Professionals from a variety of disciplines and backgrounds come from around the world to attend the ACR/ARP Annual Meeting each year. And each year, the Annual Meeting Planning Committee (AMPC) works to offer educational programming that meets the varied needs rheumatology professionals.
Practice administrator Stacey Busch, RN, of the Family Arthritis Center, Jupiter, FL, said the AMPC has once again developed a quality program with something for everybody.
“Looking at the program, it’s clear the planning committee is really trying to diversify the offerings — both in terms of format and topics,” Busch said. “There’s an even wider variety this year. We have sessions not only covering medicine, but also research, advocacy, administration, education, career concerns, and more. They’ve also changed the formatting to include new types of sessions, including some more conversational-style learning sessions (like In the Rheum), which I’m excited to try.”
Busch said as a practice administrator, she’s especially interested in the wide range of programming available for those interested in administrative issues.
“This year, there is a premeeting course for practice administrators that looks very interesting,” she said. “I’m excited to do that. They have some really good speakers lined up.” That premeeting course, Practice Matters: Navigate a Path to Success!, will take place from 7:00 AM – 4:15 PM on Saturday, Nov. 9.
Pharmacy benefits have also been a hot topic and ongoing concern. Busch said pharmacy benefit managers have made it quite difficult for providers to get patients what they need, so she’s pleased to see Prior Authorization Nuts & Bolts (1:00 – 2:00 PM Sunday, Nov. 10) on the schedule.
However, this is just one pharmacy-related issue facing health professionals in rheumatology today.
“The introduction of many novel medications for rheumatologic conditions in recent years has made treatment decisions increasingly difficult — particularly when patients are on multiple medications for multiple conditions,” said Susan Chrostowski, DNP, ANP-C, of Rheumatology Associates of Texas, Dallas.
Chrostowski herself will discuss the latest recommendations for managing multiple medications during One Patient, Many Drugs: Polypharmacy in Rheumatology (7:30 – 8:30 AM Wednesday, Nov. 13). She said this is one example of how the ACR/ARP Annual Meeting is vital for rheumatology professionals, who generally don’t receive much targeted rheumatology education during their training.
“This meeting provides us a lot of specialized education on the issues we see every day,” she said. “There’s such a variety of topics available. The first few years I attended, I wanted more information on foundational topics like immunology, so I highly recommend the Immunology Boot Camp.”
Attendees can find Immunology Boot Camp I: Basis of Targeted Therapy (7:30 – 9:00 AM) and Immunology Boot Camp II: Basic Mechanisms of Autoimmunity (2:30 – 4:00 PM) on Monday, Nov. 11. Immunology Boot Camp III: Applying Principles of Immunology to Treatment Decisions (7:30 – 8:30 AM) will take place Tuesday, November 12.
Another recommended session for those looking for a thorough review of the most important updates is ACR: Year in Review (7:30 – 8:30 AM Sunday, Nov. 10). This session updates what has changed, including new treatment approaches, Chrostowski said.
For those looking for inspiration or help dealing with burnout, Busch recommends the ARP Keynote Address: Paying it Forward: Reciprocal Learning and Sustainable Leadership (9:00 – 10:00 AM Sunday, Nov. 10), which will be given by past ARP president Marian Hannan, MPH, DSc, of the Marcus Institute for Aging Research, Boston, and editor in chief of Arthritis Care & Research. Chrostowski also suggests Recharge Me: Leading Myself First — Resilience is the Missing Piece (5:00 – 6:00 PM, Monday, Nov. 11).