I want to thank you for writing the article, “Attracting More Medical Students to Rheumatology” for The Rheumatologist (online, October 2015). I am a senior at Georgetown University now, and I have recently applied to medical school. I have considered pursuing a career in rheumatology, and your article has inspired me to stay on that path.
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Explore This IssueDecember 2015
For the past two years, I have been shadowing a rheumatologist, Dr. Sean Whelton, at Georgetown, which has been an insightful and humbling experience. I am also fortunate to have conducted fascinating clinical rheumatology research with Dr. Ted Pincus. I have found these experiences to be very rewarding and meaningful. They have influenced me to consider a career in rheumatology.
I greatly appreciate the intellectually stimulating detective work involved in the field. There are a plethora of illnesses that rheumatology encompasses, which allows rheumatologists to encounter a variety of interesting cases regularly and to keep their diagnostic skills sharp. Further, because many of the illnesses are chronic in nature, I have had the pleasure of seeing Dr. Whelton form very deep and trusting relationships with many of his patients over time. I feel that rheumatologists have the opportunity to develop the physician–patient relationship to a great extent. Lastly, I think it’s a very strong statement that rheumatologists are the happiest physicians.
I was not aware that so few aspiring physicians choose to specialize in rheumatology, but now that you have shed light on this, you have inspired me to stay on this track. Thank you very much, again! I greatly appreciate it, and I wish you all the best.
Editor Simon Helfgott, MD, replies: Thanks for your letter. I guess my mission is accomplished if I was able to convince a new student to enter our field!