Joan M. Bathon, M.D., Arts ’74
From Marquette to Maryland and a distinguished medical career. For Joan M. Bathon, M.D., it’s been quite a journey — one that’s touched many lives along the way.
After Marquette, Bathon attended the University of Maryland School of Medicine, where she received her medical degree and completed her internship and residency in internal medicine. She completed a post-doctoral fellowship in rheumatology at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and joined its faculty in 1986.
“My Marquette biology and chemistry professors inspired and encouraged me” to go into medicine, Bathon says, adding, “I’ll always be grateful to them.”
As director of the Johns Hopkins Arthritis Center, clinical researcher and practicing physician, Bathon has played a pivotal role in the development of new treatments to combat the crippling, painful effects of rheumatoid arthritis. She was the principal investigator on several government- and foundation-sponsored studies and has shared her results in more than 80 peer-reviewed research publications and 10 book chapters.
Bathon also contributes to the fight against arthritis, and the advance of medical science in general, through her work as professor of medicine at Johns Hopkins and reviewer for the New England Journal of Medicine and Journal of the American Medical Association.
“I have the best job in the world,” she says. “Patient care, research, teaching — all wrapped up into one. What could be more satisfying?”
Charitable work, perhaps.
Bathon recently extended the reach of her healing efforts to Lima, Peru, where she’s with a medical mission team ministering, in her words, “to some of the poorest and sickest individuals I’ve ever encountered.” She also works with her local church to alleviate hunger and homelessness in her hometown of Baltimore.
“Marquette was such an important and vital part of my formation,” Bathon says. “It was where I first probed questions relating to the meaning of life.” And not just in biology, she adds, but in “the wonderful philosophy and theology courses that were mandatory, thanks to the wisdom of our dean.”