The practice of medicine involves the distillation and synthesis of many types of information. The stories that patients tell about their symptoms, their history, forms the foundation for further exploration and understanding of the clinical problem. The findings on physical exam build on the bedrock information gathered from interviewing patients. Laboratory tests and X-Rays help to confirm suspicions, and rule in or rule out various causes for the person's symptoms. Of these 3 main areas of inquiry, the patient's history is the most important.
Gathering this information often takes time and careful listening. Understanding the personal factors that may influence why a person might choose one possible course of treatment or evaluation over another also plays an important role in ultimately formulating a plan to address the problem. I try to understand the problems my patients experience by adhering to these principles, and use the information I obtain to guide further evaluations and treatment recommendations.
The discipline of Rheumatology encompasses many different kinds of conditions. Most involve one of several main features - arthritis, inflammation and/or pain. My main professional interests include the inflammatory associated conditions of Rheumatoid arthritis, Lupus and related conditions, Psoriatic arthritis and related conditions, Gout and vasculitis. I also have a strong interest in Osteoporosis. My practice is not limited to these areas. I care for many other patients with a wide range of other, less inflammatory problems, as well.
Rheumatic conditions are often chronic. I find long term interactions with patients particularly satisfying.
In addition to clinical practice, I teach residents and medical students as they rotate through our department. Our department is also active in research and I, along with my colleagues, participate in various local and national studies. I also am the chair one of the Institutional Review Boards (IRB) that operate under the auspices of the Park Nicollet Institute. This committee oversees research activities in various areas of Park Nicollet Clinic.