Tuesday, March 8, 2016

2016 AAHPM and HPNA Annual Assembly Preview - Saturday

by Christian Sinclair

This is the Saturday, March 12, 2016 preview for the AAHPM and HPNA Annual Assembly. To learn more about this conference check out our overview, or see the previews for WednesdayThursday, and Friday.

More early-riser sessions with the indefatigable Mary Lynn McPherson doing her new drug highlight talk, New Drugs and Drug News: The 411 and Implications for Palliative Care. The early session that gets me excited is the one on steroids: The 13 Most Debated Questions About Using Steroids in Patients with Advanced Cancer Experiencing Pain and Nausea: What We Do and What The Evidence Recommends by White, Bull, Blaney and Stahl.

When it comes to comedy and research, there are few who can make it work. Maybe Improbable Research or xkcd, but not many others, except for the State of the Science presentation, this year presented by Dionne-Odom and Smith. Reliably incorporating clever and relevant jokes, this one is a must-see. Especially because we should be doing all the things highlighted in state of the science. They usually cover 6-10 studies and if we just did the things discussed in them each year, all our programs could be improving year over year.

After that you have some tough choices to make. Some big names are talking at the same time, but in different rooms: Charles von Gunten, Amy Abernethy, Diane Meier, Thomas Smith. You have to go with the topic that interests you most, but with choices like that you shouldn't be disappointed. Plus Twitter can help you catch highlights from the other rooms!

At noon is a special town hall-like panel with leaders from AAHPM, HPNA, and NHPCO on Critical Conversations: End-of-Life Care Treatment Options. This is such an important topic to the hospice and palalitive medicine community because we have members working in states where physician-assisted death is legal, and others where it is illegal but being considered. I'm very interested in how this session goes, because we need to have open dialogue about these large cultural forces which influence our work.

In the afternoon on the last day, you get your last chance to hear from the Developing Country Scholars who can help put our local barriers and opportunities in a whole new light. Maybe even inspire you to reach out to a international program and see how you may contribute. "Why Do I Still Hurt?" An Integrated mode of Survivorship and Palliative Care by Chwistek, Ewerth, Gallagher Amrhein and Ebersole is something I see a need for as I do more work in an outpatient clinic. There is a huge gap here and palliative care cannot fill it alone. And to finish off the day, I'm struggling between talks on organ donationinotropes in advanced heart failure and opioid dosage errors. I guess I'll just have to buy the recordings!

I hope you have a great conference and stay tuned for reviews from attendees who will be writing up reviews.

Christian Sinclair, MD, FAAHPM is editor of Pallimed, president-elect of AAHPM, and a palliative care doctor at the University of Kansas.

Image credit: P-values by xkcd.com  via Creative Commons License

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