Sound like a native in Chicago

By Suzanne Olbricht, MD 

President, American Academy of Dermatology

Chicago is nicknamed “The Second City,” but when it comes to dermatology, no one doubts that the AAD’s Summer Meeting is the first place to put on your itinerary.

The Hyatt Regency Chicago is ideally located, nestled along the Chicago River and close to Lake Michigan, and situated right next to a vast array of shopping, dining, and cultural opportunities. My favorites are the largest collection of Georgia O’Keefes in the world at the Art Institute of Chicago, the boat tour on the river detailing the significant architectural history of the city, the Jazz Showcase, and the outdoor sculptures that can be found all over downtown.

As you immerse yourself in these, remember that Chicago has an ample share of linguistic idiosyncrasies. The “L” is the “elevated train” system in the Loop (Chicago’s L trains run in a loop around the neighborhoods). When people refer to “the Lake,” they only mean Lake Michigan. If you want a carbonated drink, try using the word “pop” instead of “soda.” Native Chicagoans use “da” a lot. Da Bears, da Bulls, da Cubs, da White Sox. Get used to saying “washroom” when you need a restroom, particularly if you need one in a hurry.

Many locals use “LSD” to get across town, but in practice, you might be safer just asking your taxi driver to take “Lake Shore Drive.” If you don’t know what “The Bean” is, go to Millennium Park and take a picture of yourself with it. You won’t forget it after you’ve seen it. When referring to the Magnificent Mile, you can shorten it to “Mag Mile.”

And speaking of magnificent, the Scientific Assembly Committee (SAC) — with the dedicated work of chair Sheila Fallon Friedlander, MD — has outdone itself once again to create a truly stellar program, one that is both diverse and comprehensive. I encourage you to delve into the program and find the sessions that will enlighten and stimulate you, as well as sessions that will enhance your practice when you return home.

As president of the AAD, I officially welcome you to “da City.” It’s truly going to be a “Mag Meeting.”