Spanish Society of Rheumatology
In June 1948 the Spanish Society of Rheumatology (SER) was founded to promote the study of rheumatism and allied conditions. Since then, the SER has grown exponentially and currently approximately 1.700 members, including not only rheumatologists but also other professionals involved in rheumatology as basic researchers, pharmaceutical or documentarists, are SER´s partners. In addition, fellows of rheumatology and retirees rheumatologists are also integrated in the Society.
The SER is a scientific, non-profit organization, which aims are:
1) To promote the study of rheumatic diseases for the benefit of patients
2) To address problems related to the specialty and
3) To defend the general interests of the rheumatology as specialty within medicine.
The Society has 19 employees and the average budget along the last three years is over 7 million euros a year. Funds are raised largely through contacts with the Pharmaceutical Industry.
SER is divided in two independents units, the Research Unit and the Knowledge Management Unit.
The Research Unit was established in order to promote a top-quality rheumatology research, by supporting the development of research projects, adapting research tools to the Spanish Rheumatology, and disseminating the results of research. In order to reach our mission we have divided the actions of the RU into:
- Methodological advisory: Staffs of RU help to any member of SER in any tasks involving epidemiological research: from evaluating a protocol to improve it, calculate sample size, make some specific statistical analysis, etc.
- Design, coordination and publication of research projects: For these activities, the RU acts as a CRO (Contract Research Organization) in projects proposed/designed by a member of the SER in which he/she acts as a principal investigator (PI). The RU provides support to PI in all phases of the project: improvement of the research protocol, selection of centers and patients, development of other documents or materials necessary for the execution of the project or web applications, data entry, data cleansing, analysis, reporting, presentations or publications.
- Supporting clinical practice guidelines and consensus: the UI RU has the structure that allows groups coordination and developing recommendations. The RU also coordinates the review of the scientific literature, which is done with a methodology, based on the one developed by the Cochrane. The SER has a group of 20-30 reviewers trained to answer relevant clinical questions through the systematic review of the literature.
- Training in research: the RU organizes clinical research course, evidence-based assessment courses and give the chance, to both fellows and staff of rheumatology, from Spain or even from other countries, to work in the Unit for periods, between one to three months, to get experience in epidemiological research methodology. Nowadays, it is being performed about 20 different large-scale research projects, which cover different rheumatic pathologies.
Since the Society was founded, these have been our achievements:
- Number of index article (ISI web of science): 110
- Number of quotes: 2950
- H-number : 27
The Knowledge-Management Unit is responsible for the organization of all meeting, symposia and courses of the Society, the maintenance of the networking as well as the system of grants of the SER and, also coordinates the action of CIT (communication and information technology), a press office, a legal office and an accounting department. Every unit of the SER has direct contact with members of the Society, funders and the Rheumatology Services of our country.
Medical teaching is another key aspect of our scientific society. We organize and develop a wide range of training courses (over 10 per year) to update the knowledge of Spanish rheumatologists.
The Annual National Congress and the two monographic symposia are also key training appointments, which every year gather over 1.700 rheumatologists.
It is estimated that about a thousand of rheumatologists are annually trained in, around ten, on-site courses and other online courses.
Within the Research Development Plan is done a huge effort to keep these grants, because we definitely believe that our members should have the opportunity to develop their knowledge and skills, and, thus, achieve the excellence in the Spanish Rheumatology.
About the publications field, we want to highlight the magazine “Reumatología Clínica”, published in association with the Mexican College of Rheumatology. Since 2011, this is the only rheumatology magazine written in Spanish language indexed by MedLine.
Patients and Corporate Social Responsibility
In recent years, we have been implementing a new course of action to improve the care and quality of life of patients suffering from rheumatic diseases.
Our purpose is to make them the protagonists of all of the actions we are carrying out.
For this reason, we are conducting different activities, including the two edition of the Patients whit Rheumatic disease Congress, first placed in Madrid and second in Barcelona, and broadcasted by streaming.
Besides, we have develop several edition of the summer camp for children with rheumatic disease.