After working alongside 2015 Spring Clinical Meetings Program Chair Adam Whaley-Connell, Dr. Daniel Weiner is ready to take the wheel for what is looking like a very exciting National Kidney Foundation (NKF) 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings (SCM16) in Boston, Massachusetts. We sat down with Dan to ask him a few questions about his involvement with NKF, as well as his ideas for the SCM16 program development.
Q: How and why did you first get involved with the National Kidney Foundation? How many SCMs have you attended?
DW: On a national level, my major early involvement with the NKF was as Deputy Editor of the American Journal of Kidney Diseases (AJKD) which is the NKF’s official journal targeting nephrologists and featuring original research. In that role, I got to know a lot of people with the NKF and really appreciated the work and scope of NKF as an overall organization. My earliest involvement though, was with my local NKF chapter, when I volunteered at NKF’s KEEP screenings, providing free, personalized medical advice to those who were getting their kidneys checked.
Q: Have you started planning for 2016 yet? Will there be a theme or focus on a specific area of Nephrology?
DW: The most important thing for planning the conference is putting together the program committee. With the assistance of Jessica Joseph at NKF (who really is the person who makes the whole conference happen) and the incoming co-Chair, Dr. Dena Rifkin, we have assembled a really fantastic team for the program committee. We will all be meeting in person in the next few months to plan specific elements of the meeting, so stay tuned. I’m confident that SCM16 will have something for everyone.
Q: What are you most looking forward to as program chair for 2016?
DW: Purely coincidentally, the NKF 2016 Spring Clinical Meetings is happening in my own backyard – my hometown of Boston. Late April in Boston is a great time of year with the Boston Marathon and the Red Sox home opener both marking the local start of Spring. The city truly comes alive in April and May, and is a fantastic place to explore and spend some time. The meeting is happening right in the middle of downtown Boston (a few blocks from Fenway Park in one direction and the marathon finish line in the other) and I am thrilled to be able to share my home city with the nephrology community. I think that having the meeting in a more urban setting will be an exciting change. With three medical schools within walking distance of the convention center, multiple nearby schools for PAs, pharmacy, nursing and nutrition, and a dozen teaching hospitals within a few miles, I think we have a tremendous opportunity to expose potential future nephrologists and future members of the nephrology community to our specialty.
Q: Do you have any new plans for SCM16?
DW: We all have many ideas for 2016, including continuing to make sessions more interactive and enhancing the workshops. With that in mind, our overall goal is to retain the spirit of NKF’s Spring Clinical Meetings, which rests in its focus on patient care, appealing to clinicians and clinical researchers alike. Finally, we are really hoping to get an outstanding turnout from residents and fellows, and will work on ways to further develop the program for trainees.
Q: What do you think makes the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings stand out from other nephrology conferences?
DW: There are several factors that make the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings special, but I think the most notable is that it is a true interdisciplinary meeting, with advanced practitioners, social workers, physicians and physician trainees, dietitians, pharmacists and others all having content tailored specifically to them, while also featuring broad content that is appropriate for all attendees. Medicine is increasingly an interdisciplinary field and the NKF Spring Clinical Meetings embody this interdisciplinary spirit!
Dr. Dan Weiner received his degree Tufts University School of Medicine in Boston, MA. He currently works as an Associate Professor of Medicine at Tufts University School of Medicine, as is also the Associate Medical Director of DCI Boston.
Note: Interview originally appeared in issue #6 of the NKF’s Daily Clinicals on March 29, 2015. Reproduced with permission of the NKF.