Session Type: Poster Session (Sunday)
Session Time: 9:00AM-11:00AM
Background/Purpose: The Walter Reed Army / Walter Reed National Military Medical Center National Capital Consortium (WRNMMC) Rheumatology fellowship program has been in existence since 1973, and in June 2015 graduated its 100th fellow. The military rheumatologist has a unique role and is responsible for leadership as well as rheumatology practice. In an effort to identify the strengths and gaps in the training required of our military rheumatologists, we studied the long-term professional outcome of our graduates. Specifically, we evaluated our graduates’ contribution to the advancement of knowledge in the field of rheumatology and medicine, as well as leadership positions held. In an effort to evaluate our graduates’ professional military development and contribution to the Defense Health Agency’s goal of a medically ready force, we also queried number of deployments, operational tours, and Professional Military Education (PME) participation.
Methods: Email addresses for all graduates of the Walter Reed Army / Walter Reed National Military Medical Center National Capital Consortium Rheumatology fellowship program from 1976 through 2015 were obtained from publicly available registries such as the American College of Rheumatology Annual Directory. An email request was sent to graduates requesting a copy of their curriculum vitae (CV). If no response was received, up to three monthly emails were sent. Data was analyzed for respondents’ rank, board certification, hospital committees, professional societies, awards, peer reviewed publications, invited lectures, operational tours, deployments, and PME courses.
Results: Forty-six of 100 contacted graduated fellows provided their CV for review. The highest percentage of respondents were graduates between 2003 and 2015 (26/30). This was the interval chosen for analysis. Twenty one (81%) of respondents were still active duty at the time the survey was taken. The 26 responding graduates had given 415 lectures (16 per graduate), authored 95 peer reviewed publications (3.7 per graduate), and had served on a cumulative total of 95 committees. Seventeen of 26 had been rheumatology service chiefs, four served as assistant department chief, and eighteen (69%) were affiliated with a medical school. Fourteen of the respondents had been deployed with four graduates serving in an operational billet without deployment. Of the 18 Army respondents, three attended Command and General Staff Intermediate Level Education, six attended Captain’s Career Course, two attended Tactical Combat Medical Course, and two attended Brigade Surgeon Course.
Our graduates of the WRNMMC rheumatology fellowship have excelled in medical education and professional development. A gap in completion of PME was noted in the study and led to incorporation of a three week course during fellowship. Overall, scholarly activity, medical education, leadership, and contribution to medical readiness through deployments and operational positions held are among the most consistent findings within the graduates over the previous decade.
To cite this abstract in AMA style:Anderson C, Bailey W, Edison J. The Combat Rheumatologist: Long Term Professional Outcomes of Graduates from a Tri-Service Military Rheumatology Fellowship Program [abstract]. Arthritis Rheumatol. 2019; 71 (suppl 10). https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-combat-rheumatologist-long-term-professional-outcomes-of-graduates-from-a-tri-service-military-rheumatology-fellowship-program/. Accessed July 9, 2020.
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ACR Meeting Abstracts - https://acrabstracts.org/abstract/the-combat-rheumatologist-long-term-professional-outcomes-of-graduates-from-a-tri-service-military-rheumatology-fellowship-program/