PNA Spotlight: Dr. Elena Christofides
This month’s PNA Spotlight features Dr. Elena Christofides, an endocrinologist and internal medicine specialist at Endocrinology Associates in Columbus, Ohio. She earned her undergraduate degree from Ohio State University in Columbus, Ohio, and her medical degree from the Ohio State University College of Medicine. She next undertook a residency at Mount Carmel Medical Center in Columbus, followed by an endocrinology and metabolism fellowship at Louisiana State University Medical Center in New Orleans, Louisiana.
Dr. Christofides is dual board-certified in internal medicine and in endocrinology, diabetes, and metabolism. She is currently the Chair of the Nutrition and Obesity Resource Center at the American Association of Clinical Endocrinologists. Dr. Christofides is on the EndocrineWeb Editorial Board of Directors and is a reviewer/editor for several publications in the areas of endocrinology and reproductive health. Heavily involved in clinical research during the course of her career, she has been principal investigator on a number of endocrinology-related drug trials and global lead principal investigator for the Gan & Lee insulin biosimilar clinical trials. Dr. Christofides has co-authored peer-reviewed articles, book chapters, and abstracts that have been presented at some of the most prestigious national meetings. Her patient education video series on nutrition, Shop With The Doc, has won a Silver Medal, the highest honor for a non-commercial entity, in the prestigious Telly Awards for 2019. She was kind enough to answer some questions from the PNA. Her answers follow.
What inspired you to choose your career path?
I have wanted to be a doctor from the time I could talk. According to my mother, this was the only answer I would ever give when asked what I wanted to be when I grew up. Endocrinology chose me as it was the only area of medicine that “clicked” in my head. I could see all the connections and all the pathways of health and disease most easily in this area.
What is the primary focus of your work/research?
My primary attention is to bring the most relevant research to my patients so they have access to the best data, drugs and knowledge on how to maintain their health and well-being.
What do you consider to be the future of your field?
Personal genomics will be the future of deciding which medicines are going to work best for an individual. We like to believe that all medicines are created equal, even when we know that every personal is unique. The era of analyzing your DNA to see which path will be best for you in regards to choosing therapies is going to revolutionize rare disease management.
What should patients know about your field/what deserves more recognition/awareness?
The experts in the field do a great job of educating and communicating with clinicians in the community. Patients can’t always afford to travel to centers of excellence and they should feel comfortable accessing care close to home. Interviewing your choice of local endocrinologists to see who has a direct relationship with a center of excellence in pituitary disease is the best way to find the care that best matches your needs.
What would you like to convey about yourself to your patients?
I’m constantly searching for the next, best treatment for my patients so that when they think they’ve run out of options, I want to be there with an answer. I have a small team in my office that is committed to getting the patients all they need to live their lives and not feel controlled by their disease. We are the ultimate patient advocates.
Why did you get involved with the PNA and what is the extent of your involvement?
I felt that this was the best way to reach out to pituitary patients who may be looking for a patient advocate for their health care journey.
Elena A Christofides, MD, FACE
72 West 3rd Ave
Columbus, OH 43201
(614) 453-9998 (fax)