Monday, August 16, 2010

93 medical education meetings..and more

In early August, I traveled to Cheyenne, Wyoming.

Dr. Dave Badesch, a Professor of Medicine at the University of Colorado was presenting a PHA medical education session for physicians and allied health professionals.  A leader in the field, Dr. Badesch is also in charge of the highly regarded PH Center at the U. of Colorado and has been a past Chair of PHA's Scientific Leadership Council.  He is one of the early group of physicians who began building PH research and clinical practice more than two decades ago.

The program Dr. Badesch was delivering is one of 30 being presented this year by expert PH physicians in smaller cities throughout the U.S.  Chaired by Darren Taichman, M.D., Ph.D. from the University of Pennsylvania, the 30-City program is connecting expert physicians with less experienced PH physicians in ways that will provide increased knowledge, earlier diagnosis and better treatment for PH patients.

It is one of three PHA initiated face-to-face medical education programs - PHA's Preceptorship and On-Demand programs being the other two - that will this year provide medical education in pulmonary arterial hypertension through over 90 sessions (up from 40 last year and 6 per year between 2005 and 2007). That's 90 education sessions in a disease state with between 20,000 and 30,000 diagnosed patients.

Such intensive medical education in a relatively small field is possible for several reasons.  First, PHA is blessed to have two active and engaged medical sections, one with 500 physicians, the other with 850 nurses and other allied healt professionals.  Through the interest and commitment of these medical leaders, PHA has a pool of expert educators willing to step forward and further develop this important new field of medicine. Second, our industry sponsors - Actelion and Gilead at the Platinum level and United Therapeutics and Pfizer at the Silver level - understand that co-sponsored medical education brings greater credibility to the content, with a greater sense of ownership and engagement by the participating medical educators. 

We believe this model of delivering medical education provides a win-win for everyone...most importantly the patients who are living with pulmonary hypertension.

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