Rheumatologists in community practices don’t have to abandon their research interests. The Rheumatologist recently interviewed three community practice rheumatologists from around the U.S. to find out their approaches to patient management, staffing and other areas of the practice. Here, they discuss their approach to incorporating research into their practice.
At New England Rheumatology & Osteoporosis, Henniker, N.H., Todd Daugherty, MD, is incorporating more precision medicine tools into his practice, including the PrismRA biomarker, improved serology panels and multi-factor inflammatory markers in patients where traditional markers like C-reactive protein or erythrocyte sedimentation rate are not useful. He says patients have been excited about the opportunities these tools offer.
“We’re achieving improved and more sophisticated diagnoses and treatment decisions using these tools, and these data have actually been appreciated by insurance company medical reviewers and been a factor in improved rates of approvals,” he says.
Having a strong relationship with patients makes use of these precision medicine tools and biomarkers possible and viable, Dr. Daugherty says.
Research has been a big component of the Arthritis Center of Nebraska since the mid-1980s, says Rick Chatwell, MD, including during the biologic revolution in the early 1990s. The practice has about four to six trials enrolling at any time, along with 20 ongoing trials. The practice also started Physician Research Collaboration, which he describes as a turnkey approach to help other physicians in the community take part in clinical research. The programs provides them with access to pharmaceutical companies, research administration, budgeting and staffing.
Dr. Chatwell says this involvement with research helps show that a private practice can be tailored to a rheumatologist’s interests.
Vanessa Caceres is a medical writer in Bradenton, Fla.