Medical Field: Rheumatology
Award: Finalist
Country: Austria
Year: 2020
Research Work: Evaluating current definitions of low disease activity in psoriatic arthritis using ultrasound
Published in: Rheumatology (Oxford)


When encountering obstacles, one needs to be creative in finding a way around them.


Philipp Bosch, MD, is a clinical colleague at the Department of Rheumatology and Immunology of the Medical University of Graz, Austria, and very honoured to be one of this year's IMA finalists. Winning the contest would be a great stimulus for his further clinical and research work in order to help patients with rheumatic diseases.

He has a very important message for all employers:

While in the past 20 years we have witnessed a huge improvement in the treatment of rheumatic diseases, there is a considerable number of patients who still suffer from discomfort or pain which cause them problems in daily life as well as at work. This is a call to law-makers and employers to be aware of these illnesses and create such legislation and work environments that help employees with rheumatic diseases reach their highest working potential.

In the study that has brought him to the finals, Dr. Bosch and his team found that musculoskeletal ultrasound can be helpful to distinguish whether joint pain is caused by a rheumatic disease (psoriatic arthritis) or by other reasons such as overuse and strain. This distinction has important clinical implications, as patients in which pain is caused by noninflammatory reasons should be treated with adequate pain management rather than by increasing immunosuppressive treatments.

Dr. Bosch is fully committed to his work in both areas, clinical and research. Being committed to science, he says, means working a lot, educating and improving oneself continuously.

I have started my PhD and chosen research because one can never learn enough and it has become my passion ever since. In clinical research, the biggest obstacles are the lack of time and project funding, but I think that one of the qualities of being a good scientist is to be creative and find ways around these issues. What I find problematic at the present is that a lot of people seem to doubt scientists. I believe that one of the reasons for that is the difficult nature of science itself and the way research is shared with the general public. It is challenging, but I think that scientists need to find ways to make their research more accessible and understandable in general,

says Dr. Bosch. To him, the most important characteristics of a researcher are patience, the urge to continue even when things get rough, and precision. His main motivation is to improve as a researcher and physician, and ultimately help people through his work. That is a great feeling, he says and he cannot think of doing anything else than medicine and research. His work takes a lot of his energy which he replenishes by spending time with his caring family.