By Kasia Michalik
There are many problems that face dialysis—from mineral bone disorders and water treatment, to home hemodialysis and mitigation of cardiovascular risk. They are all topics that are in need of examination and discussion.
On September 14-15, the University of Missouri School of Medicine, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Nephrology; Continuing Medical Education, and the International Society for Hemodialysis (iSHD) will host a two-day conference titled "Hemodialysis University," at the Chicago Marriott O'Hare.
Founded in 1999, iSHD's purpose was to focus on all aspects of hemodialysis, especially education. The organization has hosted many events including: educational sessions, symposiums, and training sessions in addition to the Annual Dialysis Conference. John Daugirdas, MD, was approached by the current president of iSHD, Madhukar Misra, MD, to co-direct the upcoming "Hemodialysis Univiersity" conference.
"The one thing they wanted to do was focus more directly on hemodialysis-related education and to start a hemodialysis university," Daugirdas said. "I've been a member on and off since the societies founding. They kind of asked me to focus in on Hemodialysis University, which primarily is projected to be on the Web. The difficulty is, when you have something designed for the Internet, it's very hard to do that without having to do a true "live" conference to draw from."
This conference, being the first of the series, is being held in front of a "live" audience to provide a stage to bring out and focus on specifics and key questions, as well as capturing audience reactions through response pads. The goal after the conference is to make everything archived and available on the Web.
"The idea is, not to try and cover everything in a hemodialysis course, but to cover in-depth, a limited source of topics, and to try to identify the key clinical questions that are of interests to practicing nephrologists, and capture the initial questions from the audience and responses from the expert panel and audio/video tape everything," Daugirdas said.
Continuing Medical Education (CME) credits will be offered for those who attend the meeting.
"Fellows and physicians are eligible for CME," Daugirdas said. "We're going to see how many nurses register. It's certainly open to nurses and nurse practitioners, but the conference is primarily targeted to physicians and fellows and it depends how many nurses and nurse practitioners show up."
The "sweet spot" is to have about 150 attendees. The goal is not to have a massive number of people, the goal is to have enough people to still be able to hold an interactive conference.
"We're trying to make it a little different from the usual conference, where you just have lectures and Q&As," Daugirdas said. "We are trying ahead of time to get all of the speakers together and deconstruct each of the topics into 10 most important questions and areas for practicing nephrologists. We are also hoping to get information on how each large dialysis organization (LDO) is addressing each of the questions and topics."
To register for the conference click here.