SAN DIEGO—Recognition as an ACR Master is one of the highest honors the College bestows. The designation of Master is conferred on ACR members, age 65 or older by Oct. 1 of the year in which they are nominated, who have made outstanding contributions to the ACR and the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students and profession. The 25 individuals recognized in 2023 as ACR Masters are listed below. We asked: What does recognition as an ACR Master mean to you?
George A.W. Bruyn, MD, PhD, MACR
Clinical Director of Rheumatology Clinics in Lelystad, The Netherlands; Consultant Rheumatologist, Tergooi MC Hospitals, Hilversum, The Netherlands
“I am tremendously grateful and honored to receive the ACR Master award. I feel humbled to be in the company of so many great colleagues who work tirelessly for advancing the field of rheumatology. For almost 40 years, it has always been a great honor to serve my patients, and as for my scholarly contributions, I’d like to paraphrase Isaac Newton, saying that it was merely by standing on the shoulders of giants that I could look further,” says Dr. Bruyn.
Leslie J. Crofford, MD, MACR
Wilson Family Chair in Medicine, Professor of Medicine and of Pathology, Microbiology and Immunology and Chief of the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology, Vanderbilt University Medical Center, Nashville, Tenn.
“I am deeply honored and very grateful to the ACR for this recognition,” says Dr. Crofford. “The ACR and the Foundation have been a hugely important part of my professional identity, and I highly value the work of these organizations, which continue to work tirelessly to promote rheumatology and rheumatologists.”
Gregory J. Dennis, MD, MACR
SVP Public Health and External Affairs, IQVIA, Durham, N.C.
“I am extremely pleased and honored to receive recognition as a Master in the [ACR]. It serves as a testament to the contributions I have willingly made to our subspecialty through active participation,” says Dr. Dennis.
Alfred Denio, MD, MACR
Rheumatologist and Former Rheumatology Fellowship Program Director, Geisinger Health System, Danville, Pa.
“What a thrilling honor for an old doctor like me to be recognized by one’s peers for a lifetime of work,” says Dr. Denio. “It has been such a personally rewarding experience to be able to work with a great organization like the American College of Rheumatology for goals larger than oneself. I recommend volunteering to all of my younger colleagues.”
Anne Eberhard, MBBS, MSc, FRACP, FRCP(C), MACR
Pediatric Rheumatologist, Cohen Children’s Medical Center, New Hyde Park, N.Y.; Professor of Pediatrics, Zucker School of Medicine at Hofstra/Northwell, Hempstead, N.Y.
“It came as a surprise to be recognized as an ACR Master,” says Dr. Eberhard. “I was of course delighted to receive such an honor. I have enjoyed and volunteered to serve on several committees in the ACR. Meeting and collaborating with the numerous and talented ACR members have been a highlight of my career. I hope to see a pediatric rheumatologist as ACR president in the not-too-distant future.”
Sherine Emily Gabriel, MD, MSc, MACR
Executive Vice President, ASU Health; University Professor of the Future of Health Outcomes and Medicine, College of Health Solutions, University of Arizona, Tempe
“Being honored as an ACR Master is deeply meaningful to me because it is an acknowledgment from the rheumatology community—a community about which I care deeply and that I’ve passionately served throughout my career,” says Dr. Gabriel. “It’s also a wonderful reminder of the journey I’ve embarked upon and the experiences and memories I’ve shared with so many friends and colleagues along the way. Thank you.”
Peter Gorevic, MD, MACR
Emeritus Professor, Icahn School of Medicine, Mount Sinai Medical School, New York; Emeritus Professor of Medicine and Pathology, Renaissance School of Medicine, State University of New York at Stony Brook
“Recognition by my peers as ACR Master validates my career goals of being an outstanding and empathic physician for my patients, a role model for the students and rheumatologists I have mentored, and to encourage basic and translational research in amyloid diseases, cryopathies and autoinflammatory disorders. It is an honor to join the ranks of the Masters with whom I have trained, and who have nominated me,” says Dr. Gorevic.
Jörg J. Goronzy, MD, PhD, MACR
Professor of Medicine and Immunology, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science, Rochester, Minn.; Professor of Medicine, Emeritus, Stanford University, Stanford, Calif.
“In my professional career, I have aimed at fostering the science of immunology in rheumatology, both by developing novel immunological concepts in basic science as well as by educating fellows in the immunology of rheumatic diseases. To be recognized as a Master by my colleagues in rheumatology is a tremendous honor, and I am proud to be elected to this distinguished group of individuals,” says Dr. Goronzy.
Syed Atiqul Haq, MD, FCPS, MACR
Professor of Rheumatology (retired), Bangabandhu Sheikh Mujib Medical University Hospital, Dhaka, Bangladesh; Chief Consultant, Green Life Center for Rheumatic Care and Research, Dhaka
“Being acknowledged as an ACR Master is a profound affirmation of my lifelong journey in rheumatology,” says Dr. Haq. “I feel humbled and privileged to stand among the esteemed ranks of ACR Masters, cherishing the trust and respect of the ACR community and my colleagues.”
Joseph Eugene Huffstutter, MD, FACP, FACR, MACR
Partner, Arthritis Associates PLLC, Hixson, Tenn.
“I am very flattered and humbled to have my fellow rheumatologists select me for this honor,” says Dr. Huffstutter. I really feel that there are many other rheumatologists who have dedicated their professional lives to the care of patients and feel I am accepting this award on behalf of all career clinical rheumatologists who impact the lives of patients every day.”
David R. Karp, MD, PhD, MACR
Professor and Chief of the Division of Rheumatic Diseases, University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center, Dallas
“For over three decades, I have admired the ACR Masters as role models and colleagues who devoted their careers to making our profession better for the sake of our patients. I am honored and privileged to join them,” says Dr. Karp.
Arthur Kavanaugh, MD, MACR
Professor of Medicine, University of California, San Diego
“I am honored by the designation of ACR Master, the ultimate recognition by peers of a career in rheumatology. As Sir Isaac Newton said, “If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants,” says Dr. Kavanaugh. “I am indebted to those who inspired and trained me, including Martin Lidsky, MD, Dave Huston, MD, and Peter Lipsky, MD, among many others; I can only hope that several of those whom I have had the privilege of training will also experience the satisfaction that comes with such recognition.”
Jonathan Kay, MD, MACR
Timothy S. and Elaine L. Peterson Chair in Rheumatology and Professor of Medicine and of Population and Quantitative Health Sciences, UMass Chan Medical School, Worcester, Mass.
“I am humbled and honored to be awarded the distinction of Master by the [ACR],” says Dr. Kay. “I am fortunate to have practiced rheumatology during a transformative period during which patients who previously would have developed debilitating deformities now receive treatment that allows them to recover full function. I am grateful to my patients who have taught me so much and to my family, friends and colleagues who have supported me throughout my career.”
Gail Kerr, MD, FRCP(Edin), MACR
Chief of Rheumatology, Washington, D.C., Veterans Affairs Medical Center; Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University and Howard University, Washington, D.C.
“I am truly humbled to be accepted as a Master of the ACR and am sincerely grateful for the nomination and endorsement,” says Dr. Kerr. “The Master designation entails one of responsibility to which I am committed: to adhere to the goals of the College as well as to continue to work toward equality in all aspects of care and for all patients with rheumatic diseases.”
Sharon L. Kolasinski, MD, MACR
Professor of Clinical Medicine, Chief of Rheumatology, Penn Presbyterian Medical Center; Director for Rheumatology, Penn Musculoskeletal Center, University of Pennsylvania, Philadelphia
“I am so honored to be recognized as an ACR Master! The ACR has provided me with a career full of tremendous opportunities to be of service to our profession for which I am truly grateful. Joining the ranks of so many of my mentors and teachers is both humbling and joyful,” says Dr. Kolasinski.
Gary Koretzky, MD, PhD, MACR
Professor of Medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine, New York; Professor of Microbiology and Immunology, College of Veterinary Medicine, Cornell University, Ithaca, N.Y.
“I am honored to be recognized by my ACR peers for this award, recalling the many years of wonderful interactions with my colleagues,” says Dr. Koretzky. “It is a privilege to be a rheumatologist and scientist, working to understand complex diseases and hopefully leading to improved therapies and eventual cures.”
Kent Kwoh, MD, MACR
Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Endowed Chair in Rheumatology, Professor of Medicine and Medical Imaging, Chief, Division of Rheumatology and Director, University of Arizona Arthritis Center, University of Arizona College of Medicine, Tucson
“My service to the ACR and the Rheumatology Research Foundation has enriched me on many levels over the years, and I am deeply grateful to receive this meaningful honor. I feel privileged to join the ranks of friends, colleagues, collaborators and mentors who are Masters of the ACR,” says Dr. Kwoh.
Geraldine M. McCarthy, MD, FRCPI, MACR
Full Clinical Professor of Medicine, School of Medicine and Medical Science, University College Dublin, Ireland; Consultant Rheumatologist, Mater Misericordiae University Hospital, Dublin
“As an Irish woman, who trained in rheumatology in the USA, I am very honored and delighted to be recognized by my peers as Master,” says Dr. McCarthy. “My association with the ACR has been very important to me since the beginning of my career in rheumatology and it has played a major role in my professional development.”
Linda Ilene Ray, MD, MACR
Pediatric Rheumatologist, University of Mississippi Medical Center, Jackson
“I am honored to be selected as an ACR Master by my peers,” says Dr. Ray. “The ACR has been an important part of my development as a pediatric rheumatologist by providing up to date information and interaction with other rheumatology professionals. The Pediatric Rheumatology section has significantly grown over the years.”
Ann K. Rosenthal, MD, MACR
Will and Cava Ross Professor of Medicine and Chief of the Rheumatology Division, Medical College of Wisconsin, Milwaukee
“I am truly honored by election to the elite group of Masters of the [ACR]. I will joyfully accept this award on behalf of myself as well as the prior ACR Masters from Milwaukee who were so instrumental in my career, including Lawrence M. Ryan, MD, and Daniel J. McCarty, MD. This award is also a significant acknowledgement of their work as well as the importance of calcium pyrophosphate deposition disease (which needs all the notoriety it can get!!),” says Dr. Rosenthal.
Francisco Jorge Sanchez-Guerrero, MD, MSc, MACR
Professor of Medicine, University of Toronto, Sinai Health System/University Health Network, Toronto, Canada
“I am very grateful for this recognition, which the ACR has bestowed upon me,” says Dr. Sanchez-Guerrero. “It is an honor to join all the amazing professionals who have received the designation of Master of the ACR in the past. This award is dedicated to all the people who helped me to become the person I am, particularly to my wife Carmen, my children Monica, Fernando and Alejandro, and my parents.”
Wolfgang A. Schmidt, MD, MACR
Professor of Medicine of Charité University Medicine Berlin; Chief Senior Physician of Immanuel Krankenhaus Berlin, Medical Center of Rheumatology Berlin-Buch, Germany
“I am profoundly grateful for the recognition, which extends to all my colleagues who advocate for the use of ultrasound in diagnosing rheumatic and musculoskeletal disorders, with a special emphasis on large-vessel vasculitis,” says Dr. Schmidt.
Robert Taylor Schoen, MD, MACR
Clinical Professor of Medicine, Yale University School of Medicine, New Haven, Conn.
“Over the years, the ACR has become a large group of friends that I greatly respect. To receive their recognition is extremely satisfying,” says Dr. Schoen.
Enrique Roberto Soriano, MD, MSc, MACR
Professor of Medicine, University Institute Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires, Argentina, and Staff and former Head of the Rheumatology Unit, Internal Medicine Service, Hospital Italiano de Buenos Aires
“To be recognized by the [ACR] and included among their prominent and distinguished list of Masters is a great honor,” says Dr. Soriano. “Obtaining this recognition working outside the U.S. in a developing country is a huge personal satisfaction that I owe to the invaluable collaboration of my workgroup and mentors. I really appreciate that ACR distinguishes its foreign and national members alike, encouraging our young rheumatologists to develop a rheumatology of excellence in their countries. Thanks, ACR, for this award, one of the most important I have (and will ever) received.”
Maria Suarez-Almazor, MD, PhD, MACR
Barnts Family Distinguished Professor, Department of Health Services Research and Section of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology, University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, Houston
“I am deeply grateful to be honored by the ACR with the designation of Master, joining outstanding colleagues who have been instrumental in advancing the field of rheumatology. To be recognized by one’s peers is the pinnacle of my professional career, and I am humbled and thankful for receiving this award,” says Dr. Suarez-Almazor.
Patrice Fusillo is a writer and editor based in Oakland, Calif.