POUND RIDGE, N.Y. – Dr. Michael Lockshin, a rheumatologist from Pound Ridge, has recently been honored twice for his work to improve the lives of people with lupus, a serious autoimmune disease.
Lockshin is director of the Barbara Volcker Center for Women and Rheumatic Disease at the Hospital for Special Surgery in Manhattan.
The hospital recognized Lockshin for his 50-year career in medicine. About 150 of his patients, their family members and hospital staff paid tribute to the man who has been their doctor, mentor, colleague and friend.
Prior to this honor, Lockshin received the National Leadership Award for Lupus Medical Advancement at the Lupus Foundation of America’s annual Butterfly Gala in New York City.
As both a rheumatologist treating patients and as a researcher, Lockshin has made contributions to the understanding of lupus and is considered an international expert. He is co-director of the Mary Kirkland Center for Lupus Research at Special Surgery.
“Dr. Lockshin’s accomplishments and accolades are awe-inspiring. His heart, however, is as deep as his resume is long,” said Roberta Horton, LCSW, director of the Department of Social Work Programs at the hospital. “His humanity, compassion and dedication lift all of us and remind us of why we have chosen health care as a profession.”
At the hospital event, Lockshin gave a talk that took the audience on a journey from the time he saw his first lupus patient while still in medical school, up until today.
In the 1960s, the prognosis was grim. Fifty percent of patients did not live more than three years following a diagnosis of lupus. Today, with advances in treatment, most patients are able to live full lives, Lockshin said.
After his talk, the hospital’s Social Work Programs Department presented Lockshin with a plaque, honoring him for his dedication. He also received a scrapbook of poems, letters of gratitude and photos from his patients.
“This is phenomenal,” Lockshin said. “I’m going to look at this as soon as I leave this room.”
Many patients at the event stood up to thank the doctor for his years of caring and for making a frightening diagnosis more palatable.
“He’s my guardian angel,” said a patient named Carlene, who explained that Lockshin had her transferred to the Hospital for Special Surgery from a New Jersey hospital when she was very ill.
A dad in the audience stood up and thanked Lockshin for taking care of his daughter, diagnosed with lupus at age 15.
“Our lives were caving in. But we went from tremendous crisis to tremendous hope,” he said.
Lockshin plans to spend more time on his research studies to advance the understanding of lupus and other autoimmune diseases. As a professor of rheumatology, he will continue to teach and train medical students and future rheumatologists.