Although the ACR Research and Education Foundation offers a number of opportunities to students interested in rheumatology, the Ephraim P. Engleman Endowed Resident Research Preceptorship is a unique opportunity that allows for a much more in-depth learning experience. The purpose of the Engleman Preceptorship is to introduce residents to the specialty of rheumatology by supporting a full-time research experience, with the goal of attracting promising physician–scientists to the field of rheumatology early in their careers.
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Residents complete this three-month preceptorship within the academic year in which they applied. With an allowable budget up to $15,000, these funds may be used to offset resident salary, related laboratory and research expenses, or other reasonable and appropriate institutional expenses.
Although previous training in rheumatology is not a requirement for the preceptorship, one recent recipient, Cecilia Chung, MD, trained as a physician and then had the unique opportunity of specializing in rheumatology in Peru. Following a year of postdoctoral training at the University of Alberta in Canada, she obtained a Masters in Public Health degree from Vanderbilt University in Nashville.
Focusing solely on research, Dr. Chung missed the day-to-day care of patients. As a result, she returned to school and completed U.S.-based training in internal medicine. Accepted as an internal medicine resident at Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore, Dr. Chung completed the Ephraim P. Engleman Preceptorship under the guidance of preceptor Joan Bathon, MD. “Cecilia is an outstanding candidate for this award because of her previous training in rheumatology and epidemiology, which are the areas of her current and future research interest,” says Dr. Bathon, formerly professor of medicine at Hopkins who is now director of the division of rheumatology at Columbia University College of Physicians and Surgeons in New York City. “This award will further encourage her to pursue a career in academic rheumatology.”
This preceptorship allowed Dr. Chung to achieve the goal of participating in a large multidisciplinary research group. Led by Dr. Bathon, this group brought investigators together from different research areas including rheumatology, cardiology, radiology, and epidemiology. It also provided hands-on experience in multiple steps of research including study design, data analysis, interaction with co-investigators, data interpretation, and manuscript writing.
Mentor Future Rheumatologists and Health Professionals
Do you know a student who would benefit from this opportunity? Mentor the next generation. Become a rheumatology preceptor. Applications for REF Preceptorship awards are due May 2, 2011. Please visit www.rheumatology.org/REF for more information.
“I feel extremely privileged to work with Dr. Bathon,” says Dr. Chung. “As a highly accomplished researcher, she has extensive mentoring experience with many medical students, fellows, and junior faculty members at Hopkins.” In addition to her academic work, Dr. Bathon also serves as editor-in-chief of Arthritis & Rheumatism.
As a result of this exciting work, Dr. Chung has now authored two abstracts, submitted a manuscript, and is currently working on another manuscript. In addition to her research guidance throughout the preceptorship, Dr. Chung expresses her appreciation for the advice on career development and personal growth offered by Dr. Bathon. “The benefits of the preceptorship have gone beyond my time as resident. Now, I am a first-year fellow in the Division of Rheumatology at Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine.”
Dr. Chung’s goal is to pursue an academic career in rheumatology as a physician–scientist focused on clinical research. Taking one step at a time, this first year she anticipates finalizing her pending manuscript and planning her research career. Additionally, she plans to further her studies in advanced data analysis and pharmacoepidemiology to complement prior Masters of Public Health coursework. Furthermore, her goals include applying for a Rheumatology Scientist Development Award, which will facilitate her application process for a full-time faculty position.