November 10-15

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ACR Convergence 2023

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Home // Rheumatology Secrets & Pearls will deliver tips and tricks

Rheumatology Secrets & Pearls will deliver tips and tricks


4 minutes

Rheumatology’s top tips and tricks are back this year in an hour-long session packed with bite-sized pieces of practical information clinicians can use in the evaluation, diagnosis, and management of many rheumatic diseases.

Sarah Dill, MD
Sarah Dill, MD

“If you’re new to ACR Convergence and have never seen our two presenters, Jason Kolfenbach, MD, and John H. Stone, MD, PhD, you are in for a fabulous session,” said moderator Sarah Dill, MD, Assistant Professor of Rheumatology, Pacific Northwest University of Health Sciences. “They are amazing clinicians and marvelous presenters. And if you caught this annual session in the past, come back for a repeat. With the way our field is changing, there is no lack of new pearls, new tips, and new nuggets that you can integrate into practice your next time in the office.”

Dr. Kolfenbach is Associate Professor of Medicine-Rheumatology at the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Dr. Stone is Director of Clinical Rheumatology at Massachusetts General Hospital. Their 2021 session, Rheumatology Secrets & Pearls, will be presented with live question-and-answer sessions on Sunday, Nov. 7, from 10:30 – 11:30 a.m. ET. Registered ACR Convergence participants will also have on-demand online video access to watch a replay through March 11, 2022.

Both faculty have broad experience in rheumatology and distinct areas of special interest. Dr. Kolfenbach focuses on autoimmune ocular disease and systemic sclerosis, while Dr. Stone concentrates on vasculitis and IgG-4-associated conditions.

“I was lucky enough to have Dr. Kolfenbach staff several of my clinics while I was a fellow at Colorado,” Dr. Dill said. “He’s a master clinician and generous with clinical pearls. I have also been lucky enough to see Dr. Stone present several times, and he always brings lots of interesting perspective, particularly with some of our rarest and most difficult to manage diseases. This session is almost an opportunity to go back to fellowship, all distilled into an engaging, entertaining 60 minutes.”

Rheum Secrets brings a very different format to ACR Convergence. Most educational sessions offer a detailed, in-depth look at a very specific clinical area, clinical question, or research focus, rich with data and references. This session is closer to rheumatology practice in the real world, where every day brings a wide and usually unpredictable variety of patients, conditions, and information.

Many clinical decisions in rheumatology are based on a clinician’s experience and judgment because there are no applicable randomized, double blind, placebo-controlled trials, or trial results are problematic, even contradictory. Clinical diagnoses can be uncertain and individual patient data can be difficult to interpret.

“That’s when clinical pearls help you build on and refine what you’re seeing,” Dr. Dill said. “When you see this particular combination of symptoms, here’s what to look for and here’s what to look out for because what you think you’re seeing just might be a mimic. Think about possible anchoring bias and the kinds of history, exam, or lab markers that can help guide you to the correct diagnosis. This session is like a yearly tune up for your clinical skills.”

It is also a good time to recognize a few pearls from the past that have lost their luster. Rheumatology evolves, and so does rheumatology practice. New diseases, new autoantibodies, improvements in imaging, and breakthroughs in therapy can transform past pearls into myths that can get in the way of effective patient care.

“That’s one more reason to come back to this session each year,” Dr. Dill said. “In a field that is evolving as quickly as rheumatology, there are always going to be things we thought about in one way that we now think about in another way based on new findings. Revisiting even the most classic truisms of our field can be important and valuable. And you’re not going to be bored with these presenters!”


If you haven’t registered for ACR Convergence 2021, register today to access all of the valuable content during the meeting, November 3–10. Registration also includes on-demand access to the virtual platform (session recordings, Poster Hall, Community Hubs, and ShowRheum) until March 11, 2022.