The ACR’s Annual Scientific Meeting is the premier convocation of our specialty and is always a momentous occasion. This year, Boston will be a magnet, pulling rheumatologists and allied health professionals from around the world, patient groups, government, industry, and the media into its orbit for a week to discuss where we are now and where we going. It will be a great week, and I look forward to a fantastic time.
CME and American History
Why am I so excited about Boston? At its core, the annual meeting is a chance to do many of life’s important things: listen, learn, lecture, network, greet, hug, kiss, question, challenge, expound, gossip, schmooze, expatiate, promulgate, regale, commemorate, reminisce, recruit, eat, toast, drink, party, dance, advertise, buy, sell, jog, meander, sightsee, and – of course – hear great research and earn beaucoup CME credits. And that is just the start of it.
Boston is one of America’s most venerable cities, a cradle of liberty and setting for the start of the American Revolution. History abounds in the streets. Although Boston is a young city by the world’s standards, it is very old by America’s. I hope that Americans who have not previously been to Bean Town will take to the Freedom Trail. It is inspiring and worth the trek.
To my friends and colleagues from overseas, I hope that your flights are on time and that you get through Homeland Security without too much hassle. America is still having troubles. As Thomas Paine wrote in 1776, “These are the times that try men’s souls.” More than 200 years later, that statement holds true. For those of you who will have your passports scanned, fingerprints checked, and retinas lasered, I want to say that we are actually very happy to see you. Welcome and have a wonderful week in our country.
The 2007 annual meeting will be a time of two birthdays: the 50th of Arthritis & Rheumatism (A&R) and the first of The Rheumatologist (TR). Fifty years sounds like a long time, but our specialty is young and our journal is really in its infancy. This issue of TR will preview some of this golden celebration (see “A Golden Anniversary”) and I look forward to the commemorative issue of A&R in 2008 that will recount its ascent to being the highest impact journal in the field.
This year also marks the birthday of TR, although it is numero uno for us. A first birthday, however, has great significance. The number one is intrinsically special and the first of anything calls forth strong emotion and memory. For birthdays, the first symbolizes the passage of a child’s first life cycle: the first summer or winter, the first Christmas (or Chanukah or Ramadan) or the first New Year’s. Of course, there are the child’s personal firsts that are so meaningful for parents and family: crawling, sitting, smiling, and laughing. Some children will even walk and utter their first words.