PRA 2017: The Rheumatologists Track

The central program for the PRA 2017 is the one addressing the needs of those with subspecialty training in the field – The Rheumatologists Track. Open to both PRA members and non-members, this track will start on the afternoon of the 23rd and end in the afternoon of the 25th February 2017. The topics are clustered around the following themes: Fundamentals in Diagnostics, Rare Diseases No More, Rheumatology and Virology, Inflammatory Arthritis Forum and Pediatric Rheumatology.

The Fundamentals in Diagnostics starts after the plenary lectures common to all tracks in the convention. It seeks to update the subspecialists’ knowledge of commonly ordered diagnostic tests and procedures. It will cover radiography, MRI/ CT Scan, serology and autoantibody testing, EMG-NCV and musculoskeletal ultrasound.

The session on rare diseases reviews updates on the care of vasculitides and anti phospholipid syndrome. A special (off) topic of the session will be a discussion on the impact of health technology on medical practice.

Virology and Rheumatology reviews current trends on infectious diseases and looks into its impact on the care of patients with rheumatic diseases. The speakers will discuss vaccinations in patients with rheumatic disease, viral hepatitis and HIV/ AIDS.

The inflammatory arthritis forum features two debates (one between fellows of training institutions and the other between senior members of the PRA). The audience will hear both sides of the issue on whether to taper or not taper biologic DMARDs in RA and whether one should maximize conventional DMARDs or proceed with biologics in patients with high disease activity.

The Pediatric Rheumatology sessions will focus on transitioning pediatric patients to adult care and updates on auto inflammatory diseases. An update to new therapies in SLE has been included in the last few sessions.

Also included in rheumatologists tracks are the oral presentations of select research completed by clinical members and the annual business meeting (for PRA members only).

Payment of membership annual dues will include registration to the scientific sessions. However, non PRA members who have rheumatology training will have to pay P3,500 to attend the above sessions.

The 23rd PRA Annual Meeting, themed “Rheuma RANGE: Rapid Advancements, New Knowledge, Growing Expectations”, will be held at the Conrad Hotel in Pasay City from February 23-25, 2017.


PRA 2017: The Generalists Track

The Generalists Track is open to general practitioners, family physicians, internists and specialists with interests in the care of patients with arthritis and rheumatism. The track will run from February 23 afternoon to the whole day of February 24. (Plenary sessions common for all tracks are happening on the morning of the 23rd).

The first set of sessions on the 23rd will focus on the cost effective diagnosis of commonly encountered rheumatic conditions in general practice. This will be done through 20 minute short sessions discussing the optimal approach to identifying osteoarthritis, gout, osteoporosis, inflammatory arthritis, SLE and other connective tissue diseases. An interactive session will follow featuring patients with these conditions.

On the following day, practice guidelines will be discussed in more detail through 30 minute talks given by select PRA members. This will cover osteoarthritis, rheumatoid arthritis, back pain, gout, osteoporosis, lupus and red flags in Rheumatology. Likewise, there will be a special session on Career Opportunities in Rheumatology given by Dr. Lyndon John Llamado, a former PRA Board Member, to encourage those contemplating on further training. 

Dr. Sandra Teresa Navarra will also give a talk in the generalists’ track – by discussing another advocacy that she has – that  of the environment and climate change.

The first 130 participants who register through the PRA Office (Tel No. 726-8875 or email will be able to enjoy markedly reduced rates! For students and trainees*, this will be P2,000 for the 2 day convention. For government physicians and municipal health officers*, registration fees will be P3,000. And for other physicians, it’ll be P3,500. Beyond the first 130 registrants, a rate of P3,500 PER DAY will be charged for all. Should those registered in the generalist track wish to attend sessions on the 25th, they will be charged an ADDITIONAL P3,500. (*Government physicians, MHOs, trainees and students need certification to avail of these low rates). 

The 23rd PRA Annual Meeting will be held from February 23-25, 2017 at the Conrad Hotel, Pasay City, Philippines. This year’s theme is “Rheuma RANGE: Rapid Advancements, New Knowledge and Growing Expectations”.

PRA 2017: The Patients’ Track

Patients during conventions usually help other participants appreciate more of the disease(s) of interest. Well not anymore!

The Patient Track is a by invitation only set of talks given to patients during the convention. The sessions will include a discussion on the Magna Carta for Persons With Disabilities (PWDs), emotional wellness and best practices in patient support groups. Following the break, patients will get to interact with each other and, hopefully, organize themselves to further common interests of patients with rheumatic conditions.

Patients invited to the track are registered free of charge on the 23rd. However, if they wish to join sessions on the 24th and 25th, they would have to pay an additional P3,500 PER DAY. Accompanying persons are not allowed during Patient track – they will also be charged P3,500 PER DAY should they wish to attend the convention.

The 23rd PRA Annual Meeting is to be held at the Conrad Hotel from February 23-25, 2017. This year’s theme is “Rheuma RANGE: Rapid Advancements, New Knowledge and Growing Expectations”.

A PRA Member Gets a TOYM

The Philippine Rheumatology Association congratulates Dr. Geraldine Zamora-Racaza for being the 2016 Ten Outstanding Young Men (TOYM) Awardee for Medicine. She received the award for her inspired advocacy work connected to the Sagip Buhay Medical Foundation and the Lupus Bridging Fund. You can learn more about the TOYM Awardee and Doc Ging’s win here.

Your PRA Family is proud of you, Ging!

3 Tracks for Participants of PRA 2017

The 23rd PRA Annual Meeting will have separate tracks to cater to everyone’s differing educational/ information needs. This is probably the first time that the organizers have deliberately structured the annual event in a way to address participants’ interests. 
There will be different talks given to those with specialty training in Rheumatology (open to both PRA and non-PRA members) and generalists (including family physicians, internists, or other specialists) with interest in the field. Another first is the inclusion of a patient track – more than being partners for specific activities – they will have their own set of lectures and an interactive session.

Learn more about these tracks in subsequent posts to the PRA 2017 tab. 

Check back also for more of other activities happening this February 23-25, 2017.

RA Updates? Come to our November SIGa!

PRA members are once again invited to attend a special interest group activity this November 5, 2016 at the Holiday Inn, Makati City. The focus of the day’s events will be rheumatoid arthritis. Listed below is the preliminary program provided by the Makati Medical Center Section of Rheumatology, the event’s co-organizer.

1030 – 1200H    Research Clinical Trial Training for fellows

1200 – 1300H    Lunch Symposium

1300 – 1310H     Opening Ceremonies

1310 – 1350H     Revisiting the Pathophysiology of Rheumatoid Arthritis

1350 – 1430H     ACR and EULAR Guideline Update

1430 – 1510H     Break

1510 – 1550H     Difficult Care Panel Discussion (with PRA members as panelists)

1550 – 1630H     Easy Case Discussion (with fellows in training as discussants)

1630 – 1640H     Closing Remarks

This is the Association’s third CME activity for the year following the 22nd Annual Meeting. The first two were the Lupus SIG activity co-organized with USTH Section of Rheumatology, Immunology and Osteoporosis and the Psoriatic Arthritis SIG Symposium handled by the UP PGH Section of Rheumatology.

The next CME activity following this would be the 23rd Annual Meeting in February 2017 to be followed by another event (target date on May 2017) to be co-organized with either the Section of Rheumatology of SLMC or JRRMMC.

The secretariat is in the process of applying for CME credit units with the Philippine College of Physicians and Philippine Medical Association.

Non-NCR PRA members can coordinate with the secretariat regarding transportation and accommodations.

CONGRATULATIONS to our Board Passers!

The following have successfully passed the written examination given by the Philippine Specialty Board of Rheumatology last 26 June 2016 at the Cathedral Heights Building Complex, St. Luke’s Medical Center:

(Alphabetically Arranged)

  1. AFOS, Ivy
  2. CRISTOBAL, Miguel Antonio C.
  3. DE ASIS-FABILA, Aime S.
  4. GUTIERREZ-RUBIO, Anna Kristina
  5. TUPAS, Stamen N.
  6. ZAMORA, Leonid D.

The above clinical members are from hereon considered BOARD CERTIFIED. They will be be inducted as PRA Diplomates in ceremonies to be held during the 23rd Annual Meeting in February 2017. But prior to this, they have to comply with the requirements listed here. Please coordinate with the secretariat for the deadline of membership requirements.

Program for the Psoriatic Arthritis SIG 2016

Below is the program for the special interest group (SIG) meeting scheduled on 11 August 2016 to be held at the Museum of a History of Ideas, Padre Faura, Ermita, Manila.

1:45 PM – Patient’s Perspective on Psoriatic Arthritis – Mr. Josef De Guzman (President/ CEO, Psoriasis Philippines)

2:00 PM – Psoriatic Arthritis in Asia – Dr. Evelyn Osio-Salido (Head, UP PGH Section of Rheumatology/ Past President, PRA)

2:30 PM – Understanding the Pathophysiology of Psoriatic Arthritis – Dr. Bernadette Heizel Manapat-Reyes (Training Officer, UP PGH Section of Rheumatology/ President, PRA)

3:15 PM – Identifying Psoriasis Lesions – Dr. Rogelio Balagat (Training Officer, Dr. Victor R. Potenciano Memorial Medical Center Department of Medicine / IM-Rheuma-Derma)

3:45 PM – Management of Psoriasis – Dr. Ma. Lorna F. Frez (Associate Professor, UP PGH Department of Dermatology)

4:15 PM – Psoriatic Arthritis Guidelines – Dr. Ester G. Penserga (Past Head, UP PGH Section of Rheumatology/ Past President, PRA)

The activity will be held after the Dr. Lourdes Manahan Lectures in Rheumatology in the same venue in the morning.