The range of topics discussed at DDW® 2021 showcased the invaluable work of gastroenterologists, hepatologists and GI surgeons around the globe in advancing the missions of our four professional societies, while continuing to advocate for and address the needs of patients and members.
“This year’s DDW attendees were fortunate to hear from some of the world’s leading experts in gastroenterology, hepatology, endoscopy and gastrointestinal surgery,” said DDW Council Chair Loren Laine, MD, of Yale School of Medicine. “The selection of papers and presentations included in the meeting represented the best scientific and clinical advances in our fields, but also spoke to a wide array of diversity initiatives, training issues and practice considerations.”
Audiences at this year’s meeting had the opportunity to participate in talks on a wide range of themes, including:
- Addressing the rapidly changing landscape of medicine as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic and what this means for clinical practice and research. Presentations under this rubric emphasized the practice implications for caring for patients in a post-pandemic world, including in areas such as endoscopy, hepatology and liver transplantation, and discussed the rapid development of a COVID-19 vaccine for emergency use under Pfizer/BioNTech.
- Meeting the needs of a diverse profession and patient population by reducing and removing barriers facing marginalized populations, such as communities of color and women. These presentations directly reflected the field’s active efforts to eliminate disparities in health care access, provision, quality and outcomes among patients; combat racism, discrimination and bias (at the individual, institutional and systemic level); and improve representation among professionals, trainees and clinical trial participants.
- Ensuring practice is informed by the latest science through dissemination of findings from large-scale data collection and randomized controlled trials. The clinical science plenaries highlighted the field’s progress in emerging therapies and interventions, approaches in screening and diagnosis, and improvements in risk stratification across GI and hepatology.
- Integrating the latest technological advances into patient care and clinical practice to optimize outcomes without compromising safety. With the increasingly widespread adoption of telemedicine, digital health is front and center of nearly every specialty in medicine. As a reflection of this, many presentations focused on describing current and forthcoming technological advances, including those in artificial intelligence and in GI endoscopic and surgical techniques.
- Leveraging personal interactions to aid in professional development. Many sessions provided insights into a range of training and professional development-related areas, such as partnering for private practice, career advancement, mentorship, self-advocacy and practice management.
“Because of the pandemic, this has been a very unusual year, but one that has led to an unprecedented amount of creativity, persistence and productivity, allowing us to keep pace with the science and practice of our field, meet our members’ needs, and ensure our patients get the best care possible,” said Dr. Laine. “I want to thank all of our presenters and attendees for making this year’s meeting an outstanding and inspiring event.”
Save the date for next year’s meeting: DDW 2022 will be taking place May 21–24, 2022, in San Diego, California and virtually. Join us in 2022 to discover the latest research, present your own and expand your knowledge. Whether you’re searching for insights, feedback or collaboration, you’ll find what you need to advance your goals at DDW 2022.