Hooked on ID with Richard F. Jacobs, MD
As early as I can remember, science, history and fiction captured my interest.
In college and medical school, microbiology/immunology fascinated me. The “hunter-gatherer” love of the outdoors and enjoying nature combined with an increasing interest in science brought me to infectious diseases. As a pediatric infectious disease physician, this career path was the perfect combination of diagnostic intrigue, a search for “causality” and the correct treatment that could yield a good outcome. It is a field of medicine that is fun to teach. Because the field included preventive opportunities with vaccines, infection control and prevention, and contact tracing, it encompassed every aspect of medicine that was fun for me.
My fellowship training under the mentorship of Dr. Chris Wilson and Dr. Arnie Smith at the University of Washington brought the research component to my career. This required a different set of thought processes and approaches to medicine that would intrigue me for the remainder of my career. Clinical research became my passion, and applying this new information to further research questions, clinical medicine and teaching/mentoring medical students and residents/fellows allowed me to have an ideal and fulfilling career.
After 35 years of being a pediatric infectious disease physician, what I learned was that I made the ideal choice for a career that kept my interest, was never boring and, it is hoped, helped children. The coronavirus pandemic emphasizes the incredible opportunities and need for dedicated and inquisitive people to join our ranks. It has been a great ride!
— Richard F. Jacobs, MD
Infectious Disease News Editorial Board Member
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences