I grew up in Boston, the son of an academic oncologist who was a busy investigator and clinician. Medicine seemed like an obvious choice for a career path, although I took my time getting there--spending two years in Africa as a Peace Corps volunteer after college, followed by an additional year at my alma matter, Johns Hopkins, pursuing a masters in public health (MPH) degree.
As a clinical clerk in my third year of medical school, I spent two months on the inpatient arthritis unit at Johns Hopkins, under the tutelage of Mary Betty Stevens. Dr. Stevens was a legendary physician, training numerous rheumatologists, many of whom remain within her academic orbit after her death. I was fortunate to diagnose a patient with hypothyroidism, Sjogren's Syndrome and myotonic dystrophy and was given opportunity to present her as an unknown at medical grand rounds, an experience I'll never forget. Rheumatology was therefore the logical choice as a career, despite the leanings of my father, an academic oncologist in Boston.
I believe that patients are best suited to negotiate the pitfalls of medicine via proper education and understanding, with a treatment alliance which positions the physician as colleague and mentor. Access to information is therefore encouraged, with paper and web-based formats favored as 'adjuvant' modalities to office-based education.
In my Osteoarthritis blog, I anticipate discussing various musculoskeletal conditions, from the perspective of epidemiology (demographics and distribution), presentation (clinical features), diagnosis and therapy. I look forward to hearing from you--in particular, inquiries or other information that you think I should address to the broader community.
Published On: June 30, 2006