Ephraim P. Engleman, MD, has spent his career drawing attention to the field of rheumatology. Widely regarded as one of the founders of the modern practice of rheumatology, this 98-year-old director of the Rosalind Russell Medical Research Center for Arthritis at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), is still working hard at promoting the field.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2009
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Among his many accomplishments, Dr. Engleman was intricately involved in creating the ACR Research and Education Foundation (REF) Resident Research Preceptorship, which introduces residents in medicine to the specialty of rheumatology by supporting a three-month, full-time research experience in rheumatology under the mentorship of caliber preceptors.
It was concern over the diminishing number of talented young professionals entering the field of rheumatology that sparked Dr. Engleman and Arthur Weiss, MD, PhD, chief of the division of rheumatology at UCSF, to start a preceptorship program. “I think we’ve all recognized that this decreasing manpower situation can be critical,” Dr. Engleman says.
He credits Lee Goldman, MD, former chairman of medicine at UCSF and current executive vice president for health and biomedical sciences and dean of the faculties of health sciences and medicine at Columbia University Medical Center in New York, for allowing the preceptorship to come into existence. “Art and I met with Lee and discussed the possibility of attracting residents in medicine into Art’s lab. We wanted to get residents as early in their career as possible to influence them early on. Lee was very cooperative because it meant taking a talented resident out of his program and putting him or her into Art’s research laboratory. It was very successful, and we did indeed attract a resident into three months of research. He later became a research fellow of our division. And then we got another one. It worked out so well that it occurred to me that, gee, this would be a nice thing to try on a more widespread basis,” says Dr. Engleman.
And so, in 2005 he reached out to the ACR Research and Education Foundation to create the award.
Dr. Engleman provided the funds to cover the original award for several years. Now, five years after the first preceptee was awarded, he has decided to endow the award, which has been renamed the Ephraim P. Engleman Resident Research Preceptorship, ensuring that it will be funded in perpetuity. “It’s encouraging that the preceptorship appears to be successful, thus justifying the program on a permanent basis,” he explains with excitement.