Intended for healthcare professionals

Letters International conferences

Surgeons have held conferences in Second Life

BMJ 2008; 337 doi: (Published 08 July 2008) Cite this as: BMJ 2008;337:a683
  1. Julian J Leong, honorary clinical research fellow,
  2. James Kinross, clinical research fellow,
  3. David Taylor, project manager in virtual worlds and medical media,
  4. Sanjay Purkayastha, clinical lecturer
  1. 1Imperial College London, London W2 1NY
  1. j.leong{at}

    Robust alternatives to international conferences are currently readily attainable.1 2 On 22 April 2008, the first international Virtual Association of Surgeons (iVAS) meeting was held in the virtual world of Second Life. Forty seven delegates from five countries attended, ranging from professors to students of medicine and engineering. Within this “metaverse,” each person is represented by an avatar (a digital representation of the self), and is able to communicate with other users by voice over internet protocol (VOIP), instant messaging, body language, and multimedia slide presentations. The conference lasted for two hours, …

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