Now well into its fourth decade, Progress: Learning Together in the 21st Century is one of the most widely attended Continuing Medical Education conferences that Internal Medicine hosts. This is due to a number of factors, not least of which is the department’s collaboration with the College of Pharmacy. The team-ups between pharmacists and physicians provide attendees with dual perspectives on almost every topic presented.
(Another draw that makes Progress so well-attended, besides its coinciding with the University of Iowa’s Homecoming, was also the state chapter meetings of the American College of Physicians and the Society of Hospital Medicine, of which we will have more coverage soon.)
Every year, Progress is organized around a few subspecialties, rotating through all within internal medicine. This year’s Progress focused on cardiology, pulmonology, hospital medicine, nephrology, and general internal medicine. In February, conference organizers began meeting to identify topics within those subspecialties that they believed are of pressing interest to area providers and other potential conference attendees. Over the following months, speakers are identified and engaging presentations are crafted well in advance of the October event.
For two days, nearly forty pharmacists, physicians, nurse practitioners, industry leaders, and clinic directors presented updates and detailed analyses on nearly twenty different topics to about two hundred attendees. For example, Herb Berger, MD, defined sleep apnea, its epidemiology, and how to diagnose and treat it with a variety of options, including mechanical interventions. Kevin Schleich, PharmD, followed with a discussion of insomnia, offering a similar overview of the condition and the multitude of pharmacological options available in addition to the well-known ones. In less than an hour the two had delivered a solid foundation in the area of sleep management with plenty of pearls providers could take home.
That level of connection with audience interest happened again and again during the conference. Don Brown, MD, offered tips on how to better read an EKG. Howard Epstein, MD, Senior VP & CMO at PreferredOne, offered the perspective “from the Dark Side” (his words) on the administration of a health plan. Lee Sanders, PhD, MD, and Tricia Suarez, PharmD, presented on what primary care providers should be on the lookout for in their post-transplant patients. That was just some of Day 1.
Day 2 offered more of the same high quality. Erin Fox, PharmD, Senior Director of Drug Information Service and Support Services at University of Utah Health, began the morning with an inside-look at what causes drug shortages and high prices and what those with a stake should do about it. Making one’s voice heard was a theme that would be repeated throughout the day intermingled with topics like updates on chronic kidney disease from Mark Belz, MD, and Michelle Fravel, PhamD, and COPD management from Jeff Wilson, MD, and Emily Beckett, PharmD. In one breakout session, Jeydith Guterrez, MD; Melinda Johnson, MD; and Brett Barker, PharmD, ran through the various organizations that providers could join and methods employed in order to make their voices heard with policymakers.
Congratulations to the 34th annual Progress Planning Committee on a successful event!
Ryan Jacobsen, PharmD, BCPS, Course Co-Director
Melinda Johnson, MD, FACP, SFHM, Course Co-Director
Scott Vogelgesang, MD, Course Co-Director
Michelle Fravel, PharmD, BCPS
Laura Halder, PharmD, BCPS
Douglas Hornick, MD
Sarah Minner, PharmD
Jennifer Moulton, RPh
Lee Sanders, MD, PhD
Joseph Szot, MD
Byron Vandenberg, MD