered over and over again by the badge nazis here in the convention center.  These are individuals employed to keep people without badges from the presentations, the posters, and the press room.  They are more polite than the Soup Nazi of Seinfeld fame but are just as strict— “no breast cancer research for you!”

It’s obvious to me why someone needs the right badge to get into the press room; it keeps the PR flacks at bay.  For that, I am very thankful.  Still they’ve gone a little overboard in this press room, by keeping physicians out.  This has been particularly problematic. I’ve scheduled interviews and arranged for the physicians to look for me in the press room—and they can’t get in!   I’ve taken to sitting by the door, so that I can see when physicians that I am interviewing arrive.

Why the main badge requirment for the main sessions and the posters?  Because commerce is king–financial folks try to get into oncology meetings to get a jump on data that could affect share prices.  In addition, the organizers charge a pretty steep fee to attend this meeting and don’t want to let just anyone waltz in without paying.  The same is probably true for the poster sessions as well, but I think there’s another factor at play.  There is a phenomenal appetizer spread and open bar at the evening poster sessions.  Enough said.

—Kerri Wachter

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Filed under Family Medicine, Internal Medicine, Oncology

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