In addition to a broad range of content offerings, this year’s meeting will also feature a diverse faculty. The AMPC approached diversity intentionally, Dr. Kolasinski says, to ensure the speakers reflect the global rheumatology community. Abstract author eligibility criteria were updated this year to ensure the author most responsible for the content presents the research.
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No annual meeting would be complete without networking events, and ACR Convergence 2021 will maximize the ways in which attendees interact. This year, participants will have numerous opportunities to connect, including longer question-and-answer (Q&A) sessions during the scientific program, poster presentations, and discussions in the Community Hubs and ShowRheum—a virtual exhibit hall where participants can visit company/organization profile pages and view industry-supported sessions. New features include an industry resource library, as well as 30-minute mini-sessions and five-minute Lightning Talks with industry presenters.
“The annual meeting is an educational, professional and personal opportunity for rheumatologists around the world, and they have come to rely on it for their professional development,” Dr. Kolasinski says. “There was such incredible interest last year in coming together again—in whatever way we could—to share that experience, and it was reassuring to rejoin the huge global community present at the ACR meeting.”
One benefit of the virtual format is that attendees from far and wide can attend from the comfort of their homes. In 2020, attendees logged in from 111 countries around the world. The 2020 virtual conference hosted more than 16,500 attendees, compared with 14,780 who attended in person in 2019, and the 2021 conference is expected to be even larger. Improvements have been made to the digital platform to address technical issues attendees experienced in 2020. Dr. Kolasinski expects “superior audio and video quality” this year.
Kimberly Retzlaff is a freelance medical journalist based in Denver.
Committee on Education Chair:
Swamy Venuturupalli, MD
Clinical Abstract Selection Chair:
Tracy Frech, MD, MS
Basic Science Chair:
Jennifer Anolik, MD, PhD
Basic Science Abstract Selection Chair:
Gregg Silverman, MD
Eyal Muscal, MD
Jill Blitz, PT,
Linda Rodamaker, NP
ARP Abstract Selection Chair:
Michael LaValley, PhD
ACR Vice President for Education: