Q: What has kept you so enamored with the field over your career?
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Explore This IssueDecember 2011
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A: I can’t remember what year it was, but I remember being an at an ACR meeting when there was a big push and success in finding a whole army of drugs that changed the course of arthritic diseases. Particularly for rheumatoid arthritis, there were not drugs to slow down the disease.
Fast forward to today, rheumatoid arthritis is still a horrible disease, but there are early interventions now … . I remember walking through the convention hall with an air of excitement. People were excited because these drugs had gone through trials, they were making it through patients, and we were beginning to see the first papers that showed you could alter the course for patients. It was like finding a cure for AIDS.
Q: What do you see as the future of rheumatology?
A: We don’t have enough people in the pipeline who will be the senior rheumatologists or the clinical scientists of the future. It’s a crucial time. I don’t know what the answer will be. For many specialists, there are a lot of unknowns right now, however, we need specialists who understand disease progression and the treatments that are available right now that can enhance quality of life for patients. More than ever, this is a time for rheumatologists … whether it’s physicians, physician assistants, nurses, it’s time to come together. They need to have one strong voice.
ARHP President’s Award
Atul Deodhar, MD, MRCP
Professor of Medicine, Medical Director, Rheumatology Clinics, Division of Arthritis and Rheumatic Diseases, Oregon Health and Science University, Portland
Background: Dr. Deodhar is a bit of a world traveler. He began his studies at B.J. Medical College at the University of Pune in Pune, India, graduating with a Bachelor of Medicine Bachelor of Surgery (MBBS). He completed internal medicine residencies and then earned his MD as well.
After a stint as a hospitalist at King Edward Memorial Hospital in Pune, he earned another postgraduate degree: DNB (Diplomate of the National Board of India) from the National Board of Medical Examiners in New Delhi. In 1989, he moved to England, earned his MRCP (member of Royal College of Physicians, London) and completed a rheumatology fellowship at Royal Cornwall Hospital in Truro, in southeastern England.
He moved to Portland in 1995 and began work as an instructor in medicine and a rheumatology fellowship at OHSU. He joined the faculty in 1998 and is board certified in both internal medicine and rheumatology. In the past 15 years, Dr. Deodhar’s research targets have included osteoporosis in inflammatory arthritis and ankylosing spondylitis. He pioneered the usage of hand-bone densitometry as a tool in monitoring the progression of rheumatoid arthritis.