Road to Rheumatology
Dr. Khan’s own path to rheumatology was initially inspired by her father.
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Explore This IssueJuly 2019
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“Growing up in India, I would often watch my father, who was a veterinarian, care for animals,” Dr. Khan says. “I knew I wanted to practice medicine, but as a physician. I thought I would pursue a career as an internist.”
That changed while Dr. Khan was completing medical school at the Government Medical College of Surat, India. After attending a lecture on rheumatology, she was intrigued and knew she had found her specialty area.
“The idea of having long-term relationships with patients really appealed to me, as well as working with patients to determine the best treatment plan to manage their condition,” Dr. Khan says. “My grandma, Ba, had arthritis and although she died shortly after I finished medical school, I treat every patient as I would treat my Ba. She made me a better rheumatologist.”
Often, Dr. Khan finds the best way to help her patients is through listening. Many of her patients are women who have specific concerns and questions about such issues as how to manage pregnancy and motherhood with a rheumatic disease.
“It’s not unusual for my patients to inquire about my son (8) and my daughter (2), and to ask if they can see recent photos,” Dr. Khan says. “We’ll talk about families, and that often leads to questions about whether it’s safe to take medication while pregnant or how perimenopause might affect their condition.”
I often refer patients to my blog if they want more information on a certain subject, such as osteoarthritis, that’s presented in an easy-to-read manner.’ —Reshma Khan, MD
Launching a Physician Blog
An avid reader who also enjoys writing, Dr. Khan started a blog several years ago.
“There’s a lot of fear and misconception out there when it comes to rheumatic diseases,” says Dr. Khan. “I often refer patients to my blog if they want more information on a certain subject, such as osteoarthritis, that’s presented in an easy-to-read manner.”
Some of her recent blog posts include how autoimmune diseases, such as lupus, affect women differently than men, foods that help keep bones healthy and information on rheumatoid arthritis (RA) and osteoarthritis.
Although Dr. Khan is currently in the process of revamping her website and blog, she attempts to post on a monthly basis and to address common patient questions.
“My passion is helping patients with complex rheumatic conditions, such as RA and lupus,” Dr. Khan says. “If I can help them manage their disease effectively and live their best life, that’s very empowering.”