Prague Rheuminations

Prague Rheuminations

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By Dr Irwin Lim, Rheumatologist

I've been away at an immunology summit in Prague. 500 rheumatologists, a bevy of good speakers, 3 days of "rheum"-inating.

A meeting proves worthwhile for me if I can bring back an idea or two that changes my clinical practice and improves patient care. This was.

After a bunch of talks/seminars on rheumatoid arthritis, psoriatic arthritis, ankylosing spondylitis & spondyloarthritis. I learned some good stuff. As importantly, the time away allowed me to reflect on my clinical practice and work out ways to improve.

Distance may make the heart grow fonder but in my case, being out of sight, helps sharpen the mind.

Prague is an enjoyable place to be and I had a day and a bit to explore. I thought I'd share some snapshots. The city is beautiful and a nice place to walk around, especially as it takes longer to get around by car than by foot.

This was good exercise and helps counter Czech food.

Lot of meat. Pork everywhere. This are some of what I ate.

Then, there's the beer. I drink very little usually but being in Prague, I had to do my bit to sample the local amber. It was good and ridiculously cheap. Cheaper than water or Coke.

I couldn't help wondering as I feasted on the above diet about Czech arthritis. While I was being lectured about various inflammatory arthritis, what about the most common inflammatory arthritis in the world - gout?

Surely, this great beer and food would do wonders for serum urate.

Anyway, I'm back in Sydney and back to the clinic. I started measuring DAS28 more regularly in my rheumatoid arthritis patients and am ready to start using the AS-DAS to monitor my spondyloarthritis patients. I'm a little more confident in interpreting spondylitis changes in MRI and my notes of immunology pathways have been reread.

Time to start planning that next conference.

Dr Irwin Lim is a rheumatologist and a director of BJC Health.
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