Being a doctor combines my passion for working with people and problem solving. As a rheumatologist, I take care of patients with autoimmune and autoinflammatory syndromes and musculoskeletal pain. I see patients with arthritis (JIA), dermatomyositis (muscle inflammation), lupus and other rheumatic conditions.
I strongly support shared decision-making when it comes to selecting treatment options. I take time to talk with the patient and family and understand their preferences for disease management, medication and treatment choices. I believe data provides important information about the severity of a patient’s condition. Data from labs, physical exams and patient questionnaires inform my recommendations.
I understand a rheumatology diagnosis can feel overwhelming. Patients and families must sift through a lot of information as they make decisions about a care plan. We want to empower children to control their condition and achieve their life goals. We use a team approach to give patients and families the support they need. Our team includes care from doctors, nurse practitioners, nurses, social workers, pharmacists, occupational therapists, physical therapists and nutritionists.
My path to becoming a doctor started early. I’ve always been service-oriented, and I enjoy interacting with people. In school, I liked science and math. As a doctor, I get joy from partnering with families to determine a diagnosis and from supporting patients in their journey back to health.
My research focuses on improving healthcare delivery in rheumatology and studying which treatments are most effective for juvenile arthritis. I lead the Pediatric Rheumatology Care and Outcomes Improvement Network (PR-COIN) — a quality improvement network of more than 20 hospitals. Together, we work to learn best practices and improve patient outcomes in arthritis.
I have been invited to give presentations on a variety of topics including quality improvement in rheumatology and engaging patients in research studies.
When I’m not working, I spend time with my large family and dogs. I also enjoy traveling, cooking, learning languages and dancing.
Childhood rheumatic diseases; juvenile idiopathic arthritis; juvenile dermatomyositis; sarcoidosis
Patient reported outcomes measure development; quality Improvement; health services research; economic evaluations; comparative effectiveness
Associate Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics