Following on the success of last year’s inaugural Metabolic and Endocrine Disease Summit (MEDS), 2012 sees the introduction of bicoastal venues for this unique meeting, designed and presented by NPs and PAs in endocrinology for their primary care colleagues. MEDS East will be held July 26 to 28 in Orlando, while MEDS West takes place in San Diego from August 9 to 11.
“For good education, it’s important to make ourselves available,” says MEDS Chair Scott Urquhart, PA-C, DFAAPA, Past President of the American Society of Endocrine PAs. “We’re reaching out to other people and bringing the education to them, because they may not be able to come across the country for a meeting.”
This year’s MEDS features the same expert faculty as last year’s, offering a practical, focused look at common conditions ranging from diabetes and thyroid disorders to obesity, osteoporosis, adrenal dysfunctions, and more. While the curriculum will be very similar to last year’s engaging and informative program, the presenters have incorporated fresh elements into the agenda, such as panel discussions, as well as updated their lectures to reflect the most recent medical literature on these topics. Attendees can earn up to 18.25 hours of CE/CME credit.
“The intent of MEDS is to create a nice foundation on how we tackle our most common endocrinopathies that primary care providers will see and encounter,” says Urquhart.
In addition, the MEDS faculty aims to educate primary care NPs and PAs on “when to send your patient out for consult,” says Co-Chair Christine Kessler, MN, CNS, ANP, BC-ADM. “A lot of providers want to know how much they can take care of before they have to send patients out.”
BUILDING ON A GREAT IDEA
A key change to MEDS this year is the inclusion in the agenda of panelist discussions on type 2 diabetes. “The panel discussions will offer attendees an idea of different ways of thinking about how to approach the same patient and still arrive at the same endpoint of a desirable outcome,” Urquhart says.
One of the unique features of MEDS from its conception is the inclusion of a 10-minute Q&A period at the end of each session. That practice will continue this year, but the panel discussions will allow attendees and presenters to delve deeper into “the nitty-gritty details that people are interested in as far as their clinical questions go,” in the words of Co-Chair Chris Sadler, MA, PA-C, CDE.
“When you get a group of experts together, people will bring up nuances or things that you maybe didn’t get out of the lecture that might be valuable,” he adds. “I think it’s healthy to challenge one another in medicine; we’re always looking for better ways to do things.”
“In certain of these disorders, there are diverging thoughts on management,” adds Kessler. “We want to help attendees ‘get through the weeds’ and give some safe and hopefully sage advice on how to better individually treat their patients.”
And unlike at larger meetings with a broader focus, the attendees at MEDS have a legitimate opportunity to participate in the dialogue. The faculty members want to ensure that the material they present addresses the practical educational needs of their audience so that everyone leaves satisfied with his/her experience.
“We’re going to let participants drive a little bit of the discussions,” says Kessler, who wants attendees to bring their clinical quandaries to the meeting and be prepared to take advantage of both the formal sessions and the opportunity for “curbside consults.” “They asked questions [last year] that were good questions. I’ve been lecturing since 1984, and these were some of the most astute questions I’ve ever gotten!”
In fact, Kessler noticed a theme in some of the questions she was asked at MEDS 2011, so she plans to fine-tune her obesity presentation, for example, to incorporate more on nutrigenomics. “And we’re going to be critically looking at some of the alternative weight-loss strategies—the nutritional and herbal remedies out there that our patients are using,” she says.
A COMMON BOND
What is clear from speaking to the co-chairs of MEDS is that their enthusiasm for this program has not dimmed in the slightest; the faculty truly enjoy working together and interacting with the audience and look forward to doing it again this year (twice!).
“The thing I really enjoy about this meeting is that we have a solid group of PAs and NPs who come together as one team with the goal or mission to educate our colleagues,” Urquhart says. “It shows that despite what society, or organizations, associations, and institutions say about differences between PAs and NPs, when we’re working together, you can see the commonality between us and what we do. It is just seamless, and that is what I think is fabulous.”
Providing relevant, helpful information to an audience comprised of colleagues is also satisfying for the presenters. “NPs and PAs are, in general, one of the most enjoyable audiences to lecture to, because they’re ‘all in,’” says Sadler. “They’re hungry for good information, and they’re motivated to take the best care of their patients that they can.”
NPs and PAs have the same clinical information needs and the united goal of providing quality care to their patients. This is why, Kessler concludes, the curriculum of MEDS is “real, in-practice, reality-based. It’s not the esoteric material. Everything we’re going to say will be research-based, but we’re going to give it to the practitioner to use.”
For more information, please visit www.MEDSummit.qhc.com.