Winter 2013 (Volume 23, Number 4)

Western Alliance of Rheumatology:
2013 Meeting Report

By Paul Davis, MD, FRCPC

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The sun shone and, as usual, some of western Canada’s finest rheumatologists convened at the Manteo Resort in Kelowna for the 11th annual Western Alliance for Rheumatology (WAR) meeting. The meeting has taken on a familiar format since its inception. There are no lectures, invited speakers, or sponsored symposia: the attendees are the faculty. Each person is allotted 15 minutes to make a clinical presentation and presenters take pride in finding the most challenging clinical problems possible. This year’s “winners” have to be a “case of insect fingers” and “can’t see, pee, or climb a tree”. Presenters are kept strictly to time by the formidable co-chairs, Dr. John Esdaile and myself, or run the risk of ending up in Lake Okanagan!

An important aspect of this meeting has always been to promote collegiality amongst western Canadian rheumatologists and an integral focus has been to encourage participation from local trainees. This year we again ran a pre-meeting rheumatology-focused objective structured clinical examination (OSCE) for residents; 11 trainees attended, pitting their skills against the likes of Dr. Anik Godin, Dr. Angela Juby, Dr. Stuart Seigel, Dr. Kam Shojania, and Dr. Tony Russell. Immediate anonymous feedback is provided. Although the “examiners” won the day, the “examinees” made a valiant effort. Any bruised egos were soon washed away by a glass of Okanagan wine! Trainees are also encouraged to present at the meeting, and all did so with class and professionalism, and with a sartorial elegance that put their mentors to shame. If anything is to be learnt from this year’s meeting, the future of rheumatology looks bright.

Clinical science is the priority of the meeting, but our philosophy has always been that continuing professional development should be fun and that family pleasure should be a component of the event. In this regard, our social activities included a welcome wine and cheese reception, a children’s party, and an adult BBQ dinner as components to promote our mission. For those with a more discerning palate our annual wine tasting is a popular event.

Once again we are indebted to our colleagues in industry who provide unrestricted grants to support the meeting. We look forward to their continuing support and another sunny weekend in 2014.

Paul Davis, MD, FRCPC
Professor of Medicine,
Faculty of Medicine and Dentistry,
Division of Rheumatology,
University of Alberta
Edmonton, Alberta

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