C. Kent Kwoh named American College of Rheumatology Master

March 14, 2024

C. Kent Kwoh, MD, director of the University of Arizona Arthritis Center at the UArizona College of Medicine – Tucson and the Charles A.L. and Suzanne M. Stephens Endowed Chair in Rheumatology, was honored with a 2023 Master of the American College of Rheumatology designation. 

Portrait of a man standing outside wearing a suit coat and a bolo tie.

C. Kent Kwoh, MD

“My service to the ACR and the Rheumatology Research Foundation has enriched me on many levels over the years. I am deeply grateful to receive this meaningful honor,” said Kwoh, who is also chief of the Division of Rheumatology within the Department of Medicine. “I feel privileged to join the ranks of friends, colleagues, collaborators and mentors who are Masters of the ACR.”

The designation of master is awarded to ACR members who are 65 or older and “have made outstanding contributions to the field of rheumatology through scholarly achievement and/or service to their patients, students and the rheumatology profession,” its website states.

Kwoh said he knew he wanted to be a rheumatologist since he was a third-year medical student.

“I had a very inspirational attending rheumatologist whom we consulted on a number of complex patients with multisystem rheumatic disease while I was on the hospital service,” he said. “As a rheumatologist, we care for the whole patient rather than focusing on only one organ system.”

Kwoh’s research focuses on osteoarthritis, the most common type of arthritis affecting older people. His research concentrates on identifying risk factors for those who get osteoarthritis and investigating why their arthritis gets worse over time.

“We are examining how features seen on X-rays or MRIs might help to predict who gets osteoarthritis earlier in their disease course or who might have a rapid progression of their osteoarthritis,” said Kwoh, who is also a professor of medicine and medical imaging at the College of Medicine – Tucson. “Through this work, we have learned that osteoarthritis is not just one disease, but a group of similar diseases. This knowledge may lead to more personalized treatments for osteoarthritis.” 

Three past presidents of the ACR recommended Kwoh for the master designation. 

“Dr. Kwoh has been one of the leading experts in the field of osteoarthritis. He has engaged with the efforts of the ACR involving the diagnosis and treatment of osteoarthritis,” wrote David Borenstein, MD, a clinical professor of medicine at George Washington University Medical Center and a partner at Arthritis and Rheumatism Associates, in his recommendation letter. 

Stanley Cohen, MD, a clinical professor of internal medicine at UT Southwestern Medical Center in Dallas and a rheumatologist, wrote: “Kent has made tremendous contributions to our specialty as an educator, clinical researcher and a valued volunteer to the (American College of Rheumatology). I strongly support his nomination as a Master of the ACR.”

The ACR is a nonprofit, professional membership organization committed to excellence in advancing the study of rheumatology and treatment of rheumatic disease. It has more than 9,100 members worldwide.