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What to Expect at the ACC.23 Together With WCC: Q&A With Dr. Douglas Drachman

In This Article

  • The American College of Cardiology joins with the World Heart Federation to host ACC.23 Together With WCC (ACC.23/WCC) in New Orleans, LA, March 4 – 6, 2023. Massachusetts General Hospital's Douglas Drachman, MD, is the meeting chair
  • In this Q&A, Dr. Drachman discusses why it is an honor to chair the meeting, what is new at this year's event, and what studies he is excited to learn more about at the conference

The American College of Cardiology joins with the World Heart Federation to host ACC.23 Together With WCC (ACC.23/WCC) in New Orleans, LA, March 4 – 6, 2023. This year, Massachusetts General Hospital's Douglas Drachman, MD, director of Education and director of the Interventional Cardiology Fellowship Program at the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center, is the meeting chair.

In this Q&A, Dr. Drachman discusses why it is an honor to chair the meeting, what is new at this year's event, and what studies he is excited to learn more about at the conference.

Q. What does it mean to you to be chair of the ACC.23 Together With WCC?

Drachman: Chairing ACC.23/WCC has been one of the highlights of my career. I have focused the majority of my medical career on education and curricular design, so to chair a meeting of this magnitude is a dream come true.

For the past two years, I was the Vice Chair of the Annual Meeting, where I learned the planning process from the Chair, Pam Morris, MD, and the amazing ACC staff. Now, as Chair for 23 and 24, I work with Vice Chair Katie Berlacher, MD, MS, and Cardiovascular Team Lead Jane Linderbaum, ARNP, CNP. In conjunction with the ACC staff, we coordinate the efforts of more than 100 clinicians, weaving together education, science, and a focus on diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in global medicine. The meeting in New Orleans represents the culmination of a year and a half of effort. We believe that ACC.23/WCC offers something for everyone. I cannot wait to see how it all turns out!

Q. What should one expect to get out of the ACC.23 Together With WCC this year?

The conference represents a partnership between the American College of Cardiology and the World Heart Federation. Attendees will note an international character to the meeting, both in the expert faculty and in the focus on global cardiovascular care, as our societies aim to reduce the burden of cardiovascular disease worldwide.

While the meeting is presented live in New Orleans, more than 80 of the over 300 sessions will be broadcast live through a virtual platform, and the majority will subsequently be available through the ACC Anywhere digital on-demand package, broadening its reach around the globe. The ACC app will help attendees navigate the conference, since there are so many simultaneous options to choose from.

Attendees can expect some consistent themes throughout the programming, including health equity; diversity, equity, and inclusiveness in the workforce; and multidisciplinary care that involves all members of the cardiovascular team—all embedded within programming that has been developed to optimize engagement with the audience.

We are piloting a new style of classroom that we've termed the "March Matchup" sessions, named after the NCAA March Madness basketball tournament. These sessions will include debates, games—including one session designed after the "Family Feud" game show format—and other strategies developed to engage the audience and bring education to a new level.

Q. What sessions are you most excited about?

Drachman: I am excited about so many aspects of the program. One critical part that we have not covered yet is the amazing science that will be presented at the meeting. We received more than 6,600 abstracts this year, nearly 25% more than last year and the most we've received in nearly 20 years. The quality of these abstracts, including the Late-Breaking Clinical Trials, is outstanding.

The opening session of late-breaking clinical trials includes three studies: the CLEAR-outcomes trial, examining bempedoic acid for lipid lowering in individuals at risk for cardiovascular disease who are intolerant of statins; the TRILUMINATE trial, evaluating a novel transcatheter technique for treatment of tricuspid regurgitation; and the STOP-CA trial, assessing whether statins reduce cardiotoxicity associated with anthracycline treatments for cancer.

There are too many other trials to mention, covering a spectrum of topics, including minimally invasive surgery for mitral regurgitation, treatment of multivessel coronary artery disease in patients with acute coronary syndromes, cardiovascular impact of the ketogenic diet, recommendations for elite athletes who have survived life-threatening arrhythmia events, and so much more.

Q. Are there any Mass General specific programs you are excited about?

Drachman: I'm incredibly proud of all our Mass General colleagues and all that they're doing. They are extremely well-represented at the meeting.

One session not to miss is the Critical Care Cardiology Intensive. This "deep dive" into the latest strategies to address patients with critical cardiovascular illness was developed by Mass General Cardiac ICU Director, David Dudzinski, MD, JD, in conjunction with Robert Roswell, MD, from Northwell Health.

Q. How else can attendees participate in the conference?

Drachman: As is the case with most medical meetings nowadays, engagement with social media may help attendees—and others who aren't in New Orleans—see what is "hot" at ACC.23/WCC. It is always fascinating to follow the trends and get a sense for the impact of science and education in real-time through the uptake on social media platforms.

Q. What outcomes do you hope to see come out of this conference?

Drachman: I strongly believe in the importance of in-person meetings for education, networking, and exchanging ideas. As we continue to emerge from the pandemic, I am eager to see how people engage with the ACC.23/WCC meeting, and how we may learn from the experience to provide education and convey the latest science to the greatest audience possible. It's also just a lot of fun to see colleagues from around the world. I can't wait for us all to be together again in New Orleans next week!

Learn about Mass General's participation at ACC.23/WCC

Refer a patient to the Corrigan Minehan Heart Center

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