It has become customary for the new president of the ACR to outline an agenda for the upcoming year in his or her first column in The Rheumatologist.
To Start, A Bit About Myself
I would like to begin by telling you a little bit about my background. I had the great privilege of attending St. Ignatius High School in my hometown of Cleveland, Ohio. I am deeply grateful for the sacrifices my parents made to allow this to happen. The trajectory of my life was inexorably altered by my experiences at that Jesuit, all-male high school whose motto is “Men for Others.” It was there that I discovered that, although I came from meager circumstances, because of the gift of my education, much was expected of me.
I graduated from Baldwin-Wallace University (BW) in Berea, Ohio, and it was there that my life was again blessed and changed in a wonderful way. I was fortunate to have met my soul mate and spouse, Jeanne Likins, at BW forty years ago last month. We met at a student government meeting, which tells you a lot about the both of us. She is taking on the duties of president of the German Village Society this year. The Society is dedicated to the preservation of the history and character of the vibrant urban neighborhood where we live in downtown Columbus. Without her I would not be who I am.
Later, my good fortune continued when I went to Georgetown University School of Medicine in Washington, D.C., and stayed on for internship, residency, and fellowship. During this time, Jeanne finished her doctorate in higher education and student development at American University. In addition to learning to become a physician, my love for government and politics grew while living in the nation’s capital, and those interests ultimately led to my work with the ACR’s Government Affairs Committee.
Like many of you, I have practiced in a variety of settings. After my training, I was recruited to join a large multispecialty group in Columbus, later becoming its vice president for medical affairs. I was most recently in solo practice for more than ten years prior to joining the Columbus Arthritis Center, a growing 10-provider group, in November 2012.
Although I have not been primarily in an academic setting since fellowship, I have enjoyed my faculty appointment at The Ohio State University College of Medicine and Public Health (OSU) for more than twenty-five years. There I have meaningful teaching responsibilities and serve on the admissions committee. Students are almost always with me when I see patients.