Q: Why did you retire?
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Explore This IssueDecember 2013
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A: There have been many problems with the electronic medical records and documentation. These problems basically involved having to spend twice as much time documenting a procedure as actually performing it. It just became an overwhelming hassle. The best part of being a rheumatologist was seeing the patients. Take a person who had a severe disease like rheumatoid arthritis. Thirty years ago, this person had a very good chance of winding up disabled. Now, we can assure him or her a reasonable quality of life. That is the fun part.
ACR Distinguished Service Award
Christy Sandborg, MD
Professor of Pediatrics at Stanford University, Palo Alto, Calif.; Vice President of Medical Affairs, Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital, Stanford
Background: A born-and-raised California girl, Dr. Sandborg is in it for the kids—literally.
Dr. Sandborg earned her medical degree from UCLA, her residency in pediatrics, and followed up with training in pediatric rheumatology at Children’s Hospital of Los Angeles. While her early career work focused on the role of interleukin (IL) 1 and related cytokines in HIV, she shifted that in the mid-1990s when she saw issues threatening the future of pediatric rheumatology. She moved to Stanford in 1997, where she increased her efforts in clinical research and the development of clinical research infrastructure for pediatric rheumatology. Along with like-minded colleagues, she cofounded the Childhood Arthritis and Rheumatology Research Alliance in 2002.
Dr. Sandborg has long volunteered for the ACR, with participation on multiple committees.
She has been a member of the American Board of Pediatrics Sub-board on Pediatric Rheumatology and is actively involved with the Arthritis Foundation and the National Institutes of Health (NIH).
Q: What are you most proud of?
A: I’m most proud of a significant contribution to the field of rheumatology in general, and specifically pediatric rheumatology at a very critical point in our development. Pediatric rheumatology is one of the smallest subspecialties—even in pediatrics, let alone compared to adult rheumatology—and because of its size and the scarcity of pediatric rheumatologists, and that it’s rare diseases, making an impact on the health and welfare of pediatric rheumatology as an entity on behalf of our patients is a wonderful feeling.
Q: What would you say to younger physicians about getting involved as pediatric specialists?
A: It is more than just a viable career choice. It is an incredibly rewarding and successful career choice. So, you ought to do it!