Interview of the President of the PReS 2018 Local Organizing Committee

Date: 29.11.2017

Read short interview of José António de Melo Gomes, president of the PReS 2018 congress local organizing committee.

Please introduce yourself in a few words
I am José António de Melo Gomes, a Portuguese Rheumatologist who has been fully dedicated to the treatment of rheumatic patients for the last 40 years. Having a special interest in Paediatric Rheumatology, I participated and helped shape the first Paediatric Rheumatology outpatients’ clinic in Portugal. Ever since then, I have been following my paediatric patients from early stages straight into adulthood.

I have been the President of the Portuguese Rheumatology Society (1996-98), President of the Portuguese Society of Osteoporosis and Metabolic Bone Diseases (2006-2008), President of the National Association of Patients with Juvenile Arthritis (ANDAI - since 1997) and President of the Portuguese College of Rheumatology of our National Medical Board, from 2012-2018.

What motivated you to get involved with PReS?
PReS has been pivotal in the development of Paediatric Rheumatology in Europe and beyond.

As the Portuguese national coordinator of PRINTO and the Portuguese coordinator of the EULAR Paediatric Standing Committee it has always been an objective of ours to have a PReS European Congress of Paediatric Rheumatology organized in Portugal, particularly in my home town of Lisbon.

And now there is a very good team of young Portuguese Paediatric Rheumatologists that helped to turn this motivation and ambition into reality!

PReS congress will celebrate its 25th anniversary in 2018 - what has been the main impact of the PReS society and/or congresses over this period for patients and for the field in general?
Many things changed in the past 25 years, as is the rule in the history of mankind.

The field of Paediatric Rheumatology changed and evolved a lot too, and we can say that PReS, together with PRINTO, have been some of the main drivers of this change. By promoting clinical trials for new and more effective drugs, improving disease classification, and developing research, for example, the work PReS and PRINTO developed over the years is reflected today in the way we as Paediatric Rheumatologists assess patients, in the way we treat patients, but also on the growing importance that is given to young patients and parents opinions in the decision making process, and overall, in the improvement of care that we deliver to our patients.

PReS congresses in particular have been fundamental in transmitting and spreading the vast knowledge produced in this field for the last 25 years!

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