CC: Hall D
Designed to provide the latest updates on the spectrum of liver-focused diseases, this year’s Postgraduate Course will also provide insights about state-of-the-art consultative hepatology that attendees can apply to daily practice.
“A Hectic Day for a Hepatology Consultant” begins at 8:00 am Saturday in Hall D, Moscone North/South.
“The Postgraduate Course theme really captures that hepatology consultants are pulled in many different directions throughout the course of their usual day,” said Michael W. Fried, MD, FAASLD, who along with Cynthia Levy, MD, FAASLD, and Tse-Ling Fong, MD, FAASLD, serves as program chair for the course. “If you look at the list of topics that we’ve selected, there are new data in almost every presentation. Even experienced clinicians will absolutely walk away with a new understanding of several different topics that they think they’re really familiar with.”
The daylong course is divided up into four sections, beginning with “Morning Routine” which will cover what Dr. Fried calls the “bread and butter” adult and pediatric cases hepatology consultants will see in their office, including patients who present with evidence of abnormal liver tests with certain medical comorbidities suggestive of nonalcoholic steatohepatitis and young individuals who have a recent hepatitis C infection.
“As we know, the epidemiology of hepatitis C is changing dramatically now due to the opioid epidemic in the US. So we’ve tried to capture the kinds of things that we see everyday in our usual practice, and then also touch on some special topics, for example, managing viral hepatitis in a pregnant woman,” said Dr. Fried.
Section 2 will address some of the more complex cases a consulting hepatologist will see in a hospital setting, such as sick liver transplant recipients, patients with massive GI bleeding from underlying cirrhosis, those with complications of hepatic encephalopathy and refractory ascites, acute liver failure, and then patients who may have alcoholic liver disease who are having acute on chronic liver failure.
The afternoon sessions take the consultant back to the office to more common outpatient procedures and then wraps up with topics that the consultant may be called to in the middle of the night, including consulting with labor and delivery for a patient who has hyperbilirubinemia or the bone marrow transplant unit patients in the cardiac care unit.
“It runs the whole spectrum of what you might see in a busy hepatology practice. In reality, if you’re on service in the hospital for a week, you’re going to be asked to consult on these different kinds of patients,” Dr. Fried said.
One additional focus of all the presentations will be how best to communicate within the multidisciplinary setting. Dr. Fried noted that being a good consultant is also about communicating your thoughts, plans and suggestions to the other healthcare providers in the hospital setting and those who’ve referred patients to you for your outpatient consultations.
“Our faculty will discuss just how you’d want to communicate these things as a good consultant to provide the most important information to the physicians who are relying on your expertise in liver disease,” he said.
Hepatologists are not the only providers who benefit from the course, Dr. Fried added, noting that physician assistants, nurse practitioners, and pharmacists also participate in the course, because many times they are the front-line consultants and/or part of the team caring for hepatology patients.
“All of these multidisciplinary healthcare providers play a big role in managing these patients throughout their inpatient and outpatient experiences,” he said, adding that the course will help them be better consultants. “It will help them take better care of their patients because of the better understanding of the pathophysiology of the diseases that they’re dealing with as well as some of the latest treatments that we now have to offer these patients.”