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Rabago joining Family and Community Medicine as new vice chair for faculty development

A man in a medical coat sits with a statue of a lion in an outdoor garden, smiling professionally.

David Rabago, MD, is joining Penn State College of Medicine’s Department of Family and Community Medicine as vice chair for faculty development.

The Department of Family and Community Medicine at Penn State College of Medicine in Hershey, Pa., welcomes David Rabago, MD, as its new vice chair for faculty development.

Dr. Rabago is a family medicine physician scientist with clinical and research expertise in complementary and integrative health (CIH) therapies for two public health challenges: chronic upper respiratory symptoms and chronic pain. As a resident, the longitudinal assessment of nasal irrigation (NI) was his first randomized control trial. The study provided new evidence for the efficacy and effectiveness of NI for chronic upper respiratory conditions and became a seminal study which helped establish NI as standard of care for chronic rhinosinusitis in the United States.

His second area of research focuses on prolotherapy, a non-steroid, injection-based CIH modality for chronic pain. In his studies, he has focused assessment of prolotherapy on two conditions: symptomatic knee osteoarthritis (KOA) and overuse tendon injury, conditions with high patient and societal impact that are often refractory to conservative care. His work assessing prolotherapy for overuse tendon disease has been influential within a rapidly changing paradigm of our understanding of chronic tendon injury. Contemporary evidence has led to a reclassification of “tendinitis” to “tendinosis,” with underlying pathology now understood to be primarily degenerative rather than inflammatory.

Dr. Rabago also has a passion for teaching, which began as a math and science teacher for 10 years. Throughout his career he has provided mentorship to all levels of learners in individual and group contexts. His passion for teaching is integrated with his research endeavors through an NIH Primary Care Research Fellowship grant to provide mentoring of clinical faculty and residents in academic and scholarly work.

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