'Mini'-Really Rapid Review -- IDWeek 2018, San Francisco

Paul E. Sax, M.D.
Paul E. Sax, M.D.

Once upon a time, the annual meeting of the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA) wasn't much of a research conference.

It consisted mostly of review sessions on topics deemed worthy of an update or a refresher, led by noted experts in the field. They would cite the latest literature on endocarditis, or mycoplasma, or prosthetic joint infections, or malaria, or transplant infections, or HIV complications, or sternotomy infections following cardiac surgery.

(I kid you not about that last one ... to each their own, I guess!)

Some of this was good stuff -- cutting edge and exciting -- but some was frankly kind of tedious. You went because it was "good for you", kind of like eating kale if you don't like kale.

And pretty much all of it was led by white men of a certain age -- which is my age now, give or take a decade, good grief.

My, how times have changed, and emphatically for the better.

The IDSA meeting, re-branded "IDWeek" a few years ago, now mixes in original research with not only these terrific review sessions (you can still skip the one on sternotomy infections), but also challenging case presentations, entertaining debates, policy updates, and awards.

Importantly, presenters, participants, and awardees all increasingly reflect the diversity of our field, making the meeting feel much more inviting and collegial -- a very welcome change.

There's so much going on no one can cover it all, certainly not me. So here's a sampling of some (emphasis on some) of the interesting research presentations from last week, a "Mini" Really Rapid Review™ of the conference. Use the comments section to chime in with your favorites.

There was plenty more, of course -- read the many responses to this query!

Hi Twitter Friends, I'm going to do a "Mini Really Rapid Review" of #IDWeek2018, looking for suggestions of what to cover. Fire away! Links appreciated. p.s. will explain the significance of the pear later. pic.twitter.com/oMk0PU9B5Z

-- Paul Sax (@PaulSaxMD) October 6, 2018

As for the pear, it cost a staggering $4.64 in my hotel lobby. Remember when San Francisco was affordable? I don't either.

At least I saved money on the flight out there.

[Note from TheBodyPRO: This article was originally published by NEJM Journal Watch on Oct. 8, 2018. We have cross-posted it with their permission.]