Progress 2023: Learning Together in the 21st Century

For more than four decades, the Department of Internal Medicine has sponsored Progress, a two-day conference, typically coinciding with the University of Iowa’s Homecoming, for area clinicians to update their continuing medical education requirements in a rotating variety of subspecialties and re-connect with friends and colleagues. In more recent decades, the department has partnered with members of the College of Pharmacy, state chapters of the Society for Hospitalist Medicine (SHM) and the American College of Physicians (ACP), and the Iowa Pharmacy Association. These additions have expanded the reach of Progress and the diversity of its content.

This year was no different. Early in October, more than 150 local, state, and regional clinicians gathered at the nearby Coralville Hyatt Regency. Course directors Joseph Szot, MD, and Ryan Jacobsen, PharmD, along with an extensive committee had designed an engaging pair of days filled with presentations from experts in neurology and psychology, gastroenterology, infectious diseases, and general internal and hospitalist medicine.

The morning of the first day began with a welcome from Szot, who was followed by these presentations:

Health Care Providers and Health Policy: A Call for Engagement
Ann M. Sheehy, MD, MS

Clinical Use of Alcohol Biomarkers
Alan Gunderson, MD

Zoonotic Infections
Jacob Hodges, MD
Will Sander, DVM, MPH, Dipl. ACVPM

Update on the Status of Psychedelic Medications for Behavioral Health Disorders
Michael Flaum, MD

After the morning, attendees were invited to attend the SHM-sponsored poster session.

They then reconvened and depending on their interests, could choose from a pair of options for afternoon breakout sessions:

Colorectal Neoplasia: Surveillance Strategies and Special Considerations
Dean Abramson, MD

Change is Inevitable: Updates in the Management of HIV
Quanhathai Kaewpoowat, MD
Dena Behm Dillon, PharmD, AAHIVP, HIV Prevention Certified Provider

Staph aureus bacteremia: An Update for Primary Care Providers
Jason H. Barker, MD

FMT (Fecal Microbiota Transplantation) in the Treatment of Clostridium difficile Infection
Mohammad Salman Ansari, MD

To close out the day, the ACP Clinical Vignette competition, typically reserved for their chapter meeting, was folded into the conference. Four physician residents and one pharmacy resident from the state’s residency programs each presented a polished 10-minute case with teaching points. After a set period for questions, judges ranked the candidates and declared a winner, who will go on to compete at the national ACP meeting in the spring, expenses covered. This year’s winner was Iowa’s PGY-3 Alex Paschke, MD.

The second day began with more of the same high-quality and current information about a variety of topics:

Challenging the Dogma About How to Treat Common Infections in Hospitalized Patients
Daniel Livorsi, MD, MSc
Patrick Kinn, PharmD, MPH

Es/ketamine in Treatment-Resistant Depression
Mark Niciu, MD, PhD

Treating Alzheimer’s Disease: Updates and Controversies
Scott T. Larson, MD, FAAFP
Jeff Reist, BS, PharmD, BCPS

Making the grade: with treatment simpler than ever, why is Iowa failing in the effort to eliminate
hepatitis C?
Tomohiro Tanaka, MD, MPH
Tony Huynh, PharmD, BCACP, AAHIVP

After the morning session, women attendees were invited to attend a lunch hosted by the Iowa Chapter of the ACP.

The afternoon resumed with two more sets of presentations:

A Clinical Approach to the Diagnosis of Encephalitis
Christine Gill, MD

Clinical Updates
Katherine I. Harris, MD
Daniel J. Leary, MD, PhD
T. Michael Farley, PharmD

The conference closed out this year with something new. A “pub-quiz” style team-based assessment checked attendee understanding with questions written by the presenters themselves. In addition to these, Szot and Jacobsen added in some Iowa history and current event questions to keep contestants on their toes. (Ex. Q: “Who are this year’s Homecoming Parade marshals?” A: Caitlin Clark and Spencer Lee)

After the points were tallied, a team of physicians and a team of pharmacists were tied, a fitting conclusion to a conference about multidisciplinary collaboration.

See you next year!

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