|The annual American College or Rheumatology/ARP meeting is an important forum where clinicians, scientists and researchers, nurse practitioners and other healthcare specialists, patients and patient advocates, medical students, residents and rheumatology fellows and the pharmaceutical industry come together under common goals.|
THESE GOALS INCLUDE
- Funding research to find treatments for arthritis and autoimmune diseases
- The organization provides evidenced-based guidelines to help clinicians treat complicated diseases like lupus, vasculitis, and scleroderma with various immunosuppressants.
- Allowing patients to meet clinicians and scientists so the patient feedback and experience is always kept as a priority when treating these conditions.
- Sharing vital research to improve patient outcomes including quality of life
I always love connecting with other professionals in the field and hearing different perspectives and views when it comes to rheumatology. Many physicians work in practices where we see so many patients in a day and don’t have time to talk with colleagues and collaborate on complex cases. This meeting allows me to meet domestic and international thought leaders so I can learn about new medications and diagnostic tools in order to improve my practice.
Things I Learned At This Year’s Conference
- Tai chi can be suggested for hip osteoarthritis.
2. Glucosamine and chondroitin use, as well as transcutaneous electric nerve stimulation, should not be used for knee and hip osteoarthritis.
3. Cardiovascular events in lupus patients peak one to two years post-diagnosis and are highest among black patients.
4. Smoking cessation is imperative in patients with lupus and rheumatoid arthritis because aggressive RA activity has been linked to certain antibodies and high disease activity. Also, any smoking exposure can worsen skin manifestations in lupus patients.
5. The importance of influenza, pneumonia vaccinations in patients with autoimmune diseases on steroids and immunosuppressants.
I learned so much and will be sharing some of the information with you! I cannot wait for the next one!