Meet the Chief

Meet the Chief:
Janet E. Lewis, MD

Janet Lewis, MD

Janet Lewis, MD

Janet Lewis grew up in Ohio and completed her MD at the Medical College of Ohio in Toledo. After a year of research at the NIH, she came to UVA for a residency in internal medicine, followed by a fellowship in rheumatology — and then was invited to join the faculty. She’s been chief of the Division of Rheumatology since 2013.

Dr. Lewis is an avid horseback rider — “I have spent a lot of time riding trails in Virginia, out West, and in Europe” — and a cat lover. When she was growing up she wanted to be a vet, but being a physician turned out to be a better choice: “I enjoy talking to my patients; sick animals aren’t very good conversationalists.”

Rheumatology is a humbling specialty. Patients often present with mysterious symptoms, atypical presentations, and uncommon disorders, and that keeps my practice intellectually interesting. I enjoy sorting through a complex case and coming up with a diagnosis. Because many rheumatologic disorders are heterogeneous, we often can’t rely on evidence-based recommendations but instead have to be creative in designing treatment plans. I also really enjoy the long-term relationships I have with my patients; a number of them I have seen since my fellowship days.