I’m a pediatric rheumatology physician and researcher. My decision to treat children with conditions such as arthritis and similar autoimmune rheumatic disorders stemmed from spending a year of medical school devoted to research at the National Institutes of Health (NIH). While there, I studied a rare rheumatologic autoinflammatory disease called neonatal onset multisystem inflammatory disease (NOMID). I met several patients with NOMID and their families who faced many challenges.
I enjoy having meaningful discussions with patients and their families. At the NIH, I heard about their journeys and how difficult it is to find the right medicine to treat their disease. Finding the proper diagnosis and caring for these children often includes lengthy evaluations, beginning hours to days after birth. Patients sometimes go several years without an accurate diagnosis. They may have to try several medications before finding one that works for them. I’ve also witnessed how early diagnosis and treatment can significantly improve the quality of life and long-term outcomes for these children.
Pediatric rheumatology involves treating a patient population that can have difficulty finding care regardless of their socioeconomic status. Many children with inflammatory rheumatic disease undergo months and sometimes years without a diagnosis. Once diagnosed, many of them travel hours to see a pediatric rheumatologist. As a clinician, I am dedicated to expanding access to services at satellite and outreach clinics to improve access to care. I work closely with patients and their families to provide the best quality of care and help children achieve their highest potential, just like other children living without a chronic disease.
I‘m glad to be a part of the community treating patients with inflammatory rheumatic diseases. Over the years, I expanded my interests in musculoskeletal ultrasound to diagnose and treat chronic inflammatory arthritis. By working with other researchers and increasing the use of musculoskeletal ultrasound in chronic arthritis and other rare autoimmune diseases, we are finding new treatments. My goal is to provide patients and their families with the evidence to help them achieve the best outcome.
When I’m not working, I enjoy running, hiking and traveling with my family while experiencing new cultures and food.