Right now, access to care is not always guaranteed for arthritis patients, and the problem is even worse for children living with juvenile arthritis. A child with arthritis currently travels an average of 57 miles to be seen by a pediatric rheumatologist. The Arthritis Foundation has been working to help close the gap on the nation’s rheumatologist shortage through our fellowship initiative. In 2018 we announced five fellowship awards; one of those grants was offered to the Riley Hospital for Children at Indiana University Health, which recently announced their fellowship has been awarded to Dr. Olivia Kwan.
Dr. Kwan earned her Bachelor of Liberal Arts and Doctor of Medicine degrees from the University of Missouri Kansas City. She completed a combined residency in Internal Medicine and Pediatrics at the same institution, where she also served as chief resident. She describes her journey to this pediatric rheumatology fellowship:
“My interest in medicine started at a young age, as well as my dedication to it. I started medical school directly out of high school, entering the University of Missouri Kansas City School of Medicine’s six-year combined baccalaureate and Doctor of Medicine degree. Afterwards, I chose a residency in combined pediatrics and internal medicine as I was seeking comprehensive pediatric and adult training, the diagnostic challenges of acute inpatient care, and the ability to form strong patient relationships.
“My focus is now narrowed to a career in pediatric rheumatology. Rheumatology is a rich field consisting of chronic and complex multisystem diseases. Throughout my medical school and residency career I have encountered many patients with such diseases, sparking my interest in this fascinating field. I feel my training in combined internal medicine and pediatrics will give me a unique perspective, clinically and from a research basis, on the chronic conditions pediatric rheumatology patients are at risk of developing,” Dr. Kwan continued.
“For me, fulfillment comes from deep critical thinking, delivering compassionate care and the ability to build long-lasting relationships with my patients and their families. Additionally, rheumatology brings with it the opportunity to help patients through both acute and chronic needs,” she explained.
“I am excited to enter the next phase of my career with these goals in mind while training to be a pediatric rheumatologist. Being a pediatrician is meaningful and rewarding and the ability to train in pediatric rheumatology will allow me to serve a unique patient population,” Dr. Kwan shared. “I am looking forward to continuing my education in this field and for opportunities to share my knowledge through academic medicine.”
Dr. Kwan’s fellowship award has been made possible by the Arthritis Foundation’s generous donors. Learn more about donating to support our fellowship program.