Overarching Themes of IDWeek 2019


Erin McCreary, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP, shares her takeaways from IDWeek 2019.

Segment Description: Erin McCreary, PharmD, BCPS, BCIDP, infectious diseases clinical pharmacist at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center, shares her takeaways from IDWeek 2019.

Interview transcript: (modified slightly for readability)

Dr. McCreary: I think some of the main themes I've noticed at IDWeek 2019—really my biggest takeaways thus far about halfway through the meeting—are, honestly, probably 4 big buckets. The first of those is how inclusive this meeting has become overall. If you look on Twitter this morning, there was a line wrapped around the building out the door to get into the “Women in ID Breakfast.” There are signs everywhere promoting gender, race, sex, you name it; everyone is included. It's an amazing community be a part of. Science is science and people are people, and I feel like we're embracing that more than ever in our community. It's a pretty inspiring thing to be a part of.

On that note, I think collaboration is the next biggest theme. The world is getting smaller, and that goes to my third theme, which is just connectivity. Social media is bringing us together and I know a lot of people might think it's silly or might think that it's not something they’ve decided to engage with yet. But, increasingly, I think we're learning that if you're not engaged in social media, you are a little behind in seeing how quickly science comes out and in staying up to date with recent literature, recent data. Getting to meet people before you even get to meet them in person, and so then when you meet them in person, it's like that collaboration and that connection is already there. And you're already forming the next great idea together. And so it makes the world smaller. I've seen people from Florida meeting up with pharmacists [who] live in India and physicians [who] live in Australia, all because they connected over social media prior to this meeting, and they were able to set up those meetings here to meet in person to discuss new ideas. And so I think that's a theme. It's in the sessions, too. It's in keynote speakers. I've heard several physicians and pharmacists mention it in their sessions today about connectivity and collaboration. So those are 2 themes.

And then the last one—probably as a result of the first 3—are paradigm shifts, and I think more and more of the sessions that we're learning about today, and throughout the week, are trials like OVIVA and POET and IV to PO and changing what we've always done to something that could potentially be better for our patients. And immunocompromised ID…challenging and really thinking about what we do for prophylaxis is just one niche. I think all of these studies are coming out that are saying, “We've done this for 20 years. We've had one drug for 20 years and done prophylaxis this way, but what if we did it this way?” Showing those kinds of data, with vaccines, with HIV, with all these different kinds of infections…I think a lot of the studies we're seeing come out are just completely challenging the status quo, which is really exciting. Also, with that, we have so many new drugs in so many spaces. We’re kind of in this boom for the past 5 years where we've had a ton of drugs coming out. Now we're seeing people actually start to use those drugs, to challenge people to think about how they're treating patients and re-prioritize where drugs go and just support each other in optimizing patient care as a whole.

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