The Specter of Untreatable Gonorrhea

Dr. Yonatan Grad found himself drawn to the field of infectious diseases— as a scientific and medical discipline— in part because it weaves together many of his own personal interests.

“Infectious diseases arise through interactions between an individual and the world, so diagnosis is often based on understanding individual patients— their biology as well as their environment, behaviors, and risks— along with the biology and epidemiology of the pathogens,” he says. 

For Grad, the clincher was that infectious disease physicians often can eliminate an infection and return patients to their previous state of health.

“Much of what we learn in clinical training is about ‘managing’ illness and health— ‘managing,’ rather than ‘curing,'” he says.

“The word ‘cure’ is not something I heard much during medical school or even in residency. When I did hear it, I was struck by its emotional power, both for patients and doctors.”

Read the rest of Nicole Davis’s profile of Yonatan Grad, and his work fighting drug-resistant gonorrhea, in Harvard Public Health Magazine.

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