A poster on the walls of the Brisbane Endeavour campus allured me into purchasing a conference ticket to the ‘International Congress Of Complementary Medicine Research’ 2019. Educational, engaging and interactive are at the forefront of my description for the ICCMR 2019 in equal parts.

It did not take long for me to come to the realisation that… I was BY FAR the most uneducated person in the room, but to my delight, I took this as an opportunity to grow, listen and learn from those whom are in the shoes I will one day fill.

The educational aspects of the conference were apparent when sitting through four days of panel discussions, new research findings, and many concurrent sessions, which ranged in topics covering a spectrum of modalities. The engagement with the wider complementary medicine community proved to be invaluable with international insight that could not conform to any curriculum structure.

One activity was particularly noteworthy, having a task of a ‘simulated complementary oncology set up’ within a local hospital. We were asked to work with the members of our table, in which our table had a competitive edge due to two members being international oncologists (French and Italian) whom had both experienced setting up an integrative oncology unit in real practice. Completely immersed in the logistics of this group work, I started to feel the possibility of becoming a nutrition practitioner with the specialty of oncology assistance. This exposure to the profession was all due to Moshe Frenkels’ interactive session.

Attending all of the nutrition related speeches, I found myself bumping into people with similar interests. One connection that will be long lasting was a young dietician working for Swiss supplements and not in the conventional setting for a dietician. She shared helpful pointers and insight that evoked internal speculation for perspective complementary medical pathways.

An unintended seat for lunch on day three resulted in me sitting next to Frances Rapport who had flown up from Sydney to take part in a panel discussion on implementation science (her trendy mustard blazer was almost as invigorating as her speech). Reaching out to her post conference resulted in yet another option for my postgraduate progression.

Day 3 came to a close, but the evenings social function along Kangaroo point was just about to begin. Here we were gratefully entertained with live music, wait staff and an array of tapas, setting the scene once again for quality interactions. Although these interactions with a little more laughter and casual tone, the red wine may have some contribution here. 

Seeing the faces of those who are working towards the longitudinal project of progressing this field of complementary medicine had my interest. Purely because when I came into my degree my tunnel vision had me thinking that clinical practice was my only destiny, oh my how I was wrong. This exposure tapped into the many areas that were previously undiscovered.

The vibrant Endeavour stand deserves a mention, where they had even replicated the fake grass from the campus halls to the stand, and a place where I continued to feel welcome and ‘at home’ throughout the conference. Here I delved into the conversation of Honours projects and met some of the post honours students who have themselves endured the research challenge.

A thankful mention to Bradley Leech (Endeavour post Honours student) for assisting with the practitioner Bioceutical products that they were giving away on the final days packs down, we received some great products that I have been testing out since. The four days could not have ended on a higher note. I believe that conference purchases are pure value and more students should take the plunge to meet the wider community for the area of undertaken study, this one in particular was one of my favourites of the year.

Posted by Madison Goddard
Madison Goddard

Madison is a current Endeavour nutrition student who believes that ‘food is either a slow poison or a great medicine.’ Currently tapping into the nutrition literature associated with brain health and energy enhancement, leaving space to choose a specialty between the two. I love being surrounded with people who have a high level of  intelligence in their chosen field to absorb as much knowledge and feel their passion. Here I also post my kitchen creations along the way @youllbeokale

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