Summer 2021 (Volume 31, Number 2)

RheumJeopardy 2021

By Philip A. Baer, MDCM, FRCPC, FACR

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For the sixth consecutive year, RheumJeopardy returned as a plenary session at the 2021 CRA Annual Scientific Meeting (ASM). The virtual format required some adjustments to work on the meeting platform, but the essence of the game experience was preserved. As the winning captain from the very closely contested 2020 edition, Dr. Hugues Allard-Chamard returned as Chair and scorekeeper. We maintained the traditional East versus West format, with Toronto the dividing line this year. Our team captains were Dr. Alexandra Legge from Halifax and
Dr. Marinka Twilt from Calgary. This year, only the members of the team whose captain had selected a question voted on the answer, which had the effect of lowering the potential scores. Last year, captains had the chance to overrule their team’s answers, but no one dared. This year, that option was removed, but only the team captains selected the Final Jeopardy wagers and answered the Final Jeopardy question. High pressure!

This was the first RheumJeopardy since the death of Alex Trebek, and our first one in a virtual format. I moderated from my home office, a little nervously as I had experienced an internet outage in the middle of an earlier symposium presentation that day. Fortunately, everything worked for RheumJeopardy.

I compose the questions months in advance, which led to one serendipitously easy question. Earlier in the day, Dr. Yazici had presented a symposium highlighting the efficacy of apremilast for oral ulcers in Behcet’s syndrome. That was one of the questions in the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM) randomized controlled trial (RCT) category, and of course it was answered correctly. I was also pleased to note that a question in the 2020 edition, highlighting the relationship of familial Mediterranean fever (FMF) with resistance to plaque mediated through Yersinia outer proteins (YOP) and the pyrin inflammasome, was featured in the 2021 Dunlop-Dottridge lecture by Dr. Dan Kastner. Another question which I had composed a few years earlier about the efficacy of corticosteroid disease-modifying anti-rheumatic drugs (csDMARDs) as anti-fungal agents drew a protest. I was relying on a 2017 study which highlighted auranofin, but an attendee found a 2019 study showing D-penicillamine (another answer choice) had similar efficacy.

The session drew 224 participants. After a practice question related to pandemic movies, twelve questions were selected in the main game. They proved to be quite difficult. ACR2020 and Sight Diagnoses were the most popular categories. The CRA Education Committee contributed three questions on CBD (competency by design), but none were selected. One stumper was the brand name of the Pfizer BioNTech COVID-19 vaccine. Comirnaty was the correct answer. The generic name is tozinameran.

At the end of the main Jeopardy round, the teams were deadlocked at 1,600 points each. Both captains elected to wager everything on the Final Jeopardy question. As is traditional, the category was famous Canadian rheumatologists. In this case, the person was not a mystery: Janet Pope was highlighted, based on a RheumNow blog post she had written about the seven stages of her postgraduate medical career and her seven children. The question revolved around the distribution of her children across those seven stages from internship to full professor. The correct answer was a perfectly symmetrical one child per stage. That stumped both team captains, leading to an unprecedented final score: a 0-0 tie, more reminiscent of a soccer match than Jeopardy. As we had no time or provision for a tiebreaker, both teams were declared victorious. Drs. Legge and Twilt may have to split the chairing role if RheumJeopardy returns in 2022 in Quebec City.

Dr. Philip Baer hosted RheumJeopardy 2021 and is pictured here with team captains,
Drs. Alexandra Legge and Marinka Twilt as well as last year's winning captain, Dr. Hugues Allard-Chamard who returned as chair and scorekeeper.

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

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