“Patients with rheumatic conditions would be great candidates for occupational therapy,” she says. “From the conference, I am hoping to get a better understanding of how occupational therapy can help, as well as see inter-professional training at work. I am also planning to get resources and skills to help in my development as a well-rounded occupational therapist.”
John Fritzlen, medical student at the University of Kansas School of Medicine—Mr. Fritzlen spent two years between getting his undergraduate degree and starting medical school as a medical assistant in the UK Hospital cardiology office. There, he saw patients with heart problems due to rheumatic conditions, such as sarcoidosis and Churg-Strauss syndrome. He says he found those cases the most interesting and read more about them in his spare time. That interest led to a summer research project on giant cell arteritis at the Mayo Clinic, and he will be giving an oral presentation on that research at the meeting.
“It will be an honor to do so and a valuable experience so soon in my medical career,” Mr. Fritzlen says. “It is one of my goals to be involved in academic medicine, and I cannot think of a better way to start. I look forward to learning more about the different forms of vasculitis, meeting doctors from around the world and enjoying some of San Francisco, as well.”
Erin Gaffney, physical therapy student at MUSC—Ms. Gaffney works at the CARES clinic, a student-run free clinic for the uninsured and underinsured, and participated in a medical mission trip to Nicaragua, where she provided physical therapy services to the needy in rural parts of the country. She worked on a lupus research study as a high-school summer job, in which she learned a lot and enjoyed talking to lupus patients. She says she is interested in sessions on pain management, balance and proprioception and a few specific disorders, including systemic lupus erythematosus.
“By attending the ACR/ARHP Annual Meeting, I am hoping to gain a better understanding of [rheumatic] diseases,” Ms. Gaffney says. “I am eager to learn how different health professions work together to treat these diseases, and the role that physical therapy can play in helping patients manage their conditions. I hope to return from the meeting as an advocate for patients with [rheumatic] diseases, and would love to focus my physical therapy career to helping these individuals lead a higher quality of life.”