She graduated from the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, and completed her residency and fellowship in Allergy, Immunology and Rheumatology at Stanford University. She served as chair of the Department of Rheumatology at Cleveland Clinic Florida, and for the past 20 years has operated a private practice and clinical trial center. She has served as principal investigator on more than 200 clinical trials.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2016
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Q: What is the most challenging part of your job these days?
A: Undoubtedly, all of the new things coming into play the last few years. We are getting paid less for what we do. What we have to do takes more time. A recent survey showed that for every hour of clinical work, there were two hours of unpaid, administrative work. That has been very frustrating. As physicians, we never expected these difficulties.
Q: What is the most fulfilling part of your job?
A: You get to know your patients. In fact, they call you their friend. They invite you to their special events, the 50th wedding anniversaries. Over time, you become close to them.
Q: What advice do you give your fellows?
A: Take a good history and physical exam. Sometimes, there is an overemphasis on technology. Technology is wonderful, in its place, but it also can mislead or send you down a wrong path. I emphasize to them that you have to put the whole picture together, which starts with a thorough history and physical exam. … Once that is done, then they do the critical thinking to put it all together.
Paulding Phelps Award
Thomas Pressly III, MD
Rheumatologist, Willis-Knighton Medical Center, Shriners Hospital for Children, Shreveport, La.
Background: Dr. Pressly is a successful adult rheumatologist, but working with children with rheumatic diseases has been a calling for him. A longtime volunteer with Shriners, he and his wife, Tracy, established a nonprofit organization, Children and Arthritis, and its summer camp, the Jambalaya Jubilee. For more than 25 years, pediatric rheumatologists from all over the country have volunteered to “educate and encourage” children with rheumatic disorders and their families through the weekend camp in Shreveport.
“We’ve had tremendous community and physician support through the years for the Jambalaya Jubilee,” Dr. Pressly says. The idea was spawned by his wife’s success in dealing with juvenile diabetes mellitus through her participation in a diabetic camp as a child, which enabled her to accept and manage the disorder.