Information overload—it’s the bane of my life. Some days I’m tempted to unplug all the fancy electronic gadgets that were designed to “keep us connected” and make our lives easier but instead often threaten to overwhelm us with the pressing need to respond immediately whenever our inbox flashes the arrival of yet another urgent message. For me, the challenge has become how to manage the inflow of data, messages, and information; stay current with the advances in my professional field; and carve out some quiet time free from beeping and flashing electronic reminders that relentlessly demand a response.
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Explore This IssueFebruary 2009
Ironically, I’ve found that I use these very same electronic tools to manage both my personal and professional work. Over my morning coffee, I quickly scan the ACR’s Rheumatology Morning Wire for the latest breaking rheumatology and medical news and for topics relevant to my clinical and research interests. This membership benefit has been wonderful for keeping me one step ahead of my colleagues and patients.
I also use the Web resources of the ACR and the ARHP to keep me updated with clinical practice and research issues. Recently, I logged in to ACR SessionSelect because there were several interesting ARHP sessions and speakers that I missed at the 2008 ACR/ARHP Annual Scientific Meeting in San Francisco. As I listened to the speaker and viewed the PowerPoint presentation of “What’s New and Noteworthy in 2008: A Review of Rheumatology Research for Health Professionals,” I realized that technology does have a way of maximizing our professional development.
And, speaking of great ACR/ARHP professional development, the much anticipated Nurse Practitioner and Physician Assistant Postgraduate Rheumatology Training Program launched on December 1. For our nurse practitioners, physician assistants, nurses, fellows, and other clinicians, who are either new to the field of rheumatology or who want to remain current with current rheumatology education, there is nothing available that can surpass this dynamic Web program. The program includes 18 hours of audio-annotated PowerPoint slides—over 2,800 in all—and 631 images within its 19 modules that are organized into adult, pediatric, and combined tracks. This certificate Web program gives clinicians in rheumatology a flexible, affordable way to build competence while earning AMA PRA Category 1 Credits.
I love the notion of accessible (and affordable) education, and again the ACR and the ARHP meet this need through the use of audioconference/webcast technology. With increasingly busy work schedules and the rising cost of travel, I find it’s not always possible to travel to conferences, so the ARHP’s Rheumatology Audioconference/Webcast Series has become an efficient and cost-effective way to receive rheumatology education, with CME, from my home or office. I have already registered for some of the offerings of the 2009 series, and I am excited that the session entitled, “How Can We Help Our Clients with Scleroderma Manage Musculoskeletal and Functional Limitations?” on March 10, will be viewed together by my department and me.