As usual, your items in The Rheumatologist remain timely. In the case of attracting medical students into rheumatology, your piece is also timeless. For many years now, I have recommended to various officers of the ACR that we obtain a list of students and their home addresses when they are admitted to medical school. At the same time, the ACR should compile a list of members willing to call these students and offer to have them sit in with the rheumatologist for a week or two during the summer, prior to beginning medical school. The ACR can then correlate the students’ home addresses and members’ office addresses and advise the member on how to contact the student.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2015
The student then, even before entering medical school, will become aware of the “R” word and see an example of clinical medicine in practice. After the time in the rheumatologist’s office, the student can be offered the name of an academic rheumatologist at the med school to which he or she will be attending and at the same time the academic rheumatologist at the med school can be notified and, perhaps, offer to continue the conversation (or any other friendly guidance).
So far, no one has been sanguine about this approach, but I bet it would work.
Sidney R. Block, MD