Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Beth Wallace

Faculty Spotlight - Dr. Beth Wallace
Beth Wallace, MD, MSc

Beth Wallace, MD, MSc is a Clinical Assistant Professor in the Department of Internal Medicine Division of Rheumatology at Michigan Medicine and a staff rheumatologist at the VA Ann Arbor Healthcare System. Dr. Wallace received her medical degree from Vanderbilt University, and completed her residency and fellowship at the University of Michigan, as well as a Master of Science degree through the Institute for Healthcare Policy and Innovation (IHPI). She is a member of the IHPI and the VA Center for Clinical Management Research.

What are your research interests and what are the goals?

My research focuses on developing personalized treatment plans for patients with autoimmune diseases – to maximize the effectiveness and minimize the side effects of the medications used to treat them. Currently, I am working to understand the "withdrawal" symptoms that patients experience when they taper oral steroids, and to identify tapering plans tailored to specific withdrawal phenotypes.

Tell us about the research work you are conducting on COVID-19.

I’m involved in several initiatives to evaluate the effect of COVID-19 on patients with rheumatic and autoimmune disease. I am the regional leader for the COVID-19 Global Rheumatology Alliance, which has leveraged international registry data to describe the unique risks, characteristics, and challenges of rheumatology patients during the COVID-19 pandemic. I am also participating in several qualitative studies looking at how patients with autoimmune disease have responded to COVID-19, and how they may be impacted by the phenomenon of “long-haul COVID” or persistent post-COVID symptoms.

What is one of your career goals?

I really love all three major aspects of my job – patient care, education, and research. In the long-term, I hope to be a leader in leveraging the resources we have here at Michigan Medicine, both within and outside our division, to build the next generation of clinical and health services researchers in rheumatology.

Why did you decide to choose a career in rheumatology?

I actually considered careers in several different areas of medicine initially. I liked primary care because I love being able to build long-term relationships with patients, but I was also drawn to critical care/ICU medicine because I like diagnostic puzzles that go beyond a single organ system. Rheumatology has really allowed me to scratch both those clinical itches – I get to work as a team with my patients to address their complex and often confusing medical issues.

What do you like to do when you're not working?

I enjoy playing with my husband and 5-year-old daughter, thrifting, knitting, reading, and being lounged upon by our 2 cats.