Ali A. Duarte Garcia, M.D.

  • Senior Associate Consultant, Division of Rheumatology
  • Assistant Professor of Medicine, Mayo Clinic College of Medicine and Science

What moment or experience in your life influenced your decision to be a clinician?

I cannot pinpoint one experience alone that made me decide to be a physician. I always loved science and biology. In high school I realized that physicians apply science where it matters the most: human lives. Soon after, I started med school.

What motivated you to become a Kern Health Care Delivery Scholar?

I am training to be a rheumatologist, a field that is currently at a crossroads: The workforce is expected to decline, but the demand for rheumatology services is increasing.

Additionally, a deluge of new treatments for inflammatory arthritides is becoming available, but only a few head-to-head comparisons of their safety and efficacy have been done. This has resulted in significant variations in practice.

Hence, there is a great need for comparative effectiveness research to make rheumatologic care more efficient.

What is your focus as a scholar within the Mayo Clinic Kern Center for the Science of Health Care Delivery?

Initially, my focus was to study the comparative effectiveness and safety of tumor necrosis factor (TNF) inhibitors and other biologics used for the treatment of multiple inflammatory arthritides.

I was fortunate to receive continued funding as a scholar and now am focusing on multimorbidity and lupus, specifically the impact of multiple chronic conditions on patient outcomes.

I use novel data-driven analytic methods, OptumLabs Data Warehouse and the Rochester Epidemiology Project to characterize the patterns and consequences of comorbidities, and explore if findings apply at the community level.

What is your mentoring team like?

I am fortunate to have Nilay D. Shah, Ph.D., M. Hassan Murad, M.D., and Eric L. Matteson, M.D., as my mentors.

Dr. Shah has extensive experience working with large databases and comparative effectiveness research.

Dr. Matteson is well-known for his expertise in rheumatology and epidemiology. He has extensively described the epidemiology of inflammatory arthritis and works on the American College of Rheumatology efforts to develop clinical practice guidelines.

Dr. Murad is an expert in evidence-based medicine and comparative effectiveness. He leads the Evidence-Based Practice Research Program at Mayo Clinic.

How will your research improve patient care or impact public health?

This research will help identify the best practices to make the delivery of rheumatologic care more efficient, safe and cost effective.

Why did you choose Mayo Clinic to pursue your career?

The collaborative environment at Mayo is unparalleled. This is reflected in the exceptional care patients receive, the high quality of research performed and the opportunities that trainees have.