If someone had told me when I was graduating from high school that a little over five years later I would be working on a research study on a disease yet to be discovered that would kill tens of millions of people, I wouldn’t have believed them.
First identified in 1981, the AIDS epidemic would end up taking some of my high school classmates and one of my best friends in the years that followed. In 1984, I came to work for B. Frank Polk at Johns Hopkins, and started with the Multicenter AIDS Cohort Study, a large research study dedicated to understanding the natural history of HIV infection — a landmark project still going today.
The advances in understanding, treating, and preventing HIV infection over the last 35 years have been tremendous. Much work remains to be done, but having a supporting role in HIV clinical research has given my life purpose and meaning. Frank Polk, my first mentor, once said to me that you want to look back on your career and think that your role has changed the practice of medicine, even if in some very small way. Clinical research has given me the opportunity to feel that I have made my contribution, helping to change the practice of medicine, even if in that very small way.
Edward Fuchs, PA-C, MBA
ACRP Member Since 2004