Bracketology 2024

With only 3 days left to submit your brackets, the RheumMadness Leadership Team is here to help with our Practically Perfect tips for submitting the perfect bracket.  Below you will find reflections from our Leadership team on how they are putting together their own brackets. As a reminder, the leadership team has no influence over the Blue Ribbon Panel. If you need a refresher on how RheumMadness works, head over to the RheumMadness 101 page which includes a short explainer video.

Don’t forget, brackets are due March 20, 2024 at 11:59pm ET.

Bracketology Tips from the Leadership Team:

Tip 1: “For this year’s Practically Perfect tournament, I’m creating my bracket by considering which scouting report answers a practical question that comes up most often in my clinic. With that in mind, I predict a final matchup between the Ohio State COVID Vax Guide and the Vanderbilt NORD All Stars, with an ultimate win for the Buckeye Vax-Attack. Honorable mentions go to EMBRACE as my hometown favorite, and to the Michigan Goutbusters for best graphic.”

Tip 2:LLDAS is going to win Rheummadness 2024, because it is the most applicable in every day practice in the inpatient and outpatient setting. I’m screening my picks using the amazing visual aids, then jumping to the scouting report, then if the topic really captures me I go to the base article itself. And LLDAS made me dive into the methods and beyond!  Also, did you read that beautiful poem?!”

Tip 3: “Since the theme of the year is “practically perfect,” I am looking for the article that I would refer to most on a day-to-day basis. In my opinion this is exemplified by team RA-ILD. I have their visual aid saved on my phone and plan to refer back to this over and over!”

Tip 4: “I think SAPHYR will go all the way. Since the theme is “Practically Perfect,” I think the Blue Ribbon Panel will be placing most weight on how the base article will be used by practicing rheumatologists and lead to changes in patient care. I predict this will cause a bias towards teams that involve the most common rheumatic diseases and most frequently used medications. I heavily relied on scouting reports (including visual aids), but since the Blue Ribbon Panel will be reading the base articles to find limitations that base articles may not have described, I reviewed the base articles, as well. While many of the teams’ articles will have a direct impact on patient care, I predict that the effect that SAPHYR will have is more immediately appreciable to practicing rheumatologists.”

Tip 5: “I’m rooting for ARTIC REWIND to take the tourney. Dare I say this trial gives us data akin to that provided in NEJM in 1991 when HCQ withdrawal was investigated in SLE patients? It doesn’t get much more practically perfect than that! Keeping the practically perfect theme in mind, I’m anticipating Comparing ULT, NORD-STAR, and Covid Vax Guide to come out on top of their respective brackets, but we’ll see what happens. Don’t take this rookie, wannabe rheumatologist’s word for it though — let us know what you think and follow along yourself!”

So – participants, what do you think? Will you adopt a similar strategy to the RheumMadness leadership team? Or do you have a different strategy in putting together your brackets?  Let us know what you think on X (formerly Twitter) using #RheumMadness.

Want even more RheumMadness content? The RheumMadness team is excited to announce continued collaboration with for our 2024 tournament.  theMednet is a physician only site providing a space for physicians to tackle difficult clinical questions and see how colleagues are practicing. theMednet is featuring select Q&A relevant to articles in our 2024 tournament and will provide a space for further discussion and polling around clinical application. Register here for a free account with full access to the site and RheumMadness content!

Here’s a complete list of the Q&As on related to RheumMadness 2024:

2024 Blue Ribbon Panel

We are thrilled to introduce the Blue Ribbon Panel for RheumMadness 2024: Practically Perfect.  This panel of distinguished rheumatologists will vote to determine which teams advance in the tournament.  The more your predictions match those of the panel, the more points you will get in the tournament!  Learn more about our panelists below.

  • Sarah Bayefsky, MD, is a combined adult and pediatrics rheumatology fellow at Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania. Follow on X at @SarahBayefskyMD.
  • David Bulbin, DO, is a rheumatologist at Geisinger in Pennsylvania, where he also serves as Program Director of the Geisinger Adult Rheumatology Fellowship Program. Follow on X at @NeonFloRheum.
  • Noelle A. Rolle, MBBS, is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the Medical College of Georgia, where she also serves as Associate Program Director of the MCG Adult Rheumatology Fellowship Program. Follow on X at @noellealicia242.
  • Didem Saygin, MD, is Assistant Professor of Medicine at the University of Pittsburgh, where she specializes in inflammatory myopathies. Dr. Saygin was a founding member of the RheumMadness leadership team in 2021. Follow on X at @DidemSayginMD.
  • Rachel Tate, DO, is a rheumatologist practicing in Palm Beach, Florida. In March 2024, she will transition to a new role as an Autoimmune Disease Medical Director for Novartis. Follow on X at @uptoTate.
  • Donald Thomas, Jr., MD, FACP, FACR, RhMSUS, is a rheumatologist at Arthritis and Pain Associates of PG County, MD. He is author of the Lupus Encyclopedia. Follow on X at @lupuscyclopedia.
  • Kenneth Warrington, MD, is Professor of Medicine and Chair of the Division of Rheumatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Follow on X at @MdWarrington.
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RheumMadness 2024: Practically Perfect

Get ready for RheumMadness 2024, where practicality takes center stage! 

We are inviting YOU (yes, YOU) to write one of the scouting reports for this year’s tournament, and just like last year we are allowing scouting report authors to choose their own teams.

***Click here to apply to write a scouting report***

Our theme for this year is “Practically Perfect,” and we’re on the hunt for absolute gems among recent articles (published 2018 or later) that are vying to be named “The most practically useful article in the tournament”. These aren’t just your run-of-the-mill reads; they’re the ones you’ll want to keep handy in your back pocket for real-world applications in clinical practice. These articles can be reviews, cohort studies, case series, clinical trials, or really any other kind of article but with a twist: no clinical practice guidelines allowed. 

And that’s not all! In the spirit of “Practically Perfect,” we’re making scouting reports snappy, with super short overviews of no more than 250 words. But here’s the kicker: Our scouting report authors aren’t just wordsmiths this year but visual wizards too. We’re asking you to craft ONE visual tool that will make applying these articles in practice a breeze. Think diagnostic and treatment algorithms, process maps, and captivating figures that summarize key information into actionable insights.

Here’s what we need in your application:

  1. The names and affiliations of all collaborators in your group who will write the scouting report. We recommend having at least 3 people in your group.
  2. The article that you would like to write about. The article must have been published 2018 or later (the more recent the better), and your group must not include any of the authors on the paper.

Deadline to apply: October 6 at 1pm ET.

The All Star Season is Here

Welcome to RheumMadness – the place for everyone who is crazy about rheumatology to connect, collaborate, compete, and learn together.  RheumMadness is a project funded by a Clinician Scholar Educator Award from the Rheumatology Research Foundation and inspired by a similar project in nephrology called NephMadness.

Our theme for the 2023 tournament is RheumMadness: The All Star Season. This season, we will focus on the foundational science that has driven our field to where it is today. Each of the 22 teams in the tournament will represent one “all star” article competing to be named the most important and transformational article ever written in the field of rheumatology.

How to Play RheumMadness (it’s easy and FREE)

  1. Read “scouting reports” to learn about the teams in the tournament.
  2. Submit your picks before Wednesday, March 22 at 11:59pm ET.
  3. Enjoy! Tournament results will be released in 5 rounds from March 23 – April 3, 2023.

The RheumMadness OnePager

Need a quick review of the teams as you make your picks? We collaborated with Dr. Mithu Maheswaranathan (@MithuRheum), creator of @RheumOnePagers to create an infographic reviewing the entire bracket in one page. Check it out below.

How are matches determined?

The winner of each match-up is decided by a 7-member “Blue Ribbon Panel” of rheumatologists. For the 2023 tournament, the panel will vote based on which topic they think is the most important and transformational article ever written in the field of rheumatology. The more your picks match those of the panel, the more points you get!  For more details about how RheumMadness works, check out our RheumMadness 101 page, which includes a short explainer video and details about our RheumMadness leadership team.

The 2023 Blue Ribbon Panel

We are thankful to have an amazing panel with diverse interests, areas of expertise, and practice settings.

  • Angus B. Worthing, MD, FACP, FACR: Rheumatologist at Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates in Washington, D.C. Follow him at @AngusWorthing
  • Anne R. Bass, MD: Rheumatologist at Hospital for Special Surgery and Professor of Clinical Medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in New York, New York.
  • Julie J. Paik, MD, MHS: Associate Professor at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, Maryland. Follow her at @JuliePaikMD
  • Marie Kuchynski, MD: Senior attending physician, rheumatologist at University Hospitals Cleveland Medical Center; Brunswick Ohio. Follow her at @DoctorKuch
  • Peter C. Grayson, MD, MSc: Rheumatologist and Tenure Track Investigator at the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases in Bethesda, Maryland. Follow him at @petercgrayson
  • Sebastian E. Sattui, MD, MS: Assistant Professor at University of Pittsburgh Medical Center in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Follow him at @SattuiSEMD
  • Daniel E. Gonzalez, MD: Second-year rheumatology fellow at University of Texas Medical Branch in Galveston, Texas.

What do I get if I win?

Participants with the most correct predictions will “win” RheumMadness. Prizes will be given to participants with the top scores in the following categories: (1) Attending / APP, (2) Fellow, and (3) Resident / Medical Student. The prize is a custom RheumMadness coffee mug and a lifetime of bragging rights. But really, everyone wins in RheumMadness because you get to connect, collaborate, compete, and learn together.


Ready to start learning about the teams in the tournament? This year, the scouting reports were authored by 123 collaborators from 19 fellowship programs and 2 private practice groups, including 76 fellows, 40 faculty, 4 residents, and 3 medical students. What an amazing collaboration!

  • Etanercept for RA, by the Ohio State Fellowship Program
  • Etanercept + MTX, by the University of Chicago Fellowship Program
  • Infliximab for RA, but the University of California San Diego Fellowship Program
  • TEAR Triple Rx, by the UT Southwestern Fellowship Program
  • BeSt Trial, by the Medical University of South Carolina Fellowship Program
  • TICORA Trial, by the Arthritis & Rheumatism Associates Practice, Washington DC
  • Clonal Selection, by the Vanderbilt University Medical Center Fellowship Program
  • MSU & NLRP3, by the Geisinger Medical Center Fellowship Program
  • Abs before SLE, by the Massachusetts General Hospital Fellowship Program
  • CCP & Enolase, by the University of South Florida Fellowship Program
  • Pathogenic ANCA, by the University of North Carolina Fellowship Program
  • CYC for PAN, by the Allegheny Health Network Fellowship Program
  • CYC in Scleroderma, by the Louisiana State University Shreveport Fellowship
  • ULT During Flare, by the Medical College of Wisconsin Fellowship Program
  • RAVE Trial, by the Wake Forest Fellowship Program
  • HCQ Withdrawal, by Bryn Mawr Medical Specialists Association Practice
  • ALMS Trial, by the University of Alabama and Birmingham Fellowship Program
  • LUMINA, by the Northwestern University Fellowship Program
  • HAQ, by the RheumMadness Leadership Team
  • Cortisone, by the University of Colorado Fellowship Program
  • Origin of RA, by the Duke University Fellowship Program
  • Origin of sJIA, by the Montefiore Pediatric Fellowship Program


The RheumMadness team is excited to announce a collaboration with for our 2023 tournament. theMednet is a physician only site providing a space for physicians to tackle difficult clinical questions and see how colleagues are practicing. theMednet will be featuring select Q&A relevant to articles in our 2023 tournament and will provide a space for further discussion and polling around clinical application. Register here for a free account with full access to the theMednet site and find RheumMadness content. Get FREE CME and MOC credit for reviewing this material.


  1. Listen to the RheumMadness podcast. In this podcast series, we interview fellows who wrote the scouting reports. You can find the podcast on all major podcasting apps.
  2. Join the conversation on Twitter (#RheumMadness).
  3. Subscribe to our newsletter to stay updated with all things RheumMadness!


Team: BeSt, aka “The BeSt Rheumatology Study”

Region: RA Revamp

Base article: Goekoop-Ruiterman YP, de Vries-Bouwstra JK, Allaart CF, et al. Clinical and radiographic outcomes of four different treatment strategies in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (the BeSt study): a randomized, controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2005;52(11):3381-3390. doi:10.1002/art.21405 

Authors: Medical University of South Carolina Rheumatology Fellowship. Jake Altier, MD, 1st Year Fellow, M; Lauren Berry, MD, 1st Year Fellow; Sean Carter, MD, 2nd Year Fellow; Bradley Collins, DO, 2nd Year Fellow; Jessica English, MD, 2nd Year Fellow; Rachael Werner, MD-PhD, 1st Year Fellow; Faye Hant, DO, MSCR, Professor of Medicine

Team Overview

Our team truly deserves to be named BeSt in Bracket! Prior to the BeSt study, there had been evidence that early more aggressive treatment of Rheumatoid Arthritis (RA) was likely superior to prior, more defensive based strategies. It was not known yet, however, which “offensive” aka preventative strategy in early disease was best. Combination therapy and use of biologics had been shown to slow progression of joint damage more than DMARD monotherapy. It is in the BeST study, our all-star pick, that this was better clarified as this multicenter randomized control trial compared clinical and radiographic outcomes of 4 different treatment strategies to evaluate the optimal strategy for preventing long term joint damage and functional decline in rheumatoid arthritis.

508 patients from the Netherlands with early rheumatoid arthritis (defined by the 1987 ACR criteria – duration of 2 years or less, age over 18, and active disease with 6+ swollen joints, 6+ tender joints, and either ESR >28mm/hour or global health score greater than 20) were allocated to 1 of 4 treatment strategies: sequential disease-modifying antirheumatic drug monotherapy (group 1), step-up combination therapy starting with methotrexate and adding other conventional DMARDs if insufficient (group 2), initial combination therapy of methotrexate and sulfasalazine with tapered high-dose prednisone (group 3), and initial combination therapy methotrexate with the tumor necrosis factor antagonist, infliximab (group 4). Treatment adjustments were made every 3 months based on DAS44. If low disease activity (of £ 2.4) was not reached, therapy would be adjusted per the pre-determined treatment protocol. Results after intention to treat analysis showed that initial combination therapy (methotrexate and sulfasalazine) with prednisone (Group 3) or methotrexate and infliximab (Group 4) resulted in earlier functional improvement and less radiographic damage after 1 year than either (Group 1) sequential monotherapy or (Group 2) step-up combination therapy. A fast break down the court as opposed to a leisurely pass inbound may clearly be the best offensive strategy against the hard pressing disease that is erosive rheumatoid arthritis.

Impact on Rheumatology

Besides being the BeST trial, our trial made waves in the field of rheumatology by proving that the best defense against joint damage is often an aggressive offense. Our study changed the way providers treat rheumatoid arthritis by showing improvement in patient functionality and reduced joint damage radiographically with initiation of combinations of multiple csDMARDs or TNFi +csDMARD therapy at diagnosis and highlights the importance of having a treat to target gameplan. This strategy opposed the slow titration of monotherapy approach used for RA at the time. Not only did the BeST trial revolutionize treatment for providers, but it also had huge implications for patient care by inhibiting joint damage progression without jeopardizing patient safety. The importance of the BeSt trial in our field cannot be outdone – it trailblazed and transformed the approach to early RA treatment.

Chances in the Tournament

The BeST Study opens the tournament against the Ticora trial in Rheumatoid Arthritis. Both teams came into play around the same time with the goal of hitting hoops hard and early from the start of the game. The BeSt study, as the name implies, was called into play to assess clinical and radiographic outcomes of various treatment strategies. The TiCora trial, on the other hand, passed up on some star players, like infliximab, the team captain of the BeSt study, with a similar plan of action in mind – looking at a stepwise approach in training to target objective measures.

The BeSt Study’s future in the tournament lies within its team captain, Infliximab, which the TiCora trial could not recruit in time. Having Infliximab’s skills and participation set our team apart from the TiCora Trial and helps unite and enhance our scoring ability. The TiCora study may try to undermine and break up our defense, but they likely overlooked that we also applied interval retraining and practice with optimization of treatment strategies based on objective data, similar to a ”treat to target” approach, one could say.   While there is not a clear training strategy that the BeSt Study recommends, our focus has been a cohesive and early interdisciplinary training with emphasis on treating to a target, which remains the foundational pillar in the offense against all rheumatic conditions.

Next scouting report: TICORA Trial

Back to the full list of scouting reports.

See the Q&A on for the RA Revamp Region: What target do you utilize in clinical practice for defining disease remission in RA?


  1. Goekoop-Ruiterman YP, de Vries-Bouwstra JK, Allaart CF, et al. Clinical and radiographic outcomes of four different treatment strategies in patients with early rheumatoid arthritis (the BeSt study): a randomized, controlled trial. Arthritis Rheum. 2005;52(11):3381-3390. doi:10.1002/art.21405
  2. Grigor C, Capell H, Stirling A, McMahon AD, Lock P, Vallance R, Kincaid W, Porter D. Effect of a treatment strategy of tight control for rheumatoid arthritis (the TICORA study): a single-blind randomised controlled trial. Lancet. 2004 Jul 17-23;364(9430):263-9. doi: 10.1016/S0140-6736(04)16676-2. PMID: 15262104.

The All Star Season Begins on Feb 22, 2023

The All Star Season is almost here! Here’s the timeline:

  • On Wednesday, February 22, we will reveal the 22 teams in the bracket and release scouting reports reviewing each team in the tournament. This year, the scouting reports were authored by 131 collaborators from 19 fellowship programs and 2 private practice groups, including 79 fellows, 41 faculty, 5 residents, and 6 medical students. What an amazing collaboration!
  • For those of you in training programs or other groups, consider using these scouting reports and their associated base articles for a journal club or didactic session.
  • Along with the scouting reports, we will release new RheumMadness podcast episodes where we dive deeper into each team and interview the authors of the scouting reports about why they think their team will win. The RheumMadness podcast series is available on all major podcasting apps.
  • You can submit your brackets anytime between Wednesday, February 22 and Wednesday, March 22, 2023.  That means you have 4 WEEKS to learn about the teams and make your picks.
  • Submitting a bracket is FREE and easy. We will provide detailed instructions to submit your brackets when the tournament begins.
  • Results from each round of the tournament will be announced as follows:
    • Thursday, March 23: Round 1 (Round of 22)
    • Saturday, March 25: Round 2 (The Seronegative Sixteen)
    • Monday, March 27: Round 3 (The Entheseal Eight)
    • Saturday, April 1: Round 4 (The IgG Four)
    • Monday, April 3: Round 5 (the Interleukin Two, AKA the finale)

RheumMadness on theMednet!

The RheumMadness team is excited to announce a collaboration with for our 2023 tournament. theMednet is a physician only site providing a space for physicians to tackle difficult clinical questions and see how colleagues are practicing. theMednet will be featuring select Q&A relevant to articles in our 2023 tournament and will provide a space for further discussion and polling around clinical application. Register here for a free account with full access to the theMednet site and find RheumMadness content!

Scouting Report Archive

Looking to find your favorite scouting report from a prior year?  See links below.

2022: Click here to access the bracket and scouting reports from RheumMadness, Planet of the Rheumatologists

2021: Click here to access the bracket and scouting reports from the first season of RheumMadness

Leadership Team 2022 – 2023

Meet the leadership team tasked with creating the 2022 – 2023 tournament.

Faculty Leadership

  • David Leverenz, MD is the creator and director of RheumMadness.  He is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology.
  • Akrithi Udupa Garren, MD is an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Medstar / Georgetown Washington Hospital Center.

Fellow Leaders

  • Guy Katz, MD is a rheumatology fellow at Massachusetts General Hospital.
  • Michael Macklin, MD is a rheumatology fellow at the University of Chicago.
  • Iman Qaiser, MD is a a rheumatology fellow at LSU Health Shreveport.

Resident Leaders

  • Lauren He, MD is a chief resident at the University of Chicago.
  • Ben Kellogg, MD is an internal medicine resident at Duke University.
  • Sabahat Usmani, MD is an internal medicine resident at Weiss Memorial Hospital in Chicago

Medical Student Leaders

  • Courtney Bair is a medical student at Duke University School of Medicine.
  • Meridith Balbach is a medical student at Vanderbilt University Medical Center.
  • Ben Lueck is a medical student at Duke University School of medicine.

Senior Mentorship Team

  • Lisa Criscione-Schreiber, MD, MEd is an advisor and mentor for RheumMadness. She is a Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Rheumatology and Immunology.
  • Matthew Sparks, MD is the creator of NephMadness and serves an advisor and mentor for RheumMadness. He is an Associate Professor of Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine, Department of Medicine, Division of Nephrology.

We Have a Winner!

The final round of the RheumMadness tournament is complete, and the winner is…

Reproductive health guide was an underdog in this matchup, with 13% of participants picking it to win compared to 26% of participants who picked the juggernaut CAR-T cells.

However, the Blue Ribbon Panel felt differently, voting for Repro health guide in a 6 to 1 landslide. We are sure this won’t be controversial at all!

After the dust settled, the winning brackets in each category are: 

Congratulations to our winners! To see the final results of your bracket, head over to the Tourneytopia website.

Comments from the Panel

By popular demand, we have collected anonymous comments from our fabulous Blue Ribbon Panel about their experience on the panel and why they made the choices they did. Just in case anyone has anything they’d like to say to the panel, you can find each of their Twitter handles on the Blue Ribbon Panel page.

Comment 1: “As a member of the #RheumMadness 2022 Blue Ribbon Panel, my aim was to focus on impact. To me, that means papers that change how we approach a disease, a test, or a treatment. As a pediatric rheumatologist, I was thrilled to see that a paper that focused on pediatric rheumatology made it to the big dance. I voted for ideas or approaches that push us forward as a field, even if they are still works in progress. I was so impressed by the work the teams put into the scouting reports- they definitely worked hard to box out the other teams in the paint. I voted for the increasing positive ANA study, even though it didn’t make it out of the first bracket. I think understanding the relationship between positive autoantibodies, background prevalence of autoantibodies, and autoimmunity will be important moving forward. I learned a lot, had a blast following the competition, and will definitely be back next year to join in the tourney.”

Comment 2: “My dark horse in this race was Axolotl Limbs. I was pulling hard for these amazing amphibians. The more I read about how axolotls regenerated of cartilage, the more I could see the substantial impact leveraging this would have for millions (maybe billions?) of people. All in all, the close votes we have seen the BRP voting really highlight some of the subtle differences in what we individually value as important. For example, is more certain short-term gain more important than high possible (i.e. unrealized) long-term potential? That’s why we play folks!”

Comment 3: “I loved the opportunity to read the base articles as a panel member! I voted NOW over FUTURE, for collaborative efforts, and for tools and knowledge that are broadly applicable. I voted pragmatic over theoretical. My kids tell me this is “adulting” and it makes me boring. Oh well.

I voted for NETs. They are everywhere. Gout and COVID are just the beginning. CAR-T cells are in the future, one great case can’t be the winner. I went with the masses on DECT. Distinguishing between OA, crystal disease and SN disease is one of the hardest things we do. It lacks the luster of distorted vessels and giant cells lighting up the aorta but its use will help avoid mistreating. Also, AI seemed more Elizabeth Holmes than Steve Jobs right now.

I voted for the arthritic canines over adorable Aztec amphibians. Have you seen Fido enthusiastically chase squirrels after a dose of doggie meds? As much as I would love to heal my chronic ankle sprain, I’m taking the dog!!

And my winner….Talking with our patients is our greatest power, more than any therapy or diagnostic tool. To acknowledge the importance of reproductive health, especially right now, and to celebrate the immense collaboration it took, repro health guidelines get the W from me.”

Comment 4: “Many thanks for the invitation to be part of the this year’s RheumMadness event. The scouting reports are phenomenal and the Madness reigns. My personal approach was to generally prioritize practicality over promise. That said, it was tough to not get swept up in the sci-fi like mechanism and potential power of CAR-T cells. In the end, though, a document like the Repro Health Guide gives us an incredible tool in taking care of our patients with rheumatic disease in the now and has my vote. What a remarkable event that creates a yearly reading list for those of us in rheumatology! To many more years of Madness!”

Comment 5: “Repro Health Guidelines should hands down be the winner of the tournament. Like the report said, “we are de facto women’s health providers” reflecting the female predominance in our clinics. These guidelines will help patients and doctors immediately and for a long time to come, impacting clinical practice right now.

With RheumMadness, I always learn a lot about what is going on in the world of rheumatology, including subjects we may miss out on at times, like reports from the Cells region and Animals region. Things I read in RheumMadness are rarely forgotten just because it is so much fun and interactive.

Increasing ANA positivity is a fact we are already quite aware of as rheumatologists – it is our bread and butter. But false positive MRIs for axial spondyloarthropathy usually presents a challenge. More research is needed for MRIs, whereas ANA positivity will hardly change rheumatology practices. This upset was necessary.

No matter how old we get or how much we advance in our careers, there is always a little child inside of us, who just wants to have fun, play with like-minded kids (or colleagues), and have the chance for some trash-talk. RheumMadness is the creative innovation that provided all that with the additional benefit of learning, and whether we know it or not, we really needed it in our day-to-day grind!”

Comment 6: “Participating in the blue ribbon panel was really a fun and educational experience. I really enjoyed reviewing scouting reports on topics I wouldn’t otherwise learn about. It was a great way to interface with the growing knowledge base in rheumatology. I think it was great how the topics were grouped so that the initial advances were very comparable items. I do think it would be hard for some of the more obscure topics to compete against something as impactful as reproductive health guidelines that heavily influence patient care. I really appreciate the opportunity to be part of this panel and found the entire process really rewarding, fun and insightful.”


Lastly, we would like to thank all our amazing collaborators who helped make RheumMadness possible.

  • Rheumatology Research Foundation for funding RheumMadness through the Clinician Scholar Educator Award.
  • Scouting Report Creators: There were 70 collaborators from 13  institutions involved in writing the scouting reports for RheumMadness 2022. These reports were amazing learning resources and a ton of fun to read. Thank you to these amazing collaborators for helping us learn together! Find links to each scouting report here.
  • Blue Ribbon Panel Members: Belinda Birnbaum, MD, Ashira Blazer, MD, Kevin Byram, MD, Anisha Dua, MD, MPH, Al Kim, MD, PhD, Laura Lewandowski, MS, MD, and Iman Qaiser, MD. Read more about the Blue Ribbon Panel here.
  • RheumMadness Leadership Team: David Leverenz, MD, Akrithi Garren, MD, Guy Katz, MD, Lauren He, MD, Ben Kellog, MD, Michael Macklin, MD, Courtney Bair, Matthew Sparks, MD, and Lisa Criscione-Schreiber, MD, MEd. Read more about the leadership team here.
  • NephMadness collaborators: This project was inspired by a similar project in nephrology called NephMadness, which is currently in its 10th year. We are thankful for their collaboration and mentorship, especially from Dr. Matt Sparks.

It takes a whole year to plan this tournament. If you want to get involved in the leadership team, help create a scouting report, suggest a team, or in some other way help out with RheumMadness, please contact us!

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