Friday, 15 Feb 2019

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Sustenance Inspector’s 2017 Annual ACR report

There are two things I learned in rheumatology fellowship.

  1. Never burn any bridges because everyone in rheumatology knows each other

  2. Rheumatologists like their food

Based on this information, I was commissioned to put together a highly skilled, tactical team with various palates to generate data on how to navigate the exhibit hall (from a food and beverage perspective). Here are our findings.

The ACR itself puts out a nice snack spread with fruit in the mornings. This is greatly appreciated after visiting the exhibit hall where major food groups (fruit and veggies) seem to be missing.

Coffee is the name of the game, and so are the lines for said coffee. The 10 minute wait at the Abbvie and Genentech booths are worth the wait. Best sweet treats? In ranking order:

  • Novartis and the Canukinumab booth for fresh, hot, and local David’s chocolate chip cookies which are made to order depending on your crust preference.
  • Abbvie had a delicious pumpkin cobbler with a crunchy crust (also voted best treat by the ACR)
  • Horizon Pharmaceutical’s booth had paper thin, fluffy fun crepes
  • LG Chem thought to bring a tasty Mango sorbet that freshened our palates
  • For quick treats we preferred Samumed’s frozen yogurt bar followed by Amgen’s sugar coated almonds.
  • And recognition for best novel refreshment goes to Lilly for the healthy and appetizing green juice.

There was an overabundance of potentially pro-inflammatory sugary confections at our convention. Our theory, ensuring potential future patient population? The results on this are still out.

Areas for improvement: Stop it with the coffee already. Everyone knows this is a marathon convention, not a sprint, but perhaps give us sparkling water options or even fruit infused water like at Exagen’s booth. We would settle for kombucha, lemonade, milk, etc.

We are kindly requesting snack options that are healthier like hummus and cut vegetables, edamame, sliced or whole fruit.


This report was brought to you by a selective, surreptitious team of hungry rheumatologists. Exhibitors beware: don’t be fooled by my smiling face when I come to your booth. You better bring your best, because the odds are, you will end up in our next annual report! Until next year.

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