Ayesha N. Zia, MD

ASH News Daily Editor-in-Chief

The Hebrew word for it is hrh. The Hindus speak of prabodhan. In Chinese, it’s qishi. The teachings of Buddhism discuss bodhikeihatsu in Japanese. The French use eclaircissement. In my native language, Urdu, it is agahi. In English, the term is enlightenment — an awakened intellect.

For hematologists, we just call it the ASH annual meeting! For us it means an opportunity to gain knowledge and enhance understanding; to connect, network, and collaborate; to get inspired and inspire; to hear the latest, the cutting-edge; to gain clarity about the right career goals; to imbibe wisdom; and to be a better educator, scientist, mentor, or mentee. It is the meeting. And in my opinion it’s nearly impossible to find any other meeting that captures this sense of enlightenment — this illumination — at its highest level and lasts all the way until the next meeting.

Welcome to the 2019 ASH Annual Meeting. I am glad you are here!

2019, the last year of the decade, is coming to a close. And, for hematologists at the annual meeting, it is going out with a bang. The hematology horizon is bright with new knowledge made all the more transcendent by the remarkable fact that nearly 30,000 hematologists from every corner of the world are here to learn about the monumental, as well as the minute. It is also — curiously, thrillingly — a place where our hunger for science and truth entwine. I should add that attending the ASH annual meeting is not only a superb experience for young hematologists but a locus of addictive allure for the “not-so-young” and experienced hematologists. One does not even have to be a hematologist to be moved by the annual meeting.

I am always amazed by the progress we have made as a field and by the offerings that present this progress and that help us take better care of our patients. This year is no different. Soak up the Florida sun and take advantage of an array of sessions fashioned to recharge your perspective. Drop in on dynamic debates, listen to the latest research during podium presentations, or traverse the posters. Discover the many new learning formats that will vie for your attention. As you map out your meeting plan and scan the lineup of sessions, note the dozens of new and noteworthy amenities this year. Have informal chats and learn tangible skills with wellness-focused faculty at the redesigned ASH Wellness Studio, and then use these skills to de-stress with yoga or catch some shuteye at the nap pods. Spend time in the Exhibit Hall to see what is new in hematology and what has stood the test of time. While you participate in all of these fantastic learning opportunities, if your schedule permits, take some time to enjoy the recreational and culinary delights that Orlando has to offer.

It’s all here for you — an outstanding scientific and educational experience and a city best known for fun and theme parks.

Go on, adorn the walls of your heart, and the mansion of your mind with everything heme.

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