Congratulations to new Professor Karina Torralba, MD, MACM

Congratulations to new Professor Karina Torralba, MD, MACM
Sent by Linda Carter on behalf of Douglas Hegstad, MD, Chair, Department of Medicine, Loma Linda University Medical Center, California, USA

Join me in congratulating Karina Torralba, MD, MACM, on promotion to Professor of Medicine—and in thanking her for the work and service that underlie it.    She arrived on the Loma Linda University campus in 2013.  She was appointed as Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director in 2014, then Chief of the Division of Rheumatology in 2015.  She is recognized as one of the pioneers in the use of bedside musculoskeletal ultrasound for diagnosis and monitoring of rheumatologic conditions in the United States and as an ardent advocate for medical education in rheumatology.

As Rheumatology Division Head, Dr. Torralba has recruited a young, talented, and enthusiastic faculty who now serve the region on the LLUMC campus, at the LLVAH, at RUMC, and at SACH Clinic.  They have developed area-of-interest expertise that makes their practice a regional clinical and educational resource.  Dr. Torralba envisioned and has built the multidisciplinary team of specialists who now provide care under the umbrella of the Fracture Liaison Service.

She was Chair for the first Osteoporosis Symposium (innovations in Bone Health Care, May 20, 2018) ever held on campus, in collaboration with the Division of Endocrinology and the Department of Orthopedics.  She has mentored next generation talent serving as Co-Chair to Mehrnaz Hojjati, MD, for the January 20 “Novel Breakthroughs in Rheumatic Diseases.”  These symposia have each brought together more than 120 attendees from practice groups in the region, and they have brought nationally known speakers to campus.  The second annual Osteoporosis Symposium is planned for April 28 in the Damazo Amphitheater at the Centennial Complex.

In addition to the administrative responsibilities of overseeing the rheumatology fellowship and Division operations, Dr. Torralba has served the discipline of rheumatology and medical education.  She has shared new knowledge through more than 30 PubMed peer reviewed articles.  In collaboration with Michael Kashner, PhD, JD, Professor of Medicine, Director of the Center for Advanced Statistics (CASE) in Medicine, and a group of talented coauthors, she was first author of the landmark 2016 Journal of Graduate Medical Education article, “Does Psychological Safety Impact the Clinical Learning Environment for Physicians?  Results from the VA’s Learners’ Perception Survey.” 

Dr. Torralba’s co-authorship of more than 50 abstracts and posters has introduced students, residents, and fellows to scholarly contribution. The American College of Rheumatology (ACR) Research Foundation has recognized her significant work conferring its prestigious Clinician Scholar Educator Award to her in four separate years.

Dr. Torralba serves on the ACGME Rheumatology Subspecialty Milestones Committee, the ACR Committee on Training and Workforce, and is the Chair for the ACR’s Musculoskeletal Ultrasound Course Development Committee.  She is a Board Member of the Ultrasound School of North American Rheumatologists and Director for the first USSONAR Updates in Advanced Rheumatologic Ultrasound Course in August 2018.  She is Medical Education Coordinator for Clinical Rheumatology, the official journal of the International League Against Rheumatism, and is an Associate Editor of the International Journal of Rheumatic Diseases, the official journal of the Asia-Pacific League Against Rheumatism.  She is a guest editor for Rheumatic Disease Clinics of North America and Clinical Rheumatology, and invited chapter author for Elsevier’s Dubois’ Lupus Erythematosus, Kelley’s Textbook of Rheumatology, and Springer’s Musculoskeletal Ultrasound in Rheumatology. She is a member of the Lupus and Interstitial Lung Disease subgroups of the Outcomes Measures in Rheumatoid Arthritis Clinical Trials (OMERACT).   She has been an invited speaker at 17 national and international meetings since her arrival on the Loma Linda campus.

Dr. Torralba earned an MD from the University of Santo Tomas (Manila, Philippines) in 1996.  She completed her internal medicine residency at Columbia University in 2001, and went on to obtain her fellowship in rheumatology at LA County/USC  in 2003.  She was appointed to the faculty at the University of Arkansas after fellowship, then returned to USC to serve as Associate Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director in 2008.  She earned a master’s degree in academic medicine (MACM) from Keck School of Medicine in 2011.