Here I am at the 48th annual meeting of the Society of Military Orthopaedic Surgeons. There's a 20-foot white-frosted Christmas tree in the back of the room, and palm trees up front. A room full of (mostly) guys in (mostly) uniform watching the opening ceremony of (mostly) guys in (mostly) beach attire performing a traditional Hawaiian blessing, dance, and Japanese drum performance, followed by the standard posting of the colors.
I'm not a guy, and I'm not an orthopaedic surgeon, but I found the first session on treatment of trauma in the current areas of conflict to be... simply excellent. You can't imagine the quality, professionalism, and thoughtfulness of these military surgeons. One of my overwhelming impressions from this morning is how proud I am to have served with people like these (including the one I married).
So I'm here in Hawaii in mid December collecting some needed continuing education hours and a few thousand miles toward a higher frequent flyer status for next year. I'm also reveling in a few days respite from winter cold, visiting friends and classmates who are stationed here, reviewing some medicine I haven't thought about since medical school, and enjoying a meeting where there is never a line in the Ladies Room.