Dr. Cathy Lee Ching is an assistant professor in the Division of Rheumatology at UMMC. Here, she shares a bit about what she does at UMMC and some advice she has learned along the way.
What is your professional background?
I obtained my medical doctor (MD) degree at Universidad Católica de Santiago de Guayaquil, in Ecuador. I completed internal medicine residency at the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine and I did my rheumatology fellowship at Thomas Jefferson University in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, with an extra year focused on systemic lupus erythematosus and research.
Tell us about what you do at UMMC.
I have a rheumatology clinic in the Pavilion where I evaluate and treat patients with autoimmune disorders and musculoskeletal problems. I have welcomed many medical students and undergraduate students to shadow me, and I also supervise the rheumatology fellows in their own clinics. In addition, I cover hospital calls (from the main UMMC hospital and the Women and Infant’s Hospital) where I get consulted for severe acute and often life-threatening or organ-threatening conditions. We can use strong immunosuppressant, and sometimes chemotherapeutic agents, and can perform procedures (joint aspirations, joint injections, point-of-care ultrasound). It is very rewarding to witness the impact one has on a patient’s life and health and it is an honor to help taking care of such a diverse and complex patient population here in Mississippi. As a researcher, I also conduct clinical trials and collaborate with other departments to apply for NIH grants.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing medicine today?
Treat your patients the way you would like your family and yourself to be treated. The patient should be the center of everything you do at work. Practicing medicine has its many challenges, so make sure you have that calling and reach out for help if you are getting burned out. It is more common than you may think and the first step to take care of others is to take care of yourself.
What do you like most about UMMC?
Its history is pretty amazing. The hospital was born in 1950 (opened in 1955) and has harbored many firsts since its conception: first use of medical anesthesia, first human kidney transplant, first human lung transplant, first human adrenal gland transplant, first heart transplant (from a primate to a man). Dr. Arthur C Guyton, the author of the world-famous Textbook of Medical Physiology, worked here for 34 years. I am very proud of being part of this Institution.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know.
I love warm weather and outdoor activities; hence I have been pretty happy and grateful living in Mississippi.