Bansari Gujar, MD, a rheumatologist with Rheumatology Associates of Baltimore, has attended annual meetings of the Maryland Society for the Rheumatic Diseases (MSRD) since she was a fellow at the University of Maryland Medical System. This year, Dr. Gujar will oversee her first annual meeting as the society’s president.
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“For the past two years, we’ve held our continuing medical education (CME) meetings virtually,” says Dr. Gujar, who became president in January. “We’re launching into a new annual meeting format and look forward to welcoming members back in person. There’s a real sense of community and camaraderie when we meet in person, and meetings such as these will hopefully provide opportunities to engage with and support our colleagues and expand our professional networks.”
This year’s annual meeting, Oct. 14–15 at the Hyatt Regency Baltimore Inner Harbor, will feature notable speakers and a variety of topics of interest to rheumatologists, nurse practitioners and physician assistants. Among the subjects to be covered are COVID-19 and autoimmunity, pregnancy and rheumatic diseases, giant cell arteritis, systemic sclerosis, novel therapeutics for lupus and updates and difficult cases in myositis.
“Our meeting is open to all rheumatology professionals,” Dr. Gujar says. “The majority of attendees come from Maryland, but we also hope to have participants from Delaware, Philadelphia, Virginia and Washington, D.C.” For more information, visit www.msrdmd.net.
As the new president, Dr. Gujar hopes to expand the society’s advocacy efforts.
“Our goal is to become involved in legislative discussions impacting rheumatologists and our patients in Maryland. It’s important that we advocate at the state and federal level for legislation that supports patient care and ensures our patients have access to the medications they need at an affordable cost,” Dr. Gujar says. “This includes becoming more involved in ACR advocacy efforts that address issues that impact patient care significantly, such as step therapy, non-medical switching and increasing oversight on pharmacy benefit managers.”
Because physical therapists and other professionals are an important part of the rheumatology team, Dr. Gujar hopes to expand outreach to invite these groups to join MSRD and offer them CMEs.
MSRD also engages with clinical fellows at the University of Maryland and Johns Hopkins University, both in Baltimore, by offering grants that allow them to attend the annual conference at no charge.