November 10-15

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Annual Meeting offers range of educational, networking options for fellows in training


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The ACR/ARP Annual Meeting provides numerous opportunities to explore the worlds of academic and clinical rheumatology for fellows in training looking to make that important decision about what career path to follow.

Delamo Bekele, MBBS
Delamo Bekele, MBBS

Annual Meeting Planning Committee Fellows Representative Delamo Bekele, MBBS, a Senior Fellow and Instructor at the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota, said not only must trainees decide on a career path, they then have to figure out how to get there.

Dr. Bekele said he has recommendations for residents and fellows looking for guidance at the meeting, which offers sessions encompassing the length and breadth of rheumatology, including groundbreaking research, review sessions, and interactive discussions on critical issues for trainees such as financial planning and work/life balance.

In particular, Dr. Bekele said he recommends Navigating Your Academic Career (8:30 – 10:30 AM Monday, Nov. 11). He also suggests Get Paid: Update on MACRA, APMs and MIPS Tips (1:00 – 2:00 PM Tuesday, Nov. 12) for a look at issues related to clinical practice.

“Both of these sessions will be good for fellows in training figuring out their career paths,” he said.

More sessions that meet the educational needs of young medical graduates include Curbside Consults (4:30 – 6:00 PM Tuesday, Nov. 12); The Great Debate (2:30 – 4:00 PM Monday, Nov. 11); the Clinicopathologic Conference: Lupus or Felis (7:30 – 8:30 AM Monday, Nov. 11); and Rheumatology Top Secrets & Pearls (8:30 – 10:00 AM Tuesday, Nov. 12).

“These are all high-quality sessions,” Dr. Bekele said. “In particular, Rheumatology Top Secrets & Pearls is an incredible opportunity to get tips on patient care from master clinicians.”

For those interested in more interactive and relaxed learning opportunities, the Knowledge Bowl should not be missed. This competition-style session is modeled after the gameshow Jeopardy! with teams consisting of fellows in training and faculty. The preliminary round will take place from 12:45 – 2:15 PM on Sunday, Nov. 10, and the final round will take place from 11:00 AM – 12:00 PM on Monday, Nov. 11.

For fellows interested in hearing about rare and challenging clinical cases, Dr. Bekele recommends the Thieves Market: Show Me Your Best Cases (4:30 – 6:00 PM Monday, Nov. 11).

For those attending the premeeting sessions on Friday, Nov. 8, the Fellows-in Training Subcommittee has planned several events, including the Pediatric Fellows-in-Training Breakout Session (2:15 – 3:15 PM); the Fellows-in-Training Educational Session (2:30 – 4:30 PM); the Fellows-in-Training Symposium: Personalized Medicine (4:45 – 6:15 PM); and the Welcome Reception – Fellows, Division and Program Directors (6:15 – 7:15 PM).

“Many opportunities are available for networking during this meeting, and I strongly encourage fellows to take advantage of as many of these opportunities as possible,” Dr. Bekele said. “In addition to meeting new friends and catching up with old ones, seeking out clinical or research mentors and/or collaborators will rarely be as easy or accessible. Two of the most critical requirements for transition to a successful research career are mentorship and knowledge of the academic and research environment.”

There are even sessions that will help young physicians build professional relationships, he said. For example, he recommends Cultivate Strong Mentor-Mentee Relationships (7:30 – 8:30 AM Monday, Nov. 11) and Meet the Funders: NIH & Foundation Roundtable Grant Discussion (7:30 – 9:00 AM Tuesday, Nov. 12).

“It’s easy to get overwhelmed by the options,” Dr. Bekele said. “Fellows should take some time before the meeting to review the schedule. Set some goals for what you want to accomplish and find a handful of sessions and events that pique your interest. That way you’ll be more likely to get to the things that are most important to you.”