Q: What made SLE your career focus?
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Explore This IssueDecember 2015
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A: The multi-systemic features, gender/racial disparities and chronic nature really captured my heart. I was fortunate to be surrounded by wonderful mentors, and the rest is history.
Q: Even within SLE, why the interest in racial disparities?
A: SLE is, by its very nature, a disease of racial disparities. For reasons we do not quite fully understand, it afflicts minorities more than whites. In the area that I serve, we have tremendous numbers of African Americans afflicted by lupus. Hispanics and certain American Indian/Alaska Native groups are also disproportionately afflicted. Keep in mind that these are minority women, at the peak of their careers and at a time when they are establishing their families. Combine it all and one can see how disparities can be magnified. Studying lupus gives us insight to these broader issues.
ACR Distinguished Service Award
Arthur Weinstein, MD, FACP, FRCP, MACR, Professor of Medicine, Georgetown University Medical Center, and Associate Chairman, Department of Medicine, Washington Hospital Center, both in Washington, D.C.
Background: Dr. Weinstein has seen rheumatic disease in Toronto, London and the tony Georgetown section of Washington, D.C. Minus the patients’ accents, the feedback is the same.
“Patients with rheumatic diseases around the world share the same concerns and seek physicians who are knowledgeable about their conditions and can help them cope—medically and psychologically—with them,” he says. “Rheumatologists everywhere have a similar goal to apply modern, evidence-based therapies for their patients suffering from arthritis and systemic diseases. My travels have reinforced my conviction that I chose the right career path for myself.”
That path had stops at University of Toronto Medical School, Hammersmith Hospital in London and University of Connecticut Medical School. He is a longtime advocate for methotrexate therapy and has researched clinical and immunological features of lupus, as well as the laboratory diagnosis and treatment of Lyme disease and post-Lyme disease syndrome.
Dr. Weinstein has served on multiple ACR committees and was appointed a master in 2009. He’s been editor of Rheumatology and Musculoskeletal Medicine for Primary Care and the Rheumatology Section of e-Medicine.
‘Rheumatologists everywhere have a similar goal to apply modern, evidence-based therapies for their patients suffering from arthritis & systemic diseases.’ —Dr. Weinstein
Q: You were an early advocate of methotrexate therapy. Why?
A: In the 1970s, our medical treatments for RA were, for the most part, terribly inadequate, and other very aggressive therapies, including chemotherapy, had been used with some effect but with major side effects. I had observed oral methotrexate benefit patients with psoriasis for which it was then being used, and sometimes also psoriatic arthritis that some of these patients had. So I thought it might be good for RA.