Episode 6: Rheumatology
I am Kasper Hermans, a final year PhD-candidate at the department of Internal Medicine, subdivision Rheumatology. In the PhD panel, I represent the research line Functioning, Participation and Rehabilitation as well as the Internal Medicine and – ad interim – Rehabilitation departments. My main research project is the “TeleSpA”-trial: a multicenter RCT investigating the (cost-)effectiveness of telemonitoring and patient initiated care for spondyloarthritis patients through an online eHealth platform.
The Rheumatology dept. is located on the 5th floor of the MUMC+ hospital, at the beginning of the Internal Medicine staff corridor. Our department is headed by prof. A. Boonen and dr. D. Vosse and consists of 8 rheumatologists, 3 rheumatologists in training (AIOS), multiple specialized nurses, 1 post-doctoral researcher and approx. 15 PhD candidates connected to research projects in various stages. The full-time PhD students share a separate office in the Provisorium-building.
The research & education
Our research is strongly clinical epidemiological, and traditionally focused on the development, validation and application of outcome measures, and identifying predictors of outcome and treatment response. Health economic research is also among our fields of expertise! The last years, our focus shifted more towards the translation of findings into initiatives for care improvement.
Our department organizes biweekly PhD meetings and journal clubs to study research methodology, discuss interesting papers or hone our presentation skills. About 10 times per year, researchers and clinicians get together to discuss interesting trials. The department also organizes a monthly epidemiology course (about 8 sessions) that started in October 2021.
The interesting stuff
Fun fact: The wall of our shared office features a unique type of “pie chart”, nicknamed “de Vlaaienteller”: every time a PhD-candidate publishes a paper, a tally counter is updated and colleagues share a small treat (regional pastry) to celebrate :-)
For any inquiries, feel free to contact: firstname.lastname@example.org or email@example.com