Dr. Dougados is also proud of his collaboration during the past two decades with his colleagues in Morocco, especially Najia Hajjaj-Hassouni, MD, chief of the department of rheumatology in Rabat and acting dean of the University of Mohammed V-Souissi there. “I have the arrogance to think that I have contributed to the success of Moroccan rheumatology,” says Dr. Dougados. “The annual scientific meeting is of high quality and the number of peer review manuscripts coming from Morocco is impressive.”
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Explore This IssueSeptember 2013
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Another example of Dr. Dougados’ vision was his promotion of the 3E [Evidence, Expertise, and Exchange] Initiative in Rheumatology, originally a partnership with Abbott Laboratories to bring together experts to develop guidelines for topics in rheumatology. It was Dr. Dougados who convinced Abbott to then invite steering committees from countries around the world, who used group dynamic voting to select questions and disease topics about which clinicians had uncertainty. The 3E platform was expanded to include young physicians who would be brought in as fellows to search the literature and find answers to the selected questions. Dr. Dougados drew upon his roster of international colleagues to become mentors for these young fellows, thus fostering a new generation of future leaders in the field. According to Dr. Bombardier, who has participated as a 3E mentor, Dr. Dougados insisted that the fellows who did research on the topics should be listed as first authors on the resulting papers.7 After five iterations of the 3E process, Dr. Dougados announced it was time for him to step down as a leader, a move that Dr. Bombardier says is emblematic of the way he acts as a change agent. “He’s open to international activity, he’s great at group dynamics, he thinks of the young people, but he also doesn’t want to control things forever—he steps down and lets other people try. And not a lot of senior rheumatologists are able to do that,” she says.
Dr. Dougados also has a knack for social settings, says Dr. Bombardier. He is a wonderful dancer, she notes, and he is generally regarded as a charming person. He enjoys golfing close to his summer home near Bordeaux, and Dr. Kvien recalls a happy fishing trip with a group of rheumatologists last June in Tromsø, Norway. “Maxime was a very enthusiastic fisherman and caught more codfish than anyone else,” he laughs. “He is a charming person with a good sense of humor and an enormous work capacity.”