TR: As incoming president of the ACR, what are your goals? What challenges—and opportunities—do you see?
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Dr. Marchetta: There are always challenges, and challenges become opportunities. The world is changing, but one of most exciting things we have spearheaded this year is we took the first step toward being a truly global society by hosting a rheumatology meeting outside of the U.S., in Dubai. I’m very hopeful we will build on that going forward. Part of that is the idea that the future is not just in the U.S., and there is tremendous desire throughout the world for the education provided by the ACR.
We also have a big generational shift going on, and we have to have an eye set to the needs of our “customers.” What do they really want, and are we still delivering if the demographics are changing? We don’t want to be obsolete or delivering educational products on a platform that is no longer as valuable to our members. We now can stream education online with ACR Beyond and it will only become better, more fine-tuned. And we are getting fellows involved as volunteers of the organization, so fellows are now on all standing committees. We have seen a tremendous amount of excitement and enthusiasm on their parts. We will soon be turning the baton over to a new generation, and we want to make sure we are keeping step and listening to them.
TR: You said you never aimed to become ACR president. Any words of wisdom for others progressing through their careers?
Dr. Marchetta: Concentrate on the job at hand, focus on the work. Do well with what you are charged with doing, and everything is going to take care of itself. It can be very difficult, more often, for women in clinical practice because we have so many obligations, but I love telling young women physicians that the career you start out thinking you are going to have may take a very different course. At times, you may have to do less to be there for family and children, but then that family grows up and you still have all your abilities and goals and ambitions, and your life is still ahead of you. Never stop doing it.
TR: When not managing a medical group, teaching, performing ward service or volunteering, what is the rest of your life like?
Dr. Marchetta: I have one son; he is all grown up now and a software engineer. I have always said I consider my son my greatest accomplishment. I also have a wonderful man in my life. Apart from working, I have studied and practiced tai chi for many years. I am a big fan of old movies, and I love the arts—I never really left that behind. I’m sort of an amateur home decorator. [Note: Dr. Marchetta’s house was once featured in a decorating magazine.] I enjoy going to museums and performances. And I am still a writer.