Monique Hinchliff, MD, is a rheumatologist specializing in scleroderma, a rheumatologic disease that causes chronic hardening of skin and connective tissues. She is also the director of the Yale Medicine Scleroderma Program.
Dr. Hinchcliff received her medical degree from the Rosalind Franklin University Chicago Medical School and completed her residency at Norwalk Hospital in Connecticut. She completed a rheumatology fellowship training at Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago, IL, while earning a Master of Science degree in clinical investigation. In 2018, she joined the Yale Medicine faculty.
Dr. Hinchcliff’s passion for treating patients with scleroderma stems from early experiences seeing how severely the disease impacted peoples’ lives. “I’m dedicated to finding a cure,” she says. “In the meantime, I’m working to find better treatments so patients can live full lives until we find a cure.”
As the director of the Scleroderma Program, Dr. Hinchcliff’s goal is to create a multidisciplinary program that brings doctors from as many specialties as possible together to treat the various aspects of the disease. “Scleroderma is a systemic disease and requires a team care approach in order to achieve the best outcome,” she says. The program also conducts research on treating and understanding the way scleroderma impacts the lungs, heart, gastrointestinal tract, and other organs.
As a doctor, Dr. Hinchcliff is direct and dedicated. She isn’t afraid to give honest answers about the progression of the disease. “I think my favorite part of being a rheumatologist specializing in scleroderma is when I see a light bulb go off for the patient when they finally understand what they have and they feel some level of relief that help is on the way,” she says.
In order to understand the patient experience better, she has tried many of the diagnostic procedures (such as skin biopsy) herself. “I wouldn’t ask patients to do anything that I wouldn’t do myself,” she says.
In addition to seeing patients, Dr. Hinchcliff is the director of clinical research for rheumatology at Yale School of Medicine.