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April 11-13, 2019
Internal Medicine Meeting 2019
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I attended the National Recertification Course in Internal
Medicine sponsored by the Paraguayan Society of Internal Medicine
from November 12 to November 15, 2015. Drs. Maria Cristina
Jiménez, FACP, and Dr. Jose Ortellado, FACP, were the course
directors. Dr. Ortellado is also the President of the Society. Dr.
Jorge Hidalgo, MACP, of Belize, was the international faculty
coordinator. I had the opportunity prior to the meeting to review
the curriculum and provide my input as the ACP representative and
to create the post-course evaluation.
Two-hundred and fifty physicians paid $500 each to attend this
meeting that included 34 hours of instruction. More than 80% of all
participants stayed to the end of the day each day of the meeting,
including Election Day (Sunday). It took me a while to figure out
why all the attendees had a purple index finger.
All presentations were in a single large room with excellent
audiovisual support and internet connectivity. Each presentation
was 30 minutes in duration. This rapid change of faculty reduced
learner fatigue and maintained interest. All faculty included
self-assessment questions within their presentation, some used a
cell-phone technology audience response system. A pre-course
examination was offered which consisted of a subset of the
post-course evaluation questions. An evaluation of the course was
performed and results should be available later.
The faculty was international in scope including those from the
United States, Belize, and Guatemala. I thought the quality of the
presentations were quite excellent. The lectures were all given in
Spanish or English with Spanish translations.
The entire conference was heavily ACP branded including all
faculty PowerPoint slides, the program (and each page within the
program), the tote bag, name badges, and note taking paper.
Following the end of the conference a 30-question post-course
examination was administered. The Paraguayan Society of Internal
Medicine will score the tests and issue documents of
"recertification" for those who met the passing threshold.
For me, the most astounding aspect of the meeting was the end.
Dr. Barbara Mathes, FACP, (my spouse) and I positioned ourselves in
the pre-function area to wait for the end of the evaluation session
and suddenly we found ourselves in an impromptu reception line. I
estimate that we personally received the thanks, handshakes, and
well-wishes from at least 75% of the attendees, many waiting
several minutes in a long line to speak to us. Most wished to have
their photographs taken with us. The message was the same from each
physician or groups of physicians (many families attended the
course, for example father and daughter); they were grateful for
the course and this was the best course they ever attended. Some
were so emotional about the experience that they had tears in their
eyes. For Barbara and me, the experience was overwhelming.
We were thankful for the opportunity to participate in the
course, and we even had the opportunity to be able to visit some
tourist sights around Paraguay. The trip was well worth every
Pictured above: Patrick Alguire, MD, FACP (right) is
inducted as an Honorary Member of the Paraguayan Society of
Internal Medicine by Dr. Ortellado (left) and Dr. Jimenez
January International Newsletter