Paula Marchetta, MD, MA, MBA, became a member of the ACR in 1989, during her rheumatology fellowship at Bellevue Hospital and the New York University (NYU) Medical Center. Just 10 years earlier, rheumatology had been an unlikely path. Dr. Marchetta—with a love of the arts—was pursuing Bachelor’s and Master’s degrees in English. But she found common threads between the pursuit of medicine and her love for language and story. This month, Dr. Marchetta, CEO and managing partner of Concorde Medical Group PLLC, becomes the next president of the ACR.
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The Rheumatologist: With an educational background in English, how did you end up in rheumatology?
Dr. Marchetta: I had no intention of going into medicine when I started college. I loved the arts and humanities, and I wanted to be a writer. Halfway through college, I had an epiphany: … I was a good student, so I thought, “Where could you really use your abilities to the maximum capacity in service to others?”
I left the world of humanities behind and took a deep dive into a science curriculum when I started medical school. It was a really steep learning curve, but it gave me incredible discipline, because I always felt like I was not going to make it.