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Explore This IssueDecember 2013
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SAN DIEGO—Known for its year-round temperate weather, San Diego offered more than 15,000 attendees of the 77th ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting only one day of chilly rain amid a week of bright sunshine. The meeting’s nearly 400 educational sessions and Exhibit Hall were bustling with activity.
First-time attendee Myrthe van der Ven, a trainee at Erasmus MC in The Hague, Netherlands, came to the meeting to learn more about rheumatology research and to network. van der Ven presented a poster of her institution’s study comparing ultrasound equipment in arthritis imaging. “It’s a pretty big meeting! I think a lot of people are coming by to look at all the posters, which is good,” she said. She attended mostly clinical sessions on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and imaging techniques. Coming from the chilly fall weather in The Hague, she was pleased by the site of the meeting. “San Diego is really pretty and has good weather. I love the view from my hotel room, and I have been out to dinner with my colleagues,” she said.
van der Ven was one of the scientific attendees at the meeting, including researchers, clinicians, fellows, and health professionals. The rest of the meeting’s attendees included exhibitors from industry, consultants, and press, noted Karol Flowers, senior specialist for the annual meeting at the ACR, which is headquartered in Atlanta. Highlights included the opening lecture, “Life at the Speed of Light,” which drew several thousand attendees on Sat., Oct. 26. This discussion of genomic research breakthroughs was delivered by biologist J. Craig Venter, PhD, the founder and chairman of the J. Craig Venter Institute in San Diego. (See p. 25 for more on the opening lecture.)
Old Favorites and New Tech
One popular annual event, the Thieves’ Market case presentation, added new technology this year, said Flowers. Held on Sun., Oct. 27, participants were able to use an automated audience response system to answer multiple-choice questions via text or web. An average of 200 people responded to each survey question during the session, she said. A few technical glitches were quickly overcome and audience response was around 15%.
The third annual Jeopardy-style Knowledge Bowl final-round competition on Mon., Oct. 28, attracted more than 3,300 attendees, said Flowers. “The Knowledge Bowl final round is quickly becoming an ACR must-attend session,” she said. “This highly competitive, spirited session involved quite a bit of audience input and influence this year regarding some calls that the judges made about correct and incorrect answers. The audience input actually spurred the judges to reconsider some of their calls.”