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Dr. Robert A. Welch named a top reviewer by Obstetrics & Gynecology

February 10, 2016

Professor Robert A. Welch, M.D., Wayne State University and the Detroit Medical Center’s vice chair of Obstetrics and Gynecology Clinical Operations and WSU’s chief and division director of Maternal-Fetal Medicine, has been ranked among the top 10 percent of peer reviewers for the journal Obstetrics & Gynecology.

The journal utilizes 1,144 referee reviewers who are evaluated annually based on the number, quality of reviews and the time taken to complete reviews.

“The role of the peer reviewer is absolutely critical in the dissemination of new knowledge in medicine. To be an excellent peer reviewer requires a high level of knowledge of the subject matter, scientific method, statistical analysis, and an ability to communicate one’s critical thinking about a particular paper without prejudice or conflict,” Obstetrics & Gynecology Editor in Chief Nancy Chescheir, M.D., wrote to Dr. Welch. “And peer reviewers do this voluntarily on their ‘free time’ even though this work is so critical to scholarly activity.” She called Dr. Welch a member of an “elite group.”

The American Journal of Obstetrics & Gynecology last year recognized Dr. Welch as a top 5 percent reviewer for that journal. The two journals combined have the greatest impact factors of any journals in the specialty.

“I have been invited to review submitted manuscripts since 1984, when I was a senior resident in the Wayne State University/Detroit Medical Center program,” Dr. Welch said. “In 1982, I had presented an abstract about low birth weight twins that was picked up in Williams Obstetrics. Somehow the journal editors began to invite me to review, and I've been doing it since. I review 30 to 60 manuscripts annually, and try to do it in an organized and timely fashion. It also helps me to stay a leg up on the fellows and residents, as I have often seen the manuscript before it appears in a journal.”

Also, the American Congress of Obstetrics and Gynecology last year recognized Dr. Welch as the District V mentor of the year. The accolade is given to one obstetrician/gynecologist out of several thousand in the district, which includes Michigan, Ohio, Indiana, Kentucky and Ontario, and recognizes mentorship of junior colleagues, fellows, residents and medical students.  “I wear the pin proudly on my lab coat,” Dr. Welch said.

He focuses on the continued growth and development of obstetrics and gynecology specialty services, and the development of strategic partnerships with physicians to provide advanced medical and surgical care for women. He works closely with other DMC and WSU leaders on women’s health and academic-related enterprises.

Dr. Welch is active in local, regional and national quality improvement activities in the field of obstetrics and gynecology. His research focuses on measurement of a specific cell-free fetal RNA in amniotic fluid and maternal circulation, and utilizing this portion of the fetal transcriptome for future clinical applications in perinatal medicine.

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