My interest in microbiology was initially fostered during medical school and is where my passion for treating, researching, and teaching Infectious Diseases began. I started my residency in the 1980s, at a time of hopelessness for patients with HIV and the physicians and families who cared for them. The AIDS crisis further strengthened my desire to pursue a career in Infectious Diseases. I was fortunate enough to find a professional home at Georgetown University where the concept of Cura Personalis—care for the whole person—spoke to what I view as an ID Physician’s daily work.
Early in my career, my goal was to be in an academic center where I could be a clinician while pursuing research –including finding treatment options for patients living with HIV—while also educating and mentoring the students, residents, and fellows who will become the pillars of their communities in which they live and serve. While my professional journey hasn’t always been easy, I learned from my father that excellence is the best deterrent to discrimination. I incorporate that important lesson into my daily life while working to excel at every opportunity and I strive to impart that lesson to the physicians of the future.
I couldn’t have made this journey alone. Professional societies, such as IDSA, provide evidence-based medicine in treatment guidelines that molds the framework for providing the best possible care to patients. However, these societies cannot exist without their members, so it is critical to become a part of professional societies to enable the ongoing success of both yourself and the broader medical community.
Practicing infectious disease medicine has helped me to provide care of the whole person. ID doctors have the privilege of either completely eradicating an acute infection or in the case of chronic infections such as HIV, making the patient whole again by providing therapies that give them the ability to lead long, productive lives. I am honored to be able to play that role in patients’ lives and am grateful for the tools provided by professional societies like IDSA, that have equipped me to follow my father’s guidance to excel at every opportunity.
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