Meet BWH’s Arturo Saavedra, MD, PhD- BWH Bulletin - For and about the People of Brigham and Women's Hospital
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July 11, 2003
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In This Issue:
Meet BWH’s Arturo Saavedra, MD, PhD
Come Join the Festivities of the 14th Annual Street Beat Event
Your Role in Beating the Heat
In the News
Eva S. Schernhammer, MD
Jack Bukowski, MD
Peter Black, MD
Lynn Amowitz, MD
Tobias Kurth, MD
Campbell Rogers, MD
Partners Night at the Pops 2003
Thank You Blood Donors, Cowboy Style!
Countdown to JCAHO
David Jacobsen, MD
The first in a series of articles that highlights emerging clinical leaders at BWH.
When he heard the acceptance remarks from BWH’s Joseph Murray, MD, at the 1990 Nobel Prize Ceremony, Arturo Saavedra, MS, PhD, first realized that he was destined to become a doctor. Murray received the Nobel Prize for performing the first successful human organ transplant in the world at Peter Bent Brigham Hospital in 1954. “As I sat there and listened to Dr. Murray, I wanted to be a part of future medical discoveries and milestones,” said Saavedra, who was considering a bachelor’s degree in Engineering at the time. Despite being the son of two physicians, Saavedra hadn’t imagined himself following in their footsteps, until hearing Murray’s words of inspiration. As an undergraduate, Saavedra was intrigued by aerospace engineering and had the opportunity to work on a project developing computer programs to land space shuttles. He presented his project at the International Science and Engineering Fair, where he received an invitation to the Nobel Prize Ceremony. Saavedra was first exposed to the marvels of modern medicine at this ceremony thanks to Murray. After receiving his bachelor’s degree, Saavedra followed through on Murray’s inspiration and enrolled in the MD/PhD program at the University of Pennsylvania. There, he studied medicine along with pharmacology with the aspiration that he would someday combine these two areas of science. Today, after three years of residency at BWH, Saavedra is a dermatology resident and working cooperatively with Jorge Plutzky, MD, in the Cardiovascular Division, uniquely combining the specialties of internal medicine, critical care and dermatology. “He’s the first physician I am aware of to combine these three distinct specialties and we’re proud to have him leading this cross-disciplinary effort at BWH,” said Joel Katz, MD, director of BWH’s Internal Medicine Residency program. Saavedra and Plutzky are working to develop lotions that will deliver vital medication from the skin to treat inflammation much faster than current oral or intravenous methods that are often unsuccessful in critically ill patients. A natural trailblazer, Saavedra explains that BWH is the perfect medical community for him—one that embraces new ideas and fosters the environment necessary for them to grow.