Welcome to NKF Action Center on ReachMD. On this episode, we’re joined by Dr. Samira Farouk, who’s an Associate Professor of Medicine and Medical Education and Associate Program Director of the nephrology fellowship program at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai. Dr. Farouk is here to share what sessions she’s looking forward to seeing at the National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting. Dr. Farouk also explains the famous hashtag Neph Madness bracket. Let’s hear from her now.
As a transplant nephrologist, I'm always very interested in any transplant sessions that these meetings have to offer and many, sessions that are available not only for transplant nephrologists but similarly other members of the care team that allow opportunities for interprofessional conversations. So there is a couple that are, really looking at, focusing on how do we do the pretransplant or the listing process. There's actually a whole session that's called Listing Process and Pretransplant Requirements. There is another session called Strategies to Promote Interest in Transplant Among Dialysis Patients. And then there are some that are covering the newer or hot topics in kidney transplantation. One talk will discuss biomarkers in, uh, kidney transplantation. Another, the Transplantation of Hepatitis C-Positive, Organs into Individuals that are Hepatitis C-Negative, which has become a really exciting way for us to expand the kidney transplant donor pool. And then finally, The Role of Social Media in Finding a Living Donor, which has been a topic that has been kind of gaining some interest over the last few years. And then again, similarly, you know, a kind of overlap between transplant and you know, equity is a session called Towards Achieving Transplant Equity, and so how do we look at some of these barriers that increase the disparities, and how do we tackle those and, again, try to improve transplant opportunities and outcomes for all of our patients that have kidney disease.
And the last few sessions that I thought were kind of different and interesting that I'm going to try to attend at this year's meeting, are kind of not related to transplant or nephrology or education but I think other areas that are really important for us in healthcare. One of them is called “Strategic Humor for Influential Communication,” led by, I think, a neuro-humorist, which I've never heard of that before, but the session will discuss how do we use humor to enhance our communication, to build trust with people that we are speaking to and kind of strengthen our relationships via communication. And another really interesting one that is going to be led by, I believe, a dietitian is called “Flavor Enhancements for Taste Alterations.” I think this is really important for those of us that take care of patients with kidney disease that are often given many dietary restrictions. It can be challenging to find food that is palatable, and this session seems it will address ways to make food more palatable and perhaps allow patients to adhere to their dietary restrictions to hopefully improve their overall health care.
Another nephrology-related topic that I'm very excited about that will happen during the National Kidney Foundation meeting is the announcement of the winners of the NephMadness tournament that will be advancing towards the final round. And so, for those of you that may not know, NephMadness is an online, free educational game that is played throughout the month of March and really modeled off of the US NCAA basketball tournament. And what we do is we highlight 32 hot topics in nephrology that we think are going to be potentially practice-changing in the near future. We separate those 32 topics into 8 different regions, kind of similar to geographic regions for the basketball tournament. We create educational content that really covers these topics in a high-yield way with referenced, and reviewed blog posts that are published on the American Journal of Kidney Disease blog. That's ajkdblog.org. And during the month of March, anyone that plays learns about these topics, debates them online and then the ultimate goal is to submit a bracket with your winning topics trying to predict the picks of our expert blue-ribbon panel, who will vote on their own to decide what they think are the most influential topics.
And so the last date for the bracket submission is March 31 at nephmadness.com. And once those submissions are in, we will begin to reveal the teams that have advanced, so from 32 teams, we get to the Saturated 16, the Effluent 8, the Filtered 4, the Right and Left Kidney, and then finally our champion. And so, during the NKF meeting, I believe we will be revealing some of those results, and so that will be happening in parallel to all these really exciting topics. And so it should be an exciting week, and I am really looking forward to being in Boston and being with some of my colleagues in person after a very long time.
That was Dr. Samira Farouk sharing what sessions she's looking forward to at this year’s National Kidney Foundation Spring Clinical Meeting and hpw the Neph MAldness program works. To access other episodes in this series, visit ReachMD.com/NKF, where you can Be Part of the Knowledge. Thanks for listening!