She has received the Arthritis Foundation’s Quality of Life Professional Education Award and the Joseph Lee Hollander Award for Excellence and Achievement in Rheumatology. She served on the ACR’s Committee on Rheumatology Workforce and Training Issues, and helped bring the match to the rheumatology fellowship recruitment process, as well as the in-training examination for rheumatology fellows.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2015
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‘A combination of the intellectual challenge of diagnosing & treating rheumatic diseases, along with the huge opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives, is the essence of being a rheumatologist.’ —Dr. Kolasinski
Q: What is the biggest change you’ve witnessed over the course of your career?
A: The emergence and prominence of the role of the clinician-educator in academic medicine. … It is only relatively recently that academic institutions, training programs and accrediting agencies have supported the professionalization and elevation of the medical educator. An appreciation for the unique contributions clinician-educators make to inspiring students, recruiting the next generation and helping trainees cultivate their own best career paths has grown tremendously.
Q: What is it about rheumatology that keeps you so engaged?
A: A combination of the intellectual challenge of diagnosing and treating rheumatic diseases, along with the huge opportunity to make a difference in patients’ lives, is the essence of being a rheumatologist. And, not least, helping our fellows, residents and students share our excitement—you can’t beat it.
Q: What is the value of mentoring?
A: The importance of mentorship cannot be underestimated. It isn’t just the imparting of knowledge, the practical advice and the help in making connections. Mentorship is a very powerful expression of the mentor’s belief in what they do and, even more importantly, of their belief in their mentee.
Q: What does an award from your peers mean to you?
A: It is such an extraordinary honor to win this award, and so truly humbling when I think of what it means to be endorsed by my peers in this way, not to mention to see my name alongside the past recipients.
ACR Henry Kunkel Young Investigator Award
Dinesh Khanna, MD, MSc, Frederick G.L. Huetwell Professor of Rheumatology, Professor of Medicine, University of Michigan, Ann Arbor
Background: Ask Dr. Khanna where his interest in scleroderma and clinical research comes from, and he says the answer is easy: excellent mentors at the University of California Los Angeles, where he completed both his fellowship and Master’s degree.
“My mentors taught me to be honest, fair, hardworking and accountable,” he says. “I have tried to incorporate these qualities as I mentor [more than] 30 investigators around the globe.”