The uncommon or rare nature of vasculitis can unfortunately lead to delays in diagnosis and treatment. This is an important reason why ongoing medical education is essential. As more physicians learn about these diseases, better care can be provided for patients with vasculitis.
Educating future rheumatologists and internists is a top priority at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) vasculitis clinic. Sarah Goglin, MD, is Associate Director of the clinic and Associate Professor at the School of Medicine. She joined UCSF in 2009 and is also Associate Chief of Education in the Division of Rheumatology, overseeing educational strategy and curriculum development for medical students, medicine residents, and rheumatology fellows.
In addition, Dr. Goglin is Associate Program Director of the UCSF Rheumatology Fellowship, Assistant Program Director in the UCSF Internal Medicine Residency, and a Bridges coach in the Clinical Microsystems Clerkship. She practices rheumatology at the Zuckerberg San Francisco General Rheumatology Clinic and at UCSF’s vasculitis clinic where the primary goal is to provide expert, evidence-based, patient-centered care for people with all types of systemic vasculitis.
During her rheumatology fellowship, Dr. Goglin was drawn to the complexity of the diagnosis and management of patients with vasculitis. She enjoyed the relationships she developed with her patients and the opportunity to partner with them in their care over the long term. She also found that her mentorship under the direction of Sharon Chung, MD, Founder and Director of UCSF’s vasculitis clinic, to be a great experience.
Patients with vasculitis often have multiple organ systems affected by the disease so a team approach is needed. “We work closely with specialists in other fields who also have expertise in caring for patients with vasculitis,” Dr. Goglin added. For the initial appointment at the clinic, patients will be seen for 60-90 minutes with Dr. Goglin or Dr. Chung. Follow-up from there depends on patients’ individual needs, and if necessary, they are seen by other specialists at UCSF who may become part of their care team. Patients can contact UCSF’s vasculitis clinic directly or be referred by their physician.
If there is a silver lining to the COVID-19 pandemic, it has been demonstrated by the dramatic expansion of telehealth at UCSF. “While we were doing some video visits before the pandemic, we have greatly increased the numbers of these over the last nine months,” Dr. Goglin said. “As a result, we’ve been able to increase access to our clinic for patients.” She is optimistic that this will continue even after the pandemic, which could be a real benefit for patients who live far from San Francisco.
Clinical research/studies are also a component at UCSF’s vasculitis clinic. “We are a member of the Vasculitis Clinical Research Consortium and are working to increase our participation in clinical trials in the future,” Dr. Goglin noted. In addition, she has also enjoyed working with the Vasculitis Foundation, participating in patient education efforts.
Author: Nina Silberstein