Annual Session offers latest research, flexible format
From the March ACP Observer, copyright © 2006 by the American College of Physicians.
By Janet Colwell
Shorter presentations, new interactive programs and reports on trends in research are some of the new features being offered at this year's Annual Session, to be held April 6-8 in the College's home city of Philadelphia.
"We've taken what's successful from previous years and added several innovations," said Douglas S. Paauw, FACP, this year's Chair of the Scientific Program Subcommittee. "We've made an extra effort to recruit outstanding faculty who are both experts in their fields and superb, well-recognized teachers."
Responding to requests from past attendees, planners have shortened some programs to allow for more sessions each day. Instead of five 90-minute sessions, there will be four 60-minute programs and two 90-minute sessions to choose from daily.
Attendees at the ACP Learning Center will learn how to perform an arthrocentesis, being discussed here, an ankle-brachial index and a thyroid gland exam. The Center will also feature echocardiogram arrhythmia tutorials.
New features include a series of sessions designed to keep internists up to date on the latest research findings, as well as new tracks on diabetes care and core internal medicine topics for subspecialists.
Physicians from New Orleans' Tulane and Louisiana State University hospitals will share their experiences providing onsite care in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina. They'll also offer lessons from the disaster that may help with preparing for a major flu outbreak.
Thursday night's Convocation Ceremony will honor 52 new College Masters and more than 500 new ACP Fellows. And Jock Murray, MACP, professor emeritus at Dalhousie University's department of medicine in Halifax, Nova Scotia, will kick off Annual Session with a keynote address entitled "The Call to Professionalism: Use it or Lose it."
New and improved
Several new features debuting this year include:
"Exciting Research Advances." This new series of presentations will kick off on Thursday with a session on oncology and infectious diseases. In this and in two other series presentations—one on immunology and pulmonary/critical care, the other on cardiology and endocrinology—expert faculty will report on major research trends and advances likely to affect practice within the next three to five years.
"This is a way to get the very latest information on research that hasn't made it to press yet," said Dr. Paauw, professor of medicine at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle. "Expect to hear about unpublished findings reported at subspecialty meetings and news coming out of clinical trials that might lead to shifts in treatment approaches."
"Practitioner's Report." This session is modeled after the traditional Residents' Report, the daily ritual where experienced physicians lead case discussions focusing on patient evaluation and clinical reasoning skills. These six 60-minute sessions will focus on three different subspecialties: infectious diseases, cardiovascular medicine and pulmonary diseases. Master clinicians will be presented with difficult cases and will work through the differential diagnosis, discussing therapeutic options.
"Core Topics in Internal Medicine for the Subspecialist." This new series will cover areas of interest to all internists, including congestive heart failure, community-acquired pneumonia and drug resistance, diabetes management, and performance measurement. The presentations, which will run all three days of Annual Session, are designed to help subspecialists easily find the most relevant topics outside of their practice area.
"The subspecialist track gives attendees the flexibility to get what they need out of the program," said Dr. Paauw. "Whether you're a hospitalist or interested in diabetes, physical diagnosis or other areas, you can tailor the program to your interests."
Diabetes care. Thirteen different sessions will cover such topics as interpreting blood glucose records; managing high-risk patients with diabetes; identifying risk factors in young adults; diabetic foot ulcer screening and prevention; and treatment of hyperlipidemia.
Pay for performance. Several sessions will be devoted to pay for performance. Kevin B. Weiss, FACP, Chair of the College's Performance Measurement Subcommittee, will lead an all-day pre-Session course on Wednesday focused on pay for performance. Attendees will learn about key tools, like patient registries, and how to avoid major pay-for-performance pitfalls.
And a Town Hall meeting on Thursday afternoon will bring experts from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, as well as from the private sector and ACP, to answer questions about performance measurement and what impact it could have on your practice. Another discussion on performance measurement will be held Saturday morning.
For a more hands-on experience, visit some of the clinical skills workshops on the agenda. One is a practical guide for primary care physicians on managing patients with medically unexplained symptoms. Using didactics and small group exercises, participants will learn a new stepped-care approach that incorporates simple cognitive behavioral therapy.
Other new clinical workshops focus on diabetic foot ulcer management, cardiac murmurs and counseling for behavioral change. Those participating in this latter workshop will discuss strategies for counseling patients on risky or abusive behaviors such as domestic violence, chemical dependency and poor diet.
Diabetes workshops invite attendees to try out the latest insulin pumps, blood glucose meters, insulin delivery devices and other diabetes-related tools. Another workshop will teach participants how to effectively analyze blood glucose records using hand-written patient logs and computer downloads of home glucose monitors, and determine how often blood glucose should be checked.
Drop by the Herbert S. Waxman Learning Center to will learn how to perform an ankle-brachial index and practice bedside cardiology skills using a cardiopulmonary patient simulator. The center will also feature 16 small-group echocardiogram arrhythmia tutorials, a demonstration on proper examination of the thyroid gland and a station devoted to toenail removal.
Besides new features, look for Annual Session favorites. Clinical Pearls—highly interactive case-based sessions featuring challenging patient-management questions—will be offered daily in 90-minute sessions.
The ever-popular Multiple Small Feedings of the Mind will be presented in three sessions. Expert faculty will provide evidence-based answers to common patient-management problems. (Also see, "Networking opportunities at Annual Session.")
For more informal discussions, sign up for a "Meet and Eat with the Professor" breakfast or lunch session. (Pre-registration is required.) Each of the sessions will focus on a specific area, such as cardiology or hematology, with attendees' questions driving the discussion.
And instead of worrying about missing key sessions, be sure to stop by the "Annual Session Highlights" presentation on Saturday afternoon. Three outstanding clinical teachers—Jack Ende, FACP, Karen A. McDonough, ACP Member, and Mark E. Pasanen, FACP—will present a wrap-up with the most important take-home messages from sessions they attended.
Wednesday, April 5
Welcome Reception. Pennsylvania Convention Center, Halls A and B, 5-7 p.m. All Annual Session attendees, spouses and guests are invited to kick off this year's session with cocktails and hors d'oeuvres. Childcare is available, and no tickets are required.
Thursday, April 6
Leadership Skills Workshop and Breakfast for ACP Fellows. Philadelphia Marriott, Independence Ballrooms I, II, 7-9 a.m. This dynamic breakfast workshop is geared to ACP Fellows who want to hone their leadership skills in their practice and within the College and its chapters.
International Reception. Philadelphia Marriott, Grand Ballroom, Salons D, E/H, 8:45-11 p.m. A brief welcome and awards presentations for the International Fellowship Exchange Program will be followed by a buffet reception, open to all international attendees and their guests. Other attendees interested in meeting with international colleagues are welcome.
Friday, April 7
Young Physicians Mentoring Breakfast. Philadelphia Marriott, Grand Ballroom, Salon H, 7-9 a.m. An opportunity for young doctors to network with more experienced colleagues and discuss practice issues as well as College advancement opportunities.
Networking Luncheon for Women Physicians. Philadelphia Marriott, Grand Ballroom, Salon D, 12:45-2:15 p.m. Women physicians can share experiences, discuss career issues and connect with colleagues.
Med-Peds Reception. Philadelphia Marriott, Conference Suite II, 5:30-7:30 p.m. Med-peds practitioners have an opportunity to socialize and share information.
Reception for African American Physicians. Philadelphia Marriott, Salon E, 6-8 p.m. African American physicians, colleagues and College leaders are invited to socialize and listen to a brief presentation on young physician leaders by Wayne J. Riley, FACP, and Kimberly C. Bates, ACP Member.
Saturday, April 8
Volunteerism Networking Brunch. Philadelphia Marriott, Independence Ballroom III, 9:30-11:15 a.m. Both seasoned volunteers and physicians looking for ways to help are invited to share their experiences and concerns.
Also consult your Annual Session Scientific Program for a list of chapter and regional receptions organized by ACP Governors.
If you can find time while you're in town attending Annual Session, take a break and see the city beyond the Convention Center. Philadelphia is rich not only in American history, but also in science and medicine.
Academy of Natural Sciences (1900 Benjamin Franklin Pkwy., 215-229-1000) is the place to discover dinosaurs, participate in an archaeological dig and view the many wonders of the natural world. Young audiences are mesmerized by the current exhibit on frogs as well as by interactive attractions, such as an ecologically instructive miniature golf course. The academy houses the region's only indoor butterfly house and plays host to a tropical rainforest, with species from Costa Rica, Malaysia and Africa on display. Open Monday-Friday, 10 a.m.-4:30 p.m., Saturday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. Admission is $10 for adults, $8 for children.
American Philosophical Society (104 S. 5th St., 215-440-3400) was closed in the 19th century by its original curator, the naturalist and philanthropist Charles Wilson Peale. Reopened in 2001, the Society is host to researchers as well as to inquisitive members of the public. The permanent collection includes Peale's mastodon skeleton, stuffed birds and portraits of famous Americans. A current exhibit entitled "The Princess and the Patriot" features the correspondence between Benjamin Franklin and Russian princess Ekaterina Romanova, considered two of the Enlightenment's most fascinating minds. Open Thursday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-4 p.m. Donations are requested.
Bartram's Garden (54th and Lindbergh Blvd., 215 729-5281) was the home of colonial botanist John Bartram. He fostered an herbal garden on his grounds that thrives to this day, which he used for making medicines and potions, salves and teas. Visitors can see his grape arbor, seed house, barn, cider press and the house itself, which is filled with books on herbs. The grounds are open daily, with historic gardens open Tuesday-Sunday, 10 a.m.-5 p.m. House tours are available Tuesday-Sunday, 12-4 p.m.
Franklin Institute (222 N. 20th St., 215-448-1200) is now hosting "Body Worlds," an exhibit featuring whole human bodies and individual organs preserved through a process called plastination. At the same time, the giant heart—which you can walk through--still beats, and would-be aviators can sit in the cockpit of a T-33 Air Force jet trainer. The institute also features a planetarium and an IMAX theater. Open daily 9:30 a.m.-5 p.m., admission is $12.75 for adults, $10 for seniors and children age 4-11.
Hill-Physick-Keith House (321 S. 4th St., 215-925-7866) was home to Philip Syng Physick, MD, one of America's great surgeons during the early 1800s. Dr. Physick removed cataracts, created a flexible catheter and was the first to use a pump to clean poison from the stomach. At his restored house in the city's Society Hill section, you'll find a collection of antique furniture, artwork and 19th-century medical instruments and news clippings. Open Thursday-Saturday, 12-5 p.m, Sunday, 1-5 p.m.
Mutter Museum (19 S. 22nd St., 215-563-3737, ext. 211), which Philadelphia Magazine called "the thinking man's 'Texas Chain Saw Massacre,' " was founded in 1858 and houses part of John Wilkes Booth's thorax as well as the communal liver and preserved organs of conjoined twins Chang and Eng. Home to rare samples of diseased organs and numerous medical oddities-- including giant kidney stones, horned human heads and syphilitic noses--the museum also features a replica of a doctor's office from the early 1900s. Open daily 10 a.m.-5 p.m., admission is $10 for adults. Children under age 12 are free.
Pennsylvania Hospital (8th and Spruce Sts., 215-829-3000/215-829-8092 for guided tours) is the nation's first hospital and consistently ranked as one of the nation's best. Beautifully landscaped and set among the quaint colonial row houses of the fashionable Washington Square section, the hospital's historic collections are open to the public. They include information about the institution and its affiliates as well as photographs, antique medical equipment, various artifacts and a rare book collection. While you can visit the collection on your own, you may also call ahead to arrange a guided tour. Open 8:30 a.m.-4:30 p.m.
Philadelphia College of Pharmacy and Science (600 S. 43rd St., 215-596-8721), the nation's oldest college of pharmacy, was founded in 1921. Its Marvin Samson Center for the History of Pharmacy features a collection of pharmaceutical artifacts, with more than 10,000 pharmaceutical and medical objects culled from the past five centuries. Open Monday-Friday, 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
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