The path towards the new strategic planning of PANLAR

By :
    Estefanía Fajardo
    Periodista científica de Global Rheumatology by PANLAR.

19 April, 2023
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E- ISSN: 2709-5533
Vol 4 / Jan - Jun [2023]


The path towards the new strategic planning of PANLAR

Estefanía Fajardo: Periodista científica. Correo: 
Dr Miguel Albanese: Presidente PANLAR. Correo:


Cite as: Fajardo E, Albanese M. El camino hacia la nueva planeación estratégica de PANLAR. Global Rheumatology. Vol 4 / Ene - Jun [2023]. Available from:

Received date: March 24, 2023
Accepted date: April 15, 2023
Published Date: April 19, 2023

In this videoblog, Miguel Albanese, president of PANLAR, discusses the line of work proposed and the challenges for the future of society and research from PANLAR, with the main objective being the joint work between researchers, doctors and patients.

Estefanía Fajardo: Hello everyone and welcome to a new Global Rheumatology video blog, where we will be addressing all the topics that are going to be discussed at PANLAR 2023. Today we are with Dr. Miguel Albanese, the president of PANLAR, who is going to talk to us about all the challenges that there are, everything that has been built, what we have at the moment and where we are going, both in Rio and in the future, which is going to be Barranquilla. Doctor, welcome.

Miguel Albanese: It is a pleasure to be with you and to share information and promote this beautiful community work, in which we are all working for a better rheumatology in the Americas. That is PANLAR, a history that has been going on for 80 years for more and better rheumatology, each time with greater challenges, each time with new actors, where the most important cult is to give back a more dignified rheumatology for all, where the rheumatologist is a worthy performer and above all the patient is a worthy recipient of the knowledge, strategies and everything that rheumatology is bringing in the 21st century. Thank you for allowing me to be with you, go ahead.

Estefanía Fajardo: Initially, let's talk about what has been built and what we plan to do based on it in terms of PANLAR members.

Miguel Albanese: Nice question because sometimes when one takes on positions like this one, one wonders: why am I here, what am I looking for and what can I give to the organization? PANLAR has been 8 decades from some dreamers and I always believe that the essential has been maintained since the first day united by science and heart. Because there is nothing more important than the love we have for what we cultivate: rheumatology. You, as a journalist specializing in rheumatology, there is a certain love for this specialty that we both cultivate, you with your Global projects and what you have been doing for rheumatology journalism in the Americas is very important, and with my practice.

So when one inherits or receives the management of an administration of an accomplishment of more than eight decades or when one is completing eight decades, one really has the challenge of watching over, respecting, and honoring that history. Each one of us did the best we could do in the previous eight decades and today we have to reassemble the structure to continue navigating toward the future. Evidently, PANLAR 2016 put together a structure that would allow us to generate more and better knowledge of rheumatology in America, especially in Latin America.

A development plan was generated from 2016 to 2022 to reorganize the structure, which was based on rheumatology knowledge, study groups, powerful, innovative study groups, and young PANLAR study groups, where younger people were being injected and amalgamated with middle-aged people, but also trying to change the inertia with which we had been coming. To go from a contemplative Latin American to a proactive Latin American, what do we mean by that? To try to generate knowledge in our reality, to try to organize and communicate knowledge in the most academic and perfect way possible.

So, to reassemble the culture of rheumatology with a very accurate north, a rheumatology that shows evidence in Latin America, a rheumatology that shows the experience of Latin Americans combined in the PANLAR evidence.

Standards of clear treatment rules, such as the postures or treatment guidelines, elements of help, of assistance to the different societies to achieve greater development and balance the differences that may exist between them.

All this great world is PANLAR, and we have to try to level it up to make rheumatology, as I said at the beginning, more dignified with the rheumatologist dignitaries and patients for a better quality of life for all our Pan-American friends.

Estefanía Fajardo: We were previously talking about a development tree that proposes some roots and from there the branches on which you want to work are linked. Tell us about that.

Miguel Albanese: The strategic approach was a very important meeting where we worked proactively for three presidencies, that of Carlo Vinicio Caballero Uribe, followed by Enrique Soriano and then Carlos Lozada, with which they managed to base themselves on the history of rheumatology in those 70 years at the time, 75 years that had passed, as an anchoring element to the past.

Something that lives 70 years is worth living, but we cannot live with the DNA of 70 years, we have to add innovation to it, and that is the idea of the tree. The tree is a firm structure, with deep roots based on knowledge, that is what we inherited; it has a trunk that has been growing, packed with powerful leadership in different rheumatologists who motivate, generate and stimulate the rest to achieve powerful branches and fruits.

That is the image of the tree or the image is a structure of permanent renovation with the nourishment through the products of all the opportunities that science has to advance and like everything in nature, the trees will have favorable elements in the climate and unfavorable elements, but the roots will allow us to sustain the storms that may come and take advantage of them to continue growing.

That is the figure of the tree, which I think is very practical and we are going to keep it because the tree is going to evolve in the future, and the fruits of the tree we have to try to generate fruits of better and better quality.

Estefanía Fajardo: What do you consider to be the main challenges in areas such as, for example, patients and integration among countries?

Miguel Albanese: Science and the culture of medicine have changed today. In the past it was almost gravitational, they were assistance hospitals. Today we are talking about a doctor-patient binomial and for that we have to work on empowering the patient, a patient who knows about the disease he has, a patient who knows what is happening to him, a patient who knows, as far as a patient has to know, which path to follow, is a patient who will adhere better to the treatment, who will understand the treatment better and who will have a better evolution. Convinced of this, PANLAR is working on shared decision-making, empowering the patient with the school for patients, helping doctors to work in centers of excellence, where a correct and early diagnosis is made, an adequate follow-up with an adequate measurement of the evolution of the disease and with the changes in drug strategy agreed with the patient, called shared decision making, to achieve the best benefits.

Today we consider a patient to be a great partner, an ally, and not a subject. That is the difference of this moment in medicine, where we talk about evidence and we talk about a patient to whom we advise on what is best for his evolution according to what is real, what we know and understand, and again, we also work as a team, team of physicians, groups of excellence, teams of patients, school of patients, school of relatives.

A few days ago we celebrated Juvenile Idiopathic Arthritis Day, where patients were empowered. It is difficult today to have a child of a few years old with a totally disabling disease, and how difficult, but also how good it is to have other parents who suffer from similar conditions and other suitable physicians who advise them on what is the least bad and what is the best evolution for our children.

All this is very progressive, but these are the saps we want to put in the tree, more and better initiatives, and strategies. And this also goes hand in hand with advocacy and is to achieve access to different technologies and different new molecules. First, rheumatologists know their origin, their evolution, how they come, where they go, and when they are applied. Second, governments know the importance that it is not an expense but an investment in health. Finally, how to reach all of society in an equitable and egalitarian manner. This is the work of advocacy; we have to ask for this in a reasoned but sustained and firm manner in order to achieve benefits for all.

Estefanía Fajardo: You mentioned something very important earlier, which is the culture of science and research. What plans do you have to make PANLAR stand out from other organizations in the world?

Miguel Albanese: Obviously, first of all, I believe that Latin America has a lot to give. Latin America is very close to the American College of Rheumatology, obviously, they are the brothers from the North, but Latinos from Mexico to the South also have that intermingling of races and cultures that also makes us original. And what we also have is that we are also "Europeans". Some of us come from Europe, transplanted here and we have that culture of the emigrant from Europe, from the American College, and our mestizo relationship in America that we have to amalgamate to achieve the best of it. Believe me, it is a powerful gem in terms of initiative in terms of inventiveness. PANLAR is strongly associated with and aligned with patients, which makes us a very competitive society and very different from the rest of America. ACR is part of PANLAR, ACR has the technology and innovation, PANLAR will also innovate in patient access, will innovate in the patient school, will innovate in having supportive patients, will innovate in communication, will innovate in the patient magazine, in other words, the patient is our partner and the patient is our real reason for existing within the science of rheumatology. We are physicians who study rheumatology with an important sense of solidarity towards the patient who suffers, PANLAR will try to do all that. The gem is coming and we will try to continue promoting it from this administration and those to come.

Estefanía Fajardo: We know that PANLAR 2023 is coming up in Rio.

Miguel Albanese: Indeed, Rio de Janeiro. We have just come from a 100% face-to-face congress in Miami where we broke the inertia of the two years of distance, as a result of Covid. It brought us a lot of pain because of the losses we had, left us a lot, but all these great losses also brought technology, brought innovation, brought telemedicine, we must continue working on telemedicine as an element of accessibility where we can take the rheumatologist to places where we do not have him, this is a work of distance and we are reaching many places and welcome it. We have the PANLAR schools, we have the PANLAR webinar, and we have the PANLAR magazine. We have to continue incorporating, managing, and socializing all this technology and it is also a challenge in Rio de Janeiro to learn to use these great tools we have to share knowledge both for those who have to publish and for those who have to be nourished.

One of the first changes I hope for is that Global Rheumatology will be an element of consultation for all those who are being trained in rheumatology, that it will be our first logbook in rheumatology, it is a supreme ambition and we have to start working on this in Rio de Janeiro. A very balanced congress, a very strong congress in technology, in knowledge, a strong contribution from Brazil, which is our host, where we are going to show many Brazilian colleagues who are of very good academic value, where there are other colleagues from the continent who are also going to help us.

It is a very different PANLAR that begins to show the strengths of our patients amalgamated with the American College of Rheumatology that gives its contribution and, of course, EULAR with contributions. We are only a part of the world, but for us, the whole world is our part. So, Rio de Janeiro is also going to have a strategic planning meeting where we are going to try to manage this tree we inherited with its fruits, to see how we continue to cultivate our tree, where we are going to feed it more, what things we have to improve, we are going to make a balance of what has happened in these six years, three periods.

We are going to see what was good that he left us, and we are going to see where we can modify to continue growing. Evidently, we are left with an important outreach tool such as Global Rheumatology, we are left with 23 study groups working in some way, we are left with a positioning mechanism and we are left with a research and development unit that we believe we have to improve to achieve this, the school of rheumatology doing evidence-based medicine, having projects that can be measurable, can be replicable and provide greater quality to our work and doing work of increasingly higher quality. Thank you.

Estefanía Fajardo: Doctor, thank you very much, and thank you very much, everyone. We will continue here with the coverage of PANLAR 2023


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