Hospital for Special Surgery HSS

Laura Robbins, Hospital for Special Surgery HSS

Laura Robbins

Striving to be
the Most Trusted Educator

Editors’ Note

Dr. Laura Robbins received her doctorate degree in social welfare in 1994 following over a decade in practice as a rheumatology clinical social worker. She started her career in 1975 in the rheumatology division at Downstate Medical Center in New York City. During her doctoral studies, she was recruited to be part of a National Institutes of Health-funded multipurpose arthritis center at Hospital for Special Surgery, where she furthered her clinical and research experience. Robbins served as Chair of the Arthritis Foundation from 2004 to 2006. In 2009, she also received the Charles B. Harding Award from the Arthritis Foundation.

Will you provide an overview of Education & Academic Affairs within HSS?

The department spans a wide continuum of education both nationally and globally. This includes public and patient education, and graduate medical education, including medical students, residents, fellows, and residents or fellows who come from other institutions into HSS, as well as continuing education.

One vision is “striving to be the most trusted educator,” which is about providing education content to a variety of audiences. It’s part of the three-pronged mission of the hospital, which is clinical care, research, and education. Much of our focus is on education, which often interacts with the clinical side, and even with research.

All of the three parts of the mission are about better quality and outstanding patient care. We believe better-educated doctors result in better patient care.

What is your primary focus in each of these areas?

Within public and patient education, we’re following the CDC’s public health agenda as it relates to musculoskeletal medicine. We do many population health-type programs where we are out in the community raising awareness about issues like osteoporosis and rheumatoid arthritis, before people even need to think about them. Once they’re patients, we have programs tailored to them as patients, many of which are service-based, but others are research-based. We have very select programs where we study outcomes, and an extensive pediatric program as well.

In the Professional Education departments, we have about 400 medical students who come here as part of their required training at different levels of medical school. We have one of the most sought-after orthopedic residency programs in the country.

We also have 17 fellowships, which are subspecialty programs. Within that, we have other types of trainees who come here for the different specialties for anywhere from a few days to a few months to get clinical experience.

In addition, we’re a CME-accredited provider with commendation, so we offer an array of continuing education programs to various audiences, nationally and globally.

With our eAcademy, our digital education platform, we have over 8,000 professional members who access our content. We have around 300 different types of modules online and we’re in 113 countries.

We have a peer-reviewed HSS Journal that features research that supports advances in the field. The Journal is published three times a year and reaches over 57,000 health professionals.

What is it about the culture at HSS that keeps people here?

People work hard, they are dedicated, and they are so proud to be at HSS. If someone is a good fit, when they come here, they become fully engaged because they want to be affiliated with the best hospital for bone and joint conditions.•