At first glance, the comprehensive ASGE program at DDW® 2015 may seem overwhelming, but Program Director Kenneth R. McQuaid, MD, FASGE, said careful planning prior to the meeting will allow attendees to make the most of the four days of educational sessions in Washington, DC.

“With the proper trip planner and road map, attendees can get an extraordinary amount of very high-yield information that will benefit them in their practice and, ultimately, their patients,” he said.

Dr. McQuaid cited three special sessions that highlight this year’s program:

  • 2015 Update on Infections Related to Endoscope Reprocessing — Clinicians who oversee endoscope reprocessing or perform endoscopic retrograde cholangiopancreatography (ERCP) should attend this session on Monday, May 18. Several units across the country have reported outbreaks of resistant bacterial infections caused by carbapenem-resistant Enterobacteriaceae traced back to duodenoscopes despite apparent compliance with reprocessing guidelines, Dr. McQuaid said. This session will bring together experts from CDC, FDA and ASGE to discuss this emerging problem.

  • Annual Postgraduate Course– Best Endoscopic Practices 2015: Understanding the Evidence and Enhancing Your Skills – This MOC-approved, day-long course on Monday, May 18 covers a range of topics from the esophagus to stones to the economics of the modern practice. Attendees can choose from among 10 lunch breakout sessions in addition to the general sessions.

  • Offering Endoscopic Obesity Therapy in Your Practice: What Will It Take? — Several endoscopic approaches to treat obesity have been created, refined and undergone clinical investigation in recent years. This Monday session will bring together experts in the field to review the latest minimally invasive alternatives to surgery, some of which may be available later this year.

Listening to members
Dr. McQuaid also highlighted several sessions that came out of needs-based assessments following previous DDW meetings.

“People have different needs and learning objectives, and we try to provide an educational program that allows them to pick and choose those programs that fill the gaps in their knowledge base rather than us prescribing a particular pathway for everybody,” said Dr. McQuaid, interim vice chair of medicine at San Francisco Veterans Affairs Medical Center, CA.

Saturday’s combined ASGE/AGA/SSAT session Periprocedural Management of Antithrombotic Agents will review current recommendations for the periprocedural management of the newer oral anticoagulants, discussing when the agents should be stopped before a procedure and when they can be safely resumed.

Another session, The New Frontier of Submucosal Endoscopy, will review how the conventional boundaries of endoscopy have changed, with new techniques going beneath the mucosa to treat achalasia and submucosal tumors.

Other clinical symposia of note include Advances in Detection and Management of Dysplasia in IBD, a timely session that will review new international consensus surveillance guidelines endorsed by ASGE and AGA; and Interventional and Therapeutic EUS: Yes, It’s Here!, which will examine the increasing role of EUS in treating GI disorders, including pancreatic cancer, cystic neoplasms, bleeding, and creating anastomoses between the stomach and duodenum.

Programming with partners
ASGE again has joined with its DDW partners on combined sessions, the centerpiece being the ASGE/AGA Presidential Plenary, which will feature eight of the most important papers presented at DDW on Sunday, May 17.

“That should be the go-to session for everybody who’s a member of AGA or ASGE,” Dr. McQuaid said.

Another AGA/ASGE combined clinical symposium on Sunday will explore the thorny problem of interval colon cancers that develop after colonoscopy. On Tuesday, May 19, an AGA/ASGE/SSAT session will review the management of Barrett’s esophagus, while an ASGE/SSAT session will provide an update on peroral endoscopic myotomy (POEM) and how the technique is affecting interventional endoscopy and surgery.

To address the interests of the DDW attendees coming from outside the U.S., ASGE has also planned several international sessions that highlight the best work of endoscopists around the world. ASGE will join with the Chinese Society of Gastroenterology, Japan Gastroenterological Endoscopy Society, Sociedad Interamericana de Endoscopedia Digestiva, the Korean Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy and the Society of Gastrointestinal Endoscopy in India for symposia on Sunday afternoon and Monday morning. And new this year is Monday’s Best of ASGE DDW in Spanish, which will review the top abstracts presented at DDW.

More must-see events
ASGE Hands-on Workshops give participants the chance to work closely with experts as they demonstrate techniques during two-and-a-half hour, interactive sessions. New this year is a workshop designed for senior fellows that will appeal to second- and third-year fellows looking to refine endoscopic techniques.

A pair of popular Tuesday events, the ASGE Video Plenary Session and the ASGE World Cup of Endoscopy, play to the visual nature of endoscopy, showcasing innovative techniques in a unique learning environment. The World Cup features individuals from several countries in a competition with national pride on the line.

“It’s good science as well as good entertainment,” Dr. McQuaid said.

Those seeking a more personalized educational experience should register for Breakfast with Experts and Meet the Professors sessions, where top experts share knowledge in a smaller setting.

ASGE also is proud to sponsor two events for the ASGE Leadership Education and Development (LEAD) program. The LEAD program was established in 2014 to provide the knowledge and skills needed to enhance the path to leadership within academic or private practice medicine and within ASGE. Thirty junior women gastroenterologists participated in the inaugural program, and an additional 20 junior women gastroenterologists will join the program in 2015.

The events are a breakfast session on Sunday morning with Dr. Deborah Tannen; “Can We Talk? Women and Men Talking at Work” and a Fireside Chat on Monday evening with current and past women ASGE Governing Board members. Both events are by invitation only.

The ASGE Resource Center will have ASGE products for sale, including the Endoscopic Learning Library of DVDs. Open all four days of the meeting, the center will feature the latest issues of GIE journal and ASGE Connection, as well as other resources and information about the benefits of ASGE membership.

Another ASGE highlight at DDW, the Crystal Awards, honor significant contributions to the field and to ASGE. The annual event, which will take place Sunday night at the Ronald Reagan Building and International Trade Center, supports clinical research, physician education and public outreach initiatives.