The stress of leading a hospital medicine division during the pandemic led Alan Dow, MD, MSHA, FACP, to start running half-marathons. “It gave me something to think about that was not COVID,” he said.
As this year's Chair of the Internal Medicine Scientific Program Committee, Dr. Dow is hoping to go on more leisurely jogs while in San Diego for Internal Medicine Meeting 2023. Much like going from half-marathon to light jog, this year's meeting will scale down its COVID-19 content in favor of other important developments in internal medicine, he noted.
Although there will be a few sessions on COVID-19 and its impacts on care, don't expect the pandemic to be at the forefront this year, said Dr. Dow, who is the Seymour and Ruth Perlin Professor of Medicine and Health Administration and interim chief for the division of hospital medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond, Va.
“This is a meeting that's getting back to normal—even more so than at the meeting last year, which at least let us be in person,” he said. “Now we're being able to actually think about all the other stuff that's been going on in medicine over the past three years that has been really impressive but has been sort of lost over all the COVID.”
For example, some therapeutic advances in metabolic disease, such as effective new obesity treatments like sodium-glucose cotransporter-2 inhibitors, are changing the paradigm for how clinicians think about obesity, diabetes, and cardiovascular disease, he noted. “It's been a huge shift that really happened during COVID, but it was not something that we necessarily had front of mind.”
Internal Medicine Meeting 2023 runs from Thursday, April 27, through Saturday, April 29. On Thursday, the Opening Ceremony will kick off the meeting from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. PDT with a keynote address by Vineet Arora, MD, MAPP, MACP, the Herbert T. Abelson Professor of Medicine at the University of Chicago, titled “Lead from Where You Stand: How to Advocate for Yourself, Your Profession and Your Patients.” A special plenary session is also being planned from 9:15 to 10:15 a.m. PDT on Saturday. (Visit the meeting website for registration and more information.)
Returning this year is the hybrid design (premiered at Internal Medicine Meeting 2022), with a virtual registration option available to those who are unable to attend in person. Virtual attendees can livestream more than 100 sessions, as well as participate in live polling and Q&A with presenters via the Internal Medicine Meeting 2023 app.
Standard meeting registration, virtual or in person, includes access to all recorded sessions for 30 days, while individuals who register at the Premium level get one full year of access to meeting recordings, along with bonus educational content.
Early registration for the meeting has been strong, with numbers surpassing those in recent years and matching those from top prepandemic meetings, said David Disbrow, ACP's Director of Instructional Design and Events.
“With recorded sessions included for all in-person attendees, everyone goes home from the meeting with over 100 hours of content at their fingertips,” he said. “It's really allowed us to focus on what makes an in-person learning event so impactful—there's more hands-on learning, expert discussions, more interactions built in with Q&A and polling, more clinical workshops, and of course, massively meaningful networking opportunities for all.”
Speaking of networking, the meeting's new Career & Professional Development Center will offer attendees a variety of professional development resources. These include Mini But Mighty academic skills sessions, one-on-one career or QI coaching sessions, Meet the Podcaster and Meet the Editor table sessions, a Job Placement Center, and an abstract and poster display.
Precourses will be offered, in person only, on Tuesday, April 25, and Wednesday, April 26. This year's meeting features 14 one- and two-day precourses, including a new offering, “Primary Care Psychiatry: Practical Skills for Internists.” The one-day Wednesday precourse will provide an evidence-based update on recognizing, diagnosing, treating, and/or referring patients with psychiatric diagnoses that are prevalent in medical practice, including major depressive disorder, anxiety disorders, trauma-related disorders, and bipolar mood disorder.
“It's so timely. With the pandemic, it's becoming more of a part of everyone's practice,” Mr. Disbrow said. “We hope to make it a regular offering.”
Another timely session in the Scientific Program, “Providing Women's Healthcare in a Post-Dobbs America: What Internal Medicine Needs to Know,” will take place from 4:30 to 5:30 p.m. PDT on Friday, April 28. Panelists will include Diana E. Ramos, MD, MPH, MBA, an OB-GYN who serves as California Surgeon General, and Lisa H. Harris, MD, PhD, who is the F. Wallace and Janet Jeffries Collegiate Professor of Reproductive Health at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, Mich.
The session will explain what recent legislative changes on abortion mean for clinicians practicing in a variety of states, said Dr. Dow, who will moderate the panel discussion. “I suspect it will be a very popular and high-profile session,” he said.
For in-person attendees who need a brain break during the meeting, Dr. Dow recommended biking over to Coronado, Calif., to check out the Naval Air Station and the beaches, which are also accessible via a short ferry ride. Then, as a reward, enjoy good food and music in the Gaslamp District when you return, he said.
“San Diego is just a wonderful place to go to a meeting and to be able to enjoy both learning a lot and also having some time to refresh yourself and be ready for getting back to take care of patients,” he said.