Dr. Dougados is well known for the quality of young talent he has nurtured over the years. He is an avid supporter of EMEUNET [Emerging EULAR Network] (of which Dr. Gossec, along with Daniel Aletaha and Maya Burch, is a co-founder) and has always encouraged his trainees to grow. “There is a famous African saying,” says Dr. Dougados, paraphrasing the translation, “that you recognize the great people as the ones who are able to accept that their collaborators are growing even higher than they are.”
Explore this issueSeptember 2013
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That’s exactly the type of leadership quality that Claire Bombardier, MD, professor of medicine and rheumatology division director at the University of Toronto in Ontario, has observed in her colleague. “Part of his success is his democratic approach,” she says. Dr. Bombardier met Dr. Dougados 25 years ago, when he invited her to speak at a meeting of the French Rheumatology Association. At that time, she notes, clinical epidemiology and clinical research methodology were not that prevalent, but Dr. Dougados had already written his book on measurement. “It was unusual, in those days, for a rheumatologist to write books on methods of research,” Dr. Bombardier says. “Not only did he have the intellectual curiosity, but he had the people skills to rally people around him to do things.”
I was attracted to medicine because of the possibility to have a human relationship in the job. I had in mind never to work alone in an office, but to work in connection with people.—Maxime Dougados, MD
Raising the Standard
Dr. Dougados has employed his talents for group dynamics in myriad domains, and has been, says Dr. Kvien, “a key person in formalizing the collaboration with ACR on various projects.” Dr. Dougados recalls a seminal conversation in 2006 in San Antonio, Texas, with Sherine Gabriel, MD, MSc, an epidemiologist who trained with Dr. Bombardier in Toronto, and who was his counterpart in clinical affairs with the ACR. (Dr. Gabriel later become president of the ACR.) “That was the beginning of the story of the ACR/EULAR criteria for rheumatoid arthritis, and three years later, the criteria resulted in publication in both journals of our societies.5,6 Can you imagine? Twenty years ago it was impossible to imagine that this would be the result,” he says.
Dr. Gossec pointed out that he has been a driving force behind the Collège Français des Enseignants en Rhumatologie [COFER], the Consortium of French Professors of Rheumatology. “Dr. Dougados is very critical of keeping patients in the hospital too long or not doing proper workups. He led the group to establish a list of practice standards for rheumatologists.”