A Q&A with Dr. Devich

7/13/2020

Rheumatologist Joseph Devich Jr., DO, recently celebrated his 5-year work anniversary with Tri Rivers. Below, Dr. Devich reflects on the past 5 years with us, his practice as a whole and his future as a physician.
 
1. What made you want to become a physician, specifically a rheumatologist?
 
I decided I wanted to be a physician when I was back in high school. At that point in time I was trying to decide between law and medicine, and I felt I would be able to help more people in medicine.
 
2. Now that you’ve been in the field for five years, what has been the most rewarding aspect of being a rheumatologist?
 
When you improve a patient’s quality of life. Patients are very appreciative when they’re more comfortable. Taking discomfort away from patients is rewarding. It’s humbling at times, given how much work it can take to get to that point.
 
3. How have the last five years made you a better physician?
 
I’m much humbler than I was five years ago. I’ve truly gained a respect for how difficult it can be to help certain patients. Even though our team uses the same algorithms with our care, sometimes it can still be a challenge. So, I’ve become really humble while experiencing how much time, effort and perseverance it takes to try to get some of my patients healthy again.
 
4. How do you incorporate telehealth into your practice? Do you expect telehealth to play a big role in the future of your practice?
 
I like to incorporate telehealth into my practice when it’s appropriate for a given patient on a given day. We will have some dedicated telehealth time in the future, but as of now, we switch people to telehealth only when it’s appropriate. In fact, I just recently had a patient who called and said they may have been exposed to COVID-19. They asked if they could switch over to telehealth, and it worked out great. I think it will be very good for people who have certain illnesses or can’t make it to the office due to weather issues, car issues, things like that. It definitely improves patient access to care.
 
5. As a physician, what are your goals for the next five years?
 
To continue to take on more challenging cases and working with patients to improve their outcomes.
 
6. What is your favorite part about working at Tri Rivers?
 
A big reason why I wanted to join this group was because of its focus on patient care. I appreciate that we go to bat for our patients and make sure we care for anybody who wishes to receive care. That’s what drew me to Tri Rivers – it’s about the patients.
 
Dr. Devich is a fellowship-trained rheumatologist with Tri Rivers and sees patients in our BHS Crossroads Campus and North Hills offices. His practice focuses on treating rheumatoid arthritis, osteoporosis, vasculitis, gout, lupus and other connective tissue disease.