Erica Herzog, MD, PhD, is a pulmonologist who specializes in interstitial lung disease and pulmonary fibrosis. She also cares for patients in Yale New Haven Hospital’s medical intensive care unit.
“I love working with patients to understand their disease, and develop a treatment that aligns with their needs and values,” Dr. Herzog says. “The long-term relationships I have developed with my patients is the most rewarding part of my job.”
Many lung diseases have few effective therapies, and Dr. Herzog tells her patients that physician-scientists are working tirelessly to provide new options. In addition to caring for patients, she is an active researcher herself and is associate dean for medical student research at Yale School of Medicine. “I chose this field to become a respiratory biologist who helps patients breathe more easily,” she says. “As a physician-scientist, I am excited about the opportunity to make a clinical observation in a patient that I then study in the lab. This approach has led to our discovery of new disease mechanisms, many of which are at various stages of clinical development.”
Patients can do their part by exercising, eating right, and being honest about how their doctors can best help them and their families, Dr. Herzog says.
Dr. Herzog is director of Yale's Interstitial Lung Disease Center of Excellence, where she leads a team of physicians, advanced care providers, nurses, support staff, and researchers whose common goal is to provide outstanding care to patients with interstitial lung disease and sarcoidosis, an inflammatory disease that affects the lungs and other organs.