“They realized the section on pediatric orthopedics was also interested in having modules on musculoskeletal diseases,” Dr. Kimura says. Since they were already exploring some of the same themes that Dr. Kimura planned to focus on, it was a good fit. “Interestingly, their module outline didn’t even touch on the fact that children can get arthritis,” she says.
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That’s when she realized that collaboration between the specialties would be vital to developing a program that would get at the core of what pediatricians need to know to understand the differential diagnosis, examination, and workup of a child who has limb pain. Bringing together expertise from both pediatric rheumatology and pediatric orthopedics, Dr. Kimura and her colleagues created a program called “Pediatric Musculoskeletal Medicine.”
Based on the positive feedback the project has received so far, she is looking to expand the program so that it is available to more people, especially in countries where there is an even greater shortage of specialists. In addition, the experience has fed her interest in learning about education.
“It has changed my thinking about the scholarship of education. It has exposed me to a whole world of teachers,” she says. “The award helped me grow as a person and as a teacher. Educating physicians and other healthcare professionals is an activity that medical schools and universities need to take seriously as an important academic activity.”
Dr. Kimura also believes that teaching about rheumatology and exposing students and trainees to the subspecialty is a key to leading more physicians to choose it as their field of specialization.
“Rheumatologists tend to be great teachers, so if we can develop ways to expose young people to the field, more will be inspired to become rheumatologists. It’s a very intellectual specialty,” she says.