Featured Clinician: Athanasios Tiliakos

Meet Featured Clinician Athanasios Tiliakos, DO (Division of Rheumatology).

Athanasios Tiliakos, DO

Tell us about yourself.
I have been a faculty member in the Division of Rheumatology since 2010 and am based out of the Emory Clinic and Grady Memorial Hospital. I also serve as the rheumatology fellowship program director. My primary clinical interests are the Vasculitides (particularly the ANCA-Associated Vasculitides), rheumatoid arthritis, and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus. My primary research interests involve clinical outcomes in the ANCA-Associated Vasculitides, and the ethical considerations of health rationing and access to medical care. I am originally from Atlanta, and after obtaining my undergraduate degree here at Emory, I traveled to Missouri for medical school, and Pennsylvania for residency. I eventually came back to Emory for fellowship and have been here since.

Why did you go into medicine?

I have been around this profession my entire life. My grandfather and father were both physicians and I was able to experience, first-hand, the impact that a health care provider could make in one’s life. My interest in rheumatology started early in medical school with my courses in immunology. The elegance and complexities of the immune system made a profound impact on me, particularly when the immune system “goes rogue”. Later, in residency, the systemic nature of the rheumatic diseases, and in particular the autoimmune diseases, drew me closer to the field.

What does “clinical excellence” mean to you?

My interpretation of clinical excellence extends beyond making the right diagnosis or prescribing the right medication. Clinical excellence is the “ideal” that health care providers should strive for. This “ideal” centers on taking all aspects of a patient’s disease into account and providing them with the care, empathy and advocacy that they need when seeking medical care.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

My wife and I have three children ages 10, 7, and 3. These days, it seems that our free time is spent chauffeuring the kids to various activities. I am also enrolled in the Laney Graduate School where I am pursuing a Master’s degree in Bioethics. When I am not taking the kids to birthday parties, karate, swimming, soccer, etc. I enjoy reading, cooking, and rooting for the local sports teams.

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