Dr. Silvia Papasidero, from Argentina, works as a staff physician at the Tornú Hospital, in Buenos Aires, and there she also serves as director of the career for physicians specializing in Rheumatology, which is dependent on the University of Buenos Aires and the Argentinean Society of Rheumatology. She is also the residents coordinator at the hospital.
Together with the Rheumatology Association of the city of Buenos Aires, they presented an educational proposal for the PANLAR 2021 Congress on osteoarthritis, "we are three speakers, and we talk about clinimetry and an update on both pharmacological and non-pharmacological treatments," she explains.
"In reality, we are all rheumatologists with many years of training. In my topic, for example, clinimetry, I have been working on it for many years. It consists of how patients should be evaluated, how they should be followed up. Generally, what we do for these lectures is a detailed search of the bibliography and we are always updating to always have the latest information", explains the doctor.
It has been several years since women began to predominate in medicine, she says, assuring that especially in clinical specialties, but that men still predominate in surgical specialties. "It is difficult because there is still a lot of male sexism everywhere, but well, we can do it," she adds.
Returning to what she will address in PANLAR 2021, she points out that in clinimetry one of her great teachers was Dr. Citera, "he taught us how we have to evaluate patients in Rheumatology and how important it is to have objective measurements that allow us to know whether the patient is better or worse, what changes have to be made in the treatment and what would be the objective according to these measurements that we make systematically in the patients".
And, to continue explaining, she compares with more common elements, "just as when you have cholesterol and you want your cholesterol to go below a certain value, in Rheumatology we have a lot of tools to say my patient today is like this in this little number, and I want to improve it, we do not have a single number and a single parameter, but many things that we have to measure in patients: quality of life, function, how they carry out their daily activities, how much they hurt, how they view their disease, how they handle the treatment, in other words, it is much more complex than a simple number, perhaps like a cholesterol value or a blood pressure value. And that is what makes it interesting, and it is necessary to teach it".
For Dr. Papasidero, "taking ownership is one of the most difficult things, that is why I insist on it the most," and it is one of the most difficult things for younger rheumatologists to incorporate. "Above all also because it takes time and sometimes there are many places that in daily practice do not provide enough time for the physician to be able to take in detail, let's say evaluate, everything he has to evaluate, which is another of the things that the different scientific societies are fighting for, to ensure that the physician is given more time in his office so that he has the possibility of making all these evaluations on the patients," she says.
She first did a specialty which is medical clinic, "and when I was finishing medical clinic I realized that I liked Rheumatology because among all the specialties it is the most clinical, the one that sees the patient in a comprehensive way, it is not just one organ, I also saw that there were a lot of things to learn, the part of Immunology, autoimmunity, and the number of treatments available, and everything related to rehabilitation I also liked a lot, so I decided to do another specialty, which was Rheumatology", she confesses.
When asked for a phrase to encourage them to come into this part of the Congress, she replies: To learn how to best evaluate a patient with osteoarthritis and where to focus treatment.
Regarding osteoarthritis, she assures that more things are known, but there is still a lack of treatment "because there are very few treatments developed, so there is a long way to go and, above all, more development of rehabilitation, because there is a lot to do in rehabilitation for these patients, but there are very few professionals trained in rehabilitation".