One of the highlights of the upcoming ARA ASM is the session that kicks it off on Friday 21 May, the Advanced Trainee Preceptorship.
The preceptorship was put together by Melbourne-based rheumatologist and clinical pharmacologist, Dr David Liew, who will chair the sessions.
“We’ve worked hard to get a program which is action packed, and also quite relevant to people’s practice – something different to the current educational offerings that are going around in training,” said Dr Liew, who is also Rheumatology Republic Deputy Editor.
The first session, on the new wave of rheumatology education, is presented by Dr Sudha Raghunath from the Early Career Group and builds on work they’ve done as a committee.
“The face of rheumatology continuing education has changed quite dramatically in the course of the last five to 10 years,” said Dr Liew.
“We’ve seen increasing online engagement, global engagement. There’s a plethora of options out there, but it can be hard to know how to navigate them. Sudha will give a quick overview of what exists out there and the resources to be able to navigate the options,” he said.
The following session is on motivational interviewing, presented by Simon Matthews, a psychologist who’s expert in health coaching and motivational interviewing.
“We know a lot of rheumatology is trying to coach a patient into different practices and taking on things they may be reluctant to do, things that may not seem useful to them. So much of rheumatology comes down to activities which are where the locus of control is with the patient, and to get the best outcomes for patients we really need to be engaging with them to try and get them to do their best,” said Dr Liew.
Joining Mr Matthews will be Dr Emma Guymer from fibromyalgia clinic at Monash, and rehabilitation and pain medicine physician Associate Professor Michael Vagg. They will talk about the kinds of strategies they use to motivate patients to take on self-driven activities in everyday practice.
The final session, titled Multidisciplinary care in the real world, features RHPSIG colleagues.
“One of the biggest challenges is for people going from advanced training, which remains focused on hospital practice and inpatient care, to private practice without all the allied health supports they’ve had in the hospital system,” said Dr Liew.
“So how do we try and navigate that and work best with our allied health colleagues? How do we know what they want from us, and how do we know what they can offer?”
Presenting at this session will be Dr Irwin Lim, editor of Rheumatology Republic, talking about his approach to a multidisciplinary private practice, a model which is fairly unique in Australia.
“We’ve also invited seven allied health professionals and a GP to talk about what they want from referrals and what they feel they can offer,” said Dr Liew.
Dr Liew says that they’ve had some great feedback on the preceptorship program, with people at the more advanced end of the target audience keen to attend.
“That’s a group that traditionally haven’t come to preceptorships in the past, so we’re really glad to engage with them,” said Dr Liew.
Dr Julian Segan is a third-year trainee at Western Health in Melbourne, and one of those looking forward to the preceptorship.
“It’s good to get some registrar-specific training,” said Dr Segan. “Topics that may be interesting to registrars won’t necessarily be interesting to a consultant. Also, this training is unique in that it’s given nationally, rather than state or institution-based. We can meet other registrars and network to some extent.”
Dr Segan said there’s no formal training on motivational interviewing or working with allied health professionals, so those sessions will be valuable. He also wants to hear about new educational resources available, and is particularly interested online resources from overseas that weren’t available prior to COVID because they were mainly face-to-face.
Other sessions in the ASM he’s keen to see are those on vasculitis with Professor Peter Merkel, and Lower limb biomechanical issues, which he says is something they don’t get a lot of training on as registrars.
The preceptorship is usually limited to advanced trainees and people two years out of advanced training. However, this year – because there was no conference last year – people who are three years out of training can attend. It runs from 12:00 to 14:45 on Friday 21 May.