We spoke to BSR President Dr Sanjeev Patel and Vice Presidents Yeliz Prior and Dr Jacqui Clinch about their experience of our first hybrid Annual Conference. They gave us some of their highlights.
Dr Patel said of his first in-person conference as President: "It’s been fantastic. I loved seeing everybody in person and enjoyed the energy and enthusiasm and so much positivity about the conference, learning and just getting together.
"Hearing from Prof Raashid Luqmani in the Heberden Round was a real highlight. I enjoyed that he let the patients tell the story, while overlaying some clinical aspects. I also enjoyed Wednesday morning's EULAR session about difficult rheumatoid arthritis and patient self-management. It's inspired me to think about a reorganisation of care for people in trouble with their diagnosis."
Yeliz, an occupational therapist, had many highlights, including sessions on work inequalities, Better MSK health, and our Droitwich keynote from nurse Dr Mwidimi Ndosi. She said: "He's so compelling - he trained as a nurse in Tanzania and I could relate to that as a fellow immigrant. It's difficult to come to a country, learn to speak the language and work with patients in a different context. He stood out for me because he didn't want to choose a clinical pathway or research; he wanted to do both, and teach."
"I also really enjoyed the spondyloarthropathies special interest group. Deborah Adlington spoke about the role of first contact practitioners and physiotherapists; how important it is to train more physiotherapists to get into that role and how BSR could facilitate that with education courses."
For paediatric and adolescent rheumatologists, Dr Clinch said: "I’m delighted to be representing the paediatric and adolescent community in this first face-to-face conference. It’s been a joy to further integrate our communities and have that face-to-face interaction we’ve all missed for over two years.
"It’s been lovely to see paediatric and adolescent members mingle so freely with our adult rheumatology colleagues and have an opportunity to really get to know our patient partners, including Versus Arthritis and NRAS, in a more meaningful way.
"I’ve been particularly delighted by the sessions Jo Walsh put together so masterfully with her team. We've looked in detail at different diseases and stepped back to look at how best to transition patients from children to young adults. A particular highlight was the Heart, lungs and inflammatory diseases in children and young people learning session with Paul Brogan.
"Dr Clarissa Pilkington also delivered an inspirational Barbara Ansell Address, really showing how a career in paediatric and adolescent rheumatology is rich and varied and truly interdisciplinary."
Huge thanks to everyone who participated in Annual Conference in any way. Session submission is now open for 2023.