Sunny San Diego is an inviting locale for the rheumatology community to connect and learn about groundbreaking developments in rheumatology research and care when ACR Convergence convenes this fall.
“ACR Convergence 2023 is back in San Diego, California, Nov. 10–15, at the San Diego Convention Center and better than ever,” said ACR President Douglas White, MD, PhD. “The rheumatology community can recharge and learn about the latest advancements and scientific breakthroughs in rheumatology from world-class experts.”
Dr. White shared with ACR Convergence Today his excitement for this year’s annual meeting, which includes additional time for scientific sessions and more opportunities to earn continuing medical education (CME) credit.
“The meeting length has been extended by a day, and the three plenary sessions are offering CME,” Dr. White said.
What new programming has been added to the ACR Convergence experience?
Dr. White: “There is a new session type called Meet the Panel, related to different disease topics. There is always high interest in talking to experts and hearing about difficult cases, so I think this will be well received.
“We also have several pilot initiatives this year, including Team Science Meeting Rooms for research groups to gather and collaborate. And we’re excited about new Networking Lounges — this year centered on interprofessional team members, pediatric rheumatology, business aspects of rheumatology, education and workforce, and basic science — to provide a dedicated and comfortable space for folks to meet old friends, make new connections, have a coffee, and see what’s new.”
What popular mainstays can attendees look forward to?
Dr. White: “The Poster Hall is back in person, complete with tours. Plus, the Knowledge Bowl, Thieves Market, and Great Debate (adult and pediatric) are always highlights because they are fun, interactive, and interesting. The program is full of great speakers as well.”
What are some of the things that excite you most about this year’s meeting?
Dr. White: “Meeting friends and colleagues and making new connections is the best part of the meeting for me. And what better setting for that than San Diego?”
Are there any particular themes being given special emphasis in the program?
Dr. White: “We strive to cover the broadest possible array of topics and interests. If there is a theme, I think it’s that we’re trying to merge the best of the in-person experience with all the benefits of online attendance so that we can all be together to share science, clinical innovation, fellowship, and good cheer.”
What makes ACR Convergence special or different from other rheumatology meetings?
Dr. White: “The people! ACR Convergence brings together an incredible mix of thought leaders, clinicians, scientists, educators, trainees, rheumatology professionals, administrators — the list goes on — from all over the world and from every type of home institution, including private practice, major academic center, government agency, giant pharmaceutical company, and tiny start-up. It’s an incredible opportunity to see your profession from every conceivable angle.”
What advice would you attendees get the most out of the ACR Convergence experience?
Dr. White: “Don’t worry that you can’t see it all. Check out some plenaries, the Poster Hall, a Networking Lounge or two, the Year in Review, the Great Debates, and the Exhibit Hall. Fill your evenings with friends and fun. And take a walk on the waterfront.”
What are your main priorities for the remaining months of your term as ACR President?
Dr. White: “To recognize and celebrate the volunteers and staff of the ACR who make ACR Convergence and other ACR meetings, ACR guidelines, educational materials, advocacy in Washington, D.C., ACR journals, Rheumatology Informatics System for Effectiveness (RISE) registry — again, the list goes on and on — possible. It’s the highlight of my career as a rheumatologist to work with such a dedicated and incredibly capable group of people.”
What excites you about rheumatology right now and into the future?
Dr. White: “The new tools — everything from artificial intelligence (AI) to biomarkers — that will be available to the next generation to provide even better care to our patients.”