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Los Angeles, California
Division of Rheumatology
University of California Los AngelesVIEW PROFILE
When Tanaz Kermani, M.D. (I ’07, RHEU ’10, CTSA ’11), visited Mayo Clinic for residency, she felt like she’d found her place. She found the environment to be collegial, healthy and supportive for trainees, and she noticed the focus on patient care. After seven and a half years of training at Mayo, she returned to the West Coast, where her family lives. Today she is a clinician-educator at UCLA, where she established and directs the first of its kind in Southern California multidisciplinary vasculitis program.
“Mayo Clinic was the first place I visited during my interviews that had a healthy, collegial environment and seemed supportive of trainees.”
I’m from Mumbai, India, and came to the U.S. at 18 for college. I’m the first physician in my family.
I remember saying I wanted to be a doctor when I was 6 or 7 years old. I liked the idea of a profession that was dedicated to helping people.
Mayo Clinic was the first place I visited during my interviews that had a healthy, collegial environment and seemed supportive of trainees. I immediately noticed the patient-oriented aspect, which seemed unique. I was in awe and felt like, “This is my place.”
During medical school, I opted for an elective in rheumatology. The first case I saw was a patient with GPA (granulomatosis with polyangiitis). I was fascinated by the multisystem diseases in rheumatology. I also enjoyed the opportunity this specialty provides for long-term relationships with patients since these are chronic diseases.
During my fellowship at Mayo Clinic, I worked with my mentor Dr. Ken Warrington (I ’99, RHEU ’02, chair, Division of Rheumatology) in his vasculitis clinic, seeing patients with these complex diseases. I developed an interest in vasculitis and worked with him on research projects in vasculitis. He has been an excellent role model, both as a compassionate and thoughtful clinician and as a dedicated research mentor. He encouraged me to pursue a two-year subspecialty fellowship in vasculitis at Mayo, which was invaluable. We have been very productive in our research endeavors, with numerous publications resulting from my time there. He remains a close friend and colleague, and I still contact him for advice on challenging cases.
The training I received at Mayo prepared me to handle complex cases and think critically. The Mayo Clinic name is highly regarded and respected. I often see patients who show up in my clinic and tell me they were going to go to Mayo Clinic but then saw that I trained at Mayo and decided to see me. Having trained at Mayo is a matter of pride. The Mayo Clinic reputation rubs off on you even after you leave.
The needs of the patient come first. That’s stayed with me and is how I practice medicine. Mayo Clinic is a unique place — something that is still echoed by any patient I see who has been there for their care.
From the moment you walk in to Mayo Clinic, it’s all about the patient. It’s unparalleled in its expertise, staff dedication to patients and their needs, and coordination of care.
I’m a clinician-educator at UCLA. When I joined the Rheumatology Division in 2012, there was no one with specializing in vasculitis. It was a perfect opportunity. These are rare diseases with only a few cases per million per year. These conditions also are organ- or life-threatening if not appropriately diagnosed and treated. Three years ago, I collaborated with 12 physicians from seven other subspecialties to build the vasculitis program to improve the care of patients with these rare diseases. Given our expertise and the uniqueness of what we offer, we have patients who travel long distances for their care. It’s been a unique and rewarding practice for all of us.
We were the first multidisciplinary vasculitis program in Southern California. Increasingly, there’s been more interest in vasculitis and rheumatologists in other academic centers showing interest in this field. It’s great for our patients.
On the educator side, I work with residents and fellows regularly in the clinic, where they see patients with me. I often give talks on vasculitis to our trainees, division and other subspecialists. We collaborate with the Vasculitis Foundation to hold educational conferences for patients with vasculitis.
I have several research collaborations with other vasculitis experts and have maintained my research interest in large-vessel vasculitis (which started with Dr. Ken Warrington).
Learn all you can, and take advantage of opportunities. Develop relationships with your mentors that can last you throughout your career.
Remember your Mayo Clinic training — be compassionate and an advocate for patients; keep your focus on the patient and their needs.
My husband and I enjoy long ways in the Santa Monica area, spend time with my family who are nearby, and cook.
See past New Chapter stories here.