Kumar named Physician Editor of The Rheumatologist

The Rheumatologist, official scientific newsmagazine of the American College of Rheumatology (ACR), has named Bharat Kumar, MD, MME, clinical assistant professor in the Division of Immunology, Kelting Family Scholar in Rheumatology, and associate director of the rheumatology fellowship program, as its next Physician Editor for the 2023–2027 term.

In this role, Kumar will work with the staff editor to plan, develop sources, and edit content for the magazine, print supplements, and associated digital content, including social media and electronic newsletters. “The physician editor,” Kumar said, “is responsible for coordinating and identifying experts in the field and contributors who would want to share their perspectives and information with others.”

The identified experts will write articles on interesting cases, clinical reviews, and technical topics. As physician editor, Kumar will be responsible for the clinical accuracy and relevance to subscribing ACR members of all the publications that fall under The Rheumatologist’s banner. He will also write a column for each issue titled “Rheuminations.”

Interim Division Director of Immunology Benjamin Davis, MD, PhD, said of Kumar’s appointment: “Dr. Kumar has been an exemplary model of scholarly activity in our division. He is prolific publisher and has a very keen mind. It has been a delight to watch him quickly and impressively build his academic career. This new appointment is a testament to Dr. Kumar’s passion and aptitude for intellectual pursuits.”

“I am incredibly grateful,” Kumar said, “to the American College of Rheumatology for providing this opportunity, and to the Division of Immunology for supporting and encouraging me at every step of my professional and personal development.”

Kumar answered a few other questions about his new role.

How did this new opportunity come about?
I saw the position of Physician Editor posted earlier this year and, at first, I did not pay much attention to it. I actually didn’t think I had much of a chance so I kept it more at the back of my mind.  But, thanks to the encouragement of colleagues both within the Division and within the American College of Rheumatology, I gave it a second look. I have been involved with The Rheumatologist since 2014 when I started writing columns, so I was familiar with a lot of the content and some of the logistics. I thought it would make sense for me to engage more deeply and become an editor. Luckily, I was selected for an interview, and the rest is now history.  In January, I will succeed three incredibly successful and well-regarded physician editors. I hope to live up to their high standards.

What changes do you hope to enact while in the role?
One of the major priorities is to engage in redesign of the magazine both in print and online. The advent of social media has changed how readers interact with content and I hope to take advantage of technology to engage and meet the ever-changing expectations of our audience. Additionally, I would like to strengthen The Rheumatologist’s role as the preeminent forum to exchange all sorts of ideas related to the practice of rheumatology. I also see The Rheumatologist as a vehicle for the publication of numerous types of creative works that reflect the breadth and depth of experiences associated with illness and wellness.

Do you have plans for any specific special issues that focus on one particular topic?
At this time, I don’t envision having special issues but rather, in each issue, I would like to focus on certain themes that are pressing to the field of rheumatology: clinician wellness, interprofessional collaboration, scientific breakthroughs, innovation in healthcare delivery, and advancement of humanistic service.

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