At 103 years old, Ephraim Engleman, MD, is still making a mark in the world of rheumatology. Wanting to stay active, he still goes to work at the University of California San Francisco and continues to see a few patients. However, Dr. Engleman’s influence is reaching beyond the day-to-day tasks in the office. He is helping shape the future of the field through his work with the Rheumatology Research Foundation.
About a decade ago, Dr. Engleman started working with the Rheumatology Research Foundation to develop an award that would build more interest in rheumatology among residents by allowing them to get in-depth experience in the field. The partnership led to the Ephraim P. Engleman Endowed Resident Research Preceptorship, which funds a full-time research experience for a resident under the guidance of a mentor.
In fiscal year 2006, the Foundation awarded the first Engleman preceptorship. To date, 10 residents have received the award and completed a research project with the help of their preceptors. In October 2013, the recipients of the award were given an extraordinary opportunity. The 2013 ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting was hosted in Dr. Engleman’s home state. So he and his wife made the trip to San Diego to meet the rheumatologists whose careers he has influenced so greatly through his award.
All 10 doctors who received the award and their preceptors were invited to a special event to meet the Englemans. For those in attendance, it was an incredible experience.
“When I found out about the meet-and-greet with Dr. Engleman, I was thrilled,” says Miriah Gillispie, MD, the most recent recipient of the preceptorship. “It was amazing to meet a predecessor who is so enthusiastic about the field of rheumatology and continuing advancements in research.”
Dr. Engleman has been practicing medicine for more than six decades. He established himself as a leader in the field by serving as president of several national and international professional organizations, including the American College of Rheumatology. In 1975–76, he chaired the National Commission on Arthritis, a congressional task force charged with developing recommendations on how to address the lack of arthritis research and adequate patient care. The Commission’s work resulted in the creation of what is now known as the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases.
Even with such an impactful, long-lasting career, Dr. Engleman continues focusing on helping the next generation of rheumatology professionals. Many of the award recipients who spoke with Dr. Engleman say he expressed genuine interest in the work they conducted during their preceptorships.