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On Friday I had the great privilege to speak at the 13th international scientific conference of the Society for Acute Medicine. This was held at a Harrogate’s International Conference Centre.

As I sat in the hall awaiting my time to speak my stomach turned over and over. I listened to an excellent but highly complex presentation on Tuberculosis. This was a room full of medics and I’m here to talk to them. I would be lying if I said I didn’t have a degree of self doubt. I have given dozens of presentations but only a couple have been to a room full of colleagues.

I left the room just before the speaker before me began. I needed to just sit outside and relax a little. This worked reasonably well and when I re-entered the room I was composed.

The talk went well except for a minor audio failure which didn’t really impact too greatly.

I was especially nervous about the vaccine and therapy part of the presentation as I had to learn a lot and self simplify some quite technical information. I wouldn’t have known a thing about monoclonal antibodies a few weeks ago, I now have a superficial knowledge of how they can be used to actually TREAT Ebola. I can also tell you a little about the vesicular stomatitis virus (an animal virus that causes flu like symptoms in humans) and how it has been genetically engineered to cause an immune response to Ebola which is the basis of a highly effective vaccine now used in DRC.

I will be talking at the Hull Medical Society this coming Thursday, I will no doubt feel anxious again but I will also have confidence that I can do myself justice.

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