As a psychologist, I was also fascinated by a joint session of AHP, EULAR, and People with Rheumatic Disease in Europe called, “The impact of rheumatic disease on family life.” This session included presentations by individuals with rheumatic disease, family members of those with rheumatic disease, and an internist who treats patients in his rural practice in the United Kingdom. Providing a platform for the patient’s perspective in a scientific meeting enriches a health professional’s learning experience, and I was impressed by the speakers’ moving, thoughtful, and often wryly humorous observations.
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So, was it worth the long flight, the jet lag, the rain, and the time away from work and family? Absolutely! This is a wonderful opportunity to network with international colleagues and develop collaborations with health professionals in a multitude of countries. I have learned so much these past few days, and have come to appreciate our differences and our shared challenges. It has made me aware of how much the ARHP has grown over the past 40 years, and has made me very appreciative of the great partnership we have developed with our ACR colleagues.
Dr. Degotardi is immediate past president of the ARHP and was a EULAR delegate.