David M. Aboulafia, M.D.
Specialty: Hematology, oncology and HIV
Practice: Virginia Mason Seattle Main Clinic
Hospital affiliation: Virginia Mason Medical Center
Medical degree: University of Michigan Medical School
What’s the main misconception about having AIDS?
That there are no good treatments, and that the medications are too toxic to take on a regular basis. With the benefits of highly active antiretroviral therapy, HIV/AIDS is no longer a death sentence. Most patients will live long and active lives.
What’s the most rewarding aspect of your specialty?
The one-on-one interaction with patients is still the most important part of my day. When it goes well, I feel enormous gratification. When it goes poorly, it spurs me to try to do better the next time.
Do you believe there will be a cure for AIDS in your lifetime?
Who or what inspired you to pursue a career in medicine?
My father was, and continues to be, my biggest inspiration. He worked tirelessly as a vascular surgeon, was very approachable as a father, and continues to be curious about so many aspects of life, including politics, sports and the arts.
Originally published in July 2010