An American Cardiologist in Paris

FranticNext week more than 12,000 cardiologists will stream into the Palais des Congrès in Paris to make presentations and learn about stents, angioplasty, fractional flow reserve, intravascular ultrasound, dual antiplatelet therapy, etc. It’s the annual EuroPCR meeting, “the world-leading course in interventional cardiovascular medicine.”

Just be careful in the shower and don’t answer the phone. Especially if you’re traveling with your wife!

To clarify, back in 1988, Roman Polanski released “Frantic“, starring Harrison Ford as a cardiologist who is attending a major conference at the Palais des Congrès. He is showering in his Paris hotel room, when his wife answers a mysterious phone call and suddenly disappears — kidnapped! The film proceeds as he tries to figure out who, what, when, where about his wife — but he also worries about being late for his presentation at the big conference. You know, it’s hard to mix business and leisure.

I’ve always thought about this film because, at the time it was released, I was producing live case demonstration courses in Paris that were transmitted to large audiences of interventional cardiologists at the (same) Palais des Congrès. The site where I was situated was l’Hôpital Américain de Paris which, according to my Parisian contacts, was also the hospital where Roman Polanski could be seen visiting his doctors from time to time.

I didn’t catch him at the hospital, but Polanski did walk right past me at a wine bar near the Champs-Élysées.

My brush with Frantic.

Meanwhile, I hope to see all you interventionalists next week, unless of course you wind up chasing across the rooftops of Paris (trailer for “Frantic” below).

(Note: This post was adapted from an earlier version, published on May 15, 2012.)

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