You Should Know … Dr. Aaron Heath

Dr. Aaron Heath
Dr. Aaron Heath (Courtesy of Dr. Aaron Heath)

Dr. Aaron Heath, 38, took over Carroll Arthritis two-and-a-half years ago to help fill a need.

Growing up, Heath had his bar mitzvah at Baltimore Hebrew Congregation and graduated from The Park School of Baltimore, then went to Haverford College for his undergraduate degree. He went to Nova Southeastern University for medical school.

As a rheumatologist, Heath helps patients with rheumatic diseases every day.

Heath and his wife Julie Militello live in Reisterstown with their four children.

What do you like about being a rheumatologist?

I’ve always wanted to be a physician, but not specifically rheumatology. I have a lot of personal experience. I was diagnosed myself with rheumatoid arthritis at a very young age and really struggled immensely with the disease throughout college. And because of that, I feel like I can relate to a lot of my patients on a very personal level. That’s kind of what always drew me to rheumatology specifically.

What does your day-to-day look like?

Monday through Friday, I work at the practice from 8 to 5 seeing patients at our infusion center. A lot of our medicines are immunosuppressants, so these patients are very closely monitored in our office. Then, it’s straight to pick up the kids. As you can imagine with four, we have a lot of after-school activities. My son is in baseball right now and bikes, so we have a lot of practices to go to. My daughter is into gymnastics, so a couple nights a week, we’re doing that. Once we finally can all convene at the house, we get dinner as a family.

What is your first memory of wanting to be a physician?

I think probably my interest in medicine prior to being diagnosed with rheumatoid arthritis stems from my mother. When I was a sophomore in high school, she got very sick with breast cancer, and I traveled with her to see doctors all over the country. That’s kind of what piqued my interest in medicine and becoming a physician in general. And then, my own diagnosis kind of pushed me into the field of rheumatology specifically.

Where do you see your medical practice going in the future?

Currently, I’m two years into owning the practice, and going straight from fellowship with a couple of years of experience in the real world before owning my own practice has been an eye-opening experience. In medical school and residency, you really don’t learn any part of the business side of things. So, running a practice and having 14 or 15 employees that I’m responsible for has been a challenge. I think moving forward, my hope is to continue to grow and expand and add more physicians so that we can help take care of patients. There are very few rheumatologists in the area and there can often be a six or eight month wait just to see someone. So, we’re trying to make sure we can help our community in any way we can.

What do you do outside of work?

I mostly do family stuff. We spend the weekends together and try to plan a day at the park, or we have my son’s baseball game where we all attend together. So, mostly it’s just hanging out with the kids. For me, that’s more important than anything, just spending quality time with my wife and kids. That has always been my number one priority.

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