Attending a meeting that involves long-distance international travel requires careful planning and attention to a myriad of details, so the meeting must be attractive on many levels.
The ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting fits that bill, said International Chair of Associations for Rheumatology Executive Committee Chairman Carlos Pineda, MD, MSc. Dr. Pineda said that attendees appreciate the education, collegiality, and exposure to innovative ideas, research advances, and other new developments.
“It has something new to learn for every health professional, no matter what level of knowledge that professional has or what is that professional’s main area of interest,” said Dr. Pineda, who is also president of the Pan American League of Associations for Rheumatology and works at the Instituto Nacional de Rehabilitatión in Mexico City.
Enrique R. Soriano, MD, head of the rheumatology unit, Internal Medicine Service, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, said that the Annual Meeting provided the best and newest research free of bias, Dr. Soriano said, and the lectures come from the top rheumatologists from around the world in all of the disciplines.
“It’s the meeting where you feel really proud that your abstract has been accepted,” he said. “In general, the posters are visited by a good number of people, including top rheumatologists in the field.”
Carlo V. Caballero-Uribe, MD, PhD, Associate Professor of Medicine at the Universidad del Norte in Colombia, said that going to the Annual Meeting was like “going to a soccer World Cup of Rheumatology.”
“There is a lot of cutting-edge research and huge networking possibilities,” he said.
Dr. Caballero-Uribe likes the clinical practice sessions, which give him the chance to gather some clinical pearls that he takes back to his country. He also likes the clinical science sessions to learn about the latest research on important topics.
“If you want to experience the frontier of research and knowledge in rheumatic disease, this is the one of the places to go,” he said.
The TechMed track, new for 2015, interests Dr. Caballero-Uribe with its focus on practice advancements and patient care through the use of technological tools and social media.
Dr. Pineda calls this year’s ILAR Symposium, Global Burdens of Rheumatic and Musculoskeletal Diseases in Different Regions of the World, a must-attend event for all international attendees.
Dr. Soriano said that rheumatologists from Latin America highly value the pre-meeting review courses, which do require an additional fee. Other highly relevant sessions include the plenary oral abstracts and conferences, Year in Review sessions, and study groups. He also recommends the Rheumatology Roundup: Highlights from the 2015 Annual Meeting that takes place Wednesday.
With so much to choose from, international attendees must start building their Annual Meeting schedule before arriving in San Francisco. Dr. Pineda recommends starting with the Preliminary Program Brochure, available at acrannualmeeting.org. Dr. Soriano recommends the official Annual Meeting app and the official program.