This is the third in a series of articles profiling the committees of the ACR.
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Explore This IssueOctober 2007
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One of the primary services that the ACR provides to members, and to rheumatologists and rheumatology health professionals in general, is ongoing education. Many of the meetings you attend, the resources to help you prepare for exams, and the products you use to learn (or teach) new knowledge come from the ACR Committee on Education.
Rosalind Ramsey-Goldman, MD, DrPH, professor in the division of rheumatology at the Feinberg School of Medicine of Northwestern University in Chicago became the chair of the Committee on Education at the 2006 Annual Scientific Meeting. “My pedigree for that is that I was chair of the professional meetings subcommittee for two years, and previously a member of that subcommittee,” she says. “As the subcommittee chair, I participated in the Committee on Education meetings.”
The mission of the committee is simple but essential to ACR and its members: “The Committee on Education plans educational activities,” explains Dr. Ramsey-Goldman. In fact, the Committee on Education has so many responsibilities that it includes four busy subcommittees to ensure everything gets done. Because the committee’s major activity is the annual meeting, there is a planning subcommittee for the meeting, she notes. The Professional Meetings Committee and the Continuous Professional Development Committee plan all other activities, and the Audiovisual Aids Subcommittee manages the ACR’s image collection.
Annual Meeting Planning Committee
The most obvious – and perhaps largest – task that the Committee on Education is faced with is the annual meeting.
Planning for the Annual Scientific Meeting starts before the previous one has ended. Right after the meeting, “a pre-planning meeting is held to review the meeting that just occurred,” says Dr. Ramsey-Goldman. The Annual Meeting Planning Committee plans the meeting in December and presents the tentative program to the Committee on Education in January. This review ensures the varied interests of meeting attendees will be represented and that the program complies with ACCME criteria. Typically, the majority of the meeting is developed and approved by the end of January.
In order for the meeting to be relevant, the subcommittee members must be representative of the specialty. “We have a mix of people from clinical, research, and practice,” explains Dr. Ramsey-Goldman. “You participate in the committee to represent the constituency you come from, and bring with you ideas for important content. This is one of the ways that we identify the content to include in the meeting.”