Arthritis University Now Accepting Students

If the thought of packing into a crowded banquet hall this summer to get those CME credits does not excite you, then you may want to consider "studying" at The Arthritis University. Produced by McNeil Consumer Healthcare, in consultation with Canadian Rheumatologists, GPs and The Arthritis Society, the newly launched CD-ROM is designed to support doctors in refining their diagnosis and treatment of musculoskeletal conditions. MAINPRO-M2 accreditation is available.

"With the prevalence of arthritis growing at such a rapid pace, and newer treatments for the disease being developed all the time, we saw a need to provide some context on the critical issues of diagnosis and management," said Dr. J Carter Thorne, Rheumatologist, Medical Coordinator of The Arthritis Program (TAP) at York County Hospital, and chairman of the Teaching Faculty of The Arthritis University. "And when we considered the time constraints that physicians face, we decided to take advantage of the available technology."

The virtual campus has three larger buildings: a lecture hall, where expert faculty provide key insights into arthritis and discuss epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and patient issues; a library which is filled with practice management tools such as treatment matrices and algorithms, as well as web links and an arthritis prevalence calculator; and a clinic/laboratory where users can access six patient case studies with accompanying video and commentary.

The CD-ROM also in-cludes a campus building for The Arthritis Society outlining its programs and services as well as downloadable patient information, and the McNeil building , which offers physicians an osteoarthritis CME toolkit complete with downloadable slides. "Clearly, one of the benefits of learning via CD-ROM is that it allows physicians to learn at their own pace, and to revisit areas of particular interest," said Dr. Thorne.

According to Dr. Thorne, one of the primary focuses of the CD-ROM is diagnosis, which emphasizes the need for a thorough case history. "Correctly diagnosing patients leads to more appropriate treatment plans. The pain experienced in mild to moderate osteoarthritis, for example, is primarily related to the mechanical nature of the disease as opposed to the presence of inflammation. In these situations, it may be more appropriate to prescribe a simple analgesic."

According to Denis Morrice, President of the Arthritis Society, The Arthritis University is a valuable tool for sorting through the huge volume of information on the disease. "Ongoing research has enabled us to gain a vast amount of knowledge about arthritis. The key now is to ensure that all of this information filters down to the people who need it most…"

To obtain a free copy of The Arthritis University, please call McNeil Consumer Healthcare at 1 800 265-7323.