November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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Home // New format for steroids, opioids sessions highlights conversational approach to controversial topics

New format for steroids, opioids sessions highlights conversational approach to controversial topics


3 minutes

Tina Mahajan, MD
Tina Mahajan, MD

Annual Meeting attendees looking for a learning opportunity that exchanges the ubiquitous podium presentation for more engaging, conversational-style learning should take advantage of the In the Rheum sessions on this year’s schedule.

The In The Rheum sessions bring leading experts together to talk about the most important and somewhat controversial topics facing the rheumatology community today. Each expert will speak for 15 minutes, but with few slides to help emphasize a more casual, convivial experience. There also will be extended question-and-answer periods.

Tina Mahajan, MD, University of Nebraska Medical Center, who will moderate The Case for Minimizing Steroids in Rheumatic Disease along with Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) Chair Victoria Shanmugam, MD, FACR, FACP, said that while the sessions are designed to be fast-paced with a lot of data and concepts presented in a short period of time, the information will be clinically relevant and practical to attendees.

In the other In the Rheum session, Pain Management During an Opioid Crisis, Anupam B. Jena, MD, PhD, Harvard Medical School and Massachusetts General Hospital, will talk about how natural experiments can inform rheumatologists and others about the opioid epidemic and its consequences in terms of analyzing the impact of prescribing policies and behaviors. Dr. Jena’s presentation will take place from 2:30 – 3:00 pm Tuesday in the Sidney Marcus Auditorium.

“Our In the Rheum sessions are designed to cover ‘hot topics’ in rheumatology that may be up for debate,” Dr. Mahajan said. “We have chosen field experts who are also dynamic speakers to present one side of the topic. We hope that the audience enjoys the new, less lecture, more engaging format, and also gets some practical guidance from experts.”

During The Case for Minimizing Steroids in Rheumatic Disease, which will take place from 3:00 – 4:00 pm Sunday in the Sydney Marcus Auditorium, Building A of the Georgia World Congress Center, Iain McInnes, FRCP, University of Glasgow, will talk about “Steroid Free Treatment of RA.” Liz Lightstone, PhD, MBBS, FRCP, Imperial College London, follows with “Steroid-Free Remission of Lupus Nephritis,” and John Stone, MD, MPH, Massachusetts General Hospital Rheumatology Unit and Harvard Medical School, will speak about “Minimizing Steroids in Vasculitis.”

“They are effective, but also have so many side effects,” Dr. Mahajan said. “So we strive to find that balance in using them. They’re the oldest of treatments, and a common therapy that everybody knows has pros and cons. We’re try to help guide people and illuminate some new findings regarding their use that could be helpful clinically.”

As part of the AMPC’s efforts this year to bring several new learning formats to the Annual Meeting, the In the Rheum organizers are excited to hear from attendees after the sessions.

“We really want audience feedback,” Dr. Mahajan said. “We want to present the hot topics in more engaging ways. It’s exciting with this being the first, and we hope people are receptive to the new format and give it a try.”