‘Mastering Medicine Together’ at ACP's annual meeting

ACP's annual Internal Medicine Meeting brings internists together in Los Angeles for the first time.


True to its tagline, Mastering Medicine Together, ACP's annual Internal Medicine Meeting brings internists together like no other conference.

Nearly 9,000 people attended last year's meeting in Philadelphia, making it ACP's second largest meeting ever. Following suit, registration numbers are strong for this year's meeting, which will be held in Los Angeles for the first time and will feature several new activities and events, said David Disbrow, ACP's Director of CME and Instructional Design.

At last years Internal Medicine Meeting in Philadelphia attendees studied a variety of hands-on learning activities including a foundational precourse on using point-of-care ultrasound An advanced
At last year's Internal Medicine Meeting in Philadelphia, attendees studied a variety of hands-on learning activities, including a foundational precourse on using point-of-care ultrasound. An advanced skills course this year will build upon that. Image by Kevin Berne

“In 2020, we're providing over 200 high-quality scientific sessions, as well as hands-on learning through interactive workshops, special events, receptions, and networking opportunities,” he said.

The Scientific Program runs from Thursday, April 23, through Saturday, April 25, at the Los Angeles Convention Center. The Opening Ceremony will be hosted by ACP's Executive Vice President and Chief Executive Officer, Darilyn Moyer, MD, FACP, who will hold a discussion with keynote speaker Nirav R. Shah, MD, MPH, MACP.

Dr. Shah serves as senior scholar at Stanford University's Clinical Excellence Research Center, which aims to discover and evaluate ways to deliver high-value care at a lower cost.

But you don't have to wait until the Opening Ceremony to start learning. Precourses are available April 21 and 22. In addition to such mainstays as “Advances in Therapy” and “Diabetes for the Internist,” there are several new precourses this year.

“Medication-Assisted Treatment (MAT) Waiver Training Workshop” and “Pregnancy for the Internist: Before, During, and After” will both be held on Tuesday, April 21, and “Optimizing Pain Management in an Environment of Opioid De-Escalation” will be held on Wednesday, April 22. Also on Wednesday, a new “Point-of-Care Ultrasound (POCUS): Advanced Skills for Outpatient Practice” precourse will build on ACP's existing two-day “POCUS: Foundational Skills for Internists” precourse.

Of note, prescribers who complete the free MAT precourse will fulfill the entire eight-hour training required to apply for a waiver to prescribe buprenorphine to treat patients with opioid addiction. “That's really important,” said Marc J. Kahn, MD, MBA, MACP, Chair of the Internal Medicine Meeting 2020 Scientific Program Committee.

Another aim of this year's meeting is promoting diversity, equity, and inclusion, both in real life and virtually.

A new virtual reality experience aims to influence clinicians' attitudes and practices toward social determinants of health. The Neighborhood Immersion for Compassion and Empathy (NICE) Simulation will help clinicians refine their approaches to caring for underserved populations by walking in the shoes of a family living in a segregated, distressed neighborhood. The aim is to better understand how poverty and racism affect the opportunity to be healthy, Mr. Disbrow said.

The NICE Simulation will first air on screen during a group showing as part of a Clinical Workshop on Thursday, April 23. Then, attendees can try out the virtual reality units themselves on Thursday afternoon and Friday in the Clinical Skills Center. Signups for the individual experience will be on a first-come, first-served basis.

“We imagine that that will be a pretty in-demand activity,” said Mr. Disbrow, adding that the project aims to demonstrate the potential for virtual reality to promote equity training in health care settings.

Several new sessions this year also emphasize the importance of diversity, equity, and inclusion. On Friday, April 24, “What Effective Leaders Do: Equity and Inclusion for Successful Teams” will run from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m., followed by “Examining Unconscious Bias and Building Diversity in Medicine” from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m. Then, on Saturday, April 25, “Understanding Medical Decision Making in Diverse Cultures” will round out the meeting from 2:15 to 3:45 p.m.

The Annals of Internal Medicine “On Being a Doctor” Story Slam offers another way to take in the diversity of the physician experience. Introduced as a Saturday-morning event at the 2018 meeting, the Story Slam is back for a third year from 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, April 22. At the event, which will have a cash bar and light hors d’oeuvres, 10 participants will share their stories about doctoring. The free event is open to all attendees, but registration is required.

Medical students will have a story slam of their own on Friday, April 24, from 11:15 a.m. to 12:45 p.m. As part of the new event, eight selected medical students will each present a five-minute vignette on the theme of resiliency.

The Student Story Slam is part of Mastering Medicine Together for Students, a new two-day educational track offering specific sessions and events for students that will occur in the context of the overall meeting. “This will hopefully give students a more focused and relevant experience while still being able to take advantage of everything else going on at the meeting,” said Philip A. Masters, MD, FACP, ACP's Vice President of Membership and Global Engagement.

Podcasts are another popular narrative format. A new feature at last year's meeting was a live podcast by medical historian Adam Rodman, MD, MPH, FACP, host of the ACP podcast Bedside Rounds. To meet demand, this year's meeting has not one but two live podcasts, Mr. Disbrow said.

From 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Friday, April 24, hosts of The Curbsiders podcast, Matthew Watto, MD, FACP, Paul Williams, MD, FACP, and ACP Member Stuart Brigham, MD, will present “Transfer from Surgery: What Hospitalists Should Know.” They'll be joined by the Annals Consult Guys, Geno J. Merli, MD, MACP, and Howard H. Weitz, MD, MACP. Then, from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. on Saturday, April 25, Dr. Rodman returns to host “The History of Death and Medicine” with guest Anthony Breu, MD, ACP Member.

Also returning for a second year is the ACP-MIT Hackathon, a collaboration between the College and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology's Hacking Medicine program. On Saturday, April 25, selected preregistered applicants will collaborate to build innovative solutions to improve clinical workflows and optimize team-based care.

In addition, ACP 2020 Presentation Challenge, powered by PechaKucha™, is back for a third year of rapid-fire presentations on Friday, April 24, from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. Five speakers will each have less than seven minutes to present their topics, which include mentorship and coaching, infectious diseases, coagulation, kidney injury, and patient safety, said Dr. Kahn, who will moderate the session.

Not able to make it to all the sessions on your list? No problem. This year, ACP and Playback Now are offering free video recordings to all attendees. Through ACP's meeting app, use the “Wishlist” feature to capture session names. Then, after the meeting, turn the wishlist into a playlist by choosing three free videos of sessions to watch.

Finally, for those who can't attend the full meeting, registration for the Scientific Program is available at special one-day rates. Through Sunday, April 19, advance purchase rates are $119 for Resident/Fellow Members, $249 for Members, Fellows, and Masters, $349 for nonmembers, and $60 for student nonmembers. Beginning Monday, April 20, on-site purchase prices will increase to $159, $349, $469, and $65, respectively.

Overall, the meeting will bring together the best minds and voices of internal medicine from around the world to serve the common goals of improving patient care, advocating for the profession, and achieving professional fulfillment, said Mr. Disbrow.

“Whether you're a primary care internist, hospitalist, office-based internist, or a subspecialist, ACP's Internal Medicine Meeting is an efficient and productive way to keep up to date with the latest medical trends and practice-changing advances in medical knowledge while simultaneously earning CME/MOC,” he said.