Summer 2017 (Volume 27, Number 2)

RheumJeopardy! 2017

By Philip A. Baer, MDCM, FRCPC, FACR

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Gamification is a hot topic in medical education currently. RheumJeopardy! premiered at the 2016 CRA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM) in Lake Louise. Patterned on the popular TV show hosted by Canadian expatriate Alex Trebek, the initial attempt featured a battle between the older Dr. Geezers and the youthful Dr. Youngs. I moderated with the assistance of Dr. Evelyn Sutton and Dr. Chris Penney.

During the summer of 2016, I had the chance to review the evaluations from our attendees. These were generally favourable, but a number of valid issues were raised, including the need for more focus on rheumatology and less on rheumatologists, more questions with a French language component, and more questions on the extra-curricular activities of rheumatologists. When the invitation came to run RheumJeopardy! at the 2017 CRA ASM, I seized the chance to implement the requested changes.

We convened on a cold Friday afternoon in Ottawa. Dr. Tom Appleton chaired, I moderated, and the team captains were Dr. Vinod Chandran (East) and Dr. Raheem Kherani (West). To balance the teams, the East-West dividing line was the western border of Toronto. We debuted a new polling system, PollEverywhere, allowing all audience members to answer each question. Thanks to Mark Atkinson for his technical expertise in programming all the questions and answers.

The team captains showed a penchant for selecting the high-value questions on the board. Categories included “What’s in a Name”, “Rheumatology Places”, “Celebrity Rheumatology”, “Rheumatology Potpourri”, “Osteoarthritis”, and “Mixed Bag”.

The contest was very tight throughout. The Groove and Sandwich signs were well known, but the pre-marketing name changes for Celebrex (celecoxib) and Xeljanz (tofacitinib) were not. The meaning of trial acronyms such as DESIR and AMBITION also proved difficult. We learned that Bursa is a place in Turkey and that a town in Texas is now called DISH (after the satellite company, not the spinal condition). The actor who played Darth Vader (David Prowse, not James Earl Jones) had juvenile idiopathic arthritis (JIA), while Harold Ramis of “Ghostbusters” fame died of vasculitis. The fact that HLA-B27 protects against HIV infection was not widely known to either team. Osteoarthritis (OA) therapies proved difficult, with neither team believing that intra-articular ozone therapy would be useful (Abstract 311 at ACR 2015), while methotrexate and spironolactone had some evidence of benefit, though unloading shoes did not. Pachydermodactyly was too easy a sight diagnosis for this audience, but “biomimics” (unapproved attempts at making biosimilars) were a new construct. Finally, the use of dermal temperature over joints as a predictor of radiographic damage in RA was literally a foreign concept. As the authors of this study stated (ACR 2016; 68(8):1201-05), it could be used “from Uganda to Uruguay”, apparently leaving out Canada!

After a tense hour, Final Jeopardy arrived, with East leading West 8,200 to 6,800. Both teams risked everything on one last question on the topic of “Hobbies of Canadian Rheumatologists”. The answer revolved around bird watching, with both teams knowing this had to refer to Dr. Nigil Haroon ( Thus, the East team emerged triumphant with a final score of 16,400 to 13,600 for the West.

Evaluations are pending, but we may be back for another session of RheumJeopardy! in Vancouver at the 2018 CRA ASM.

Philip A. Baer, MDCM, FRCPC, FACR
Editor-in-chief, CRAJ
Scarborough, Ontario

Dr. Baer, our editor-in-chief, organized and hosted RheumJeopardy! 2017.