Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

  Division of Rheumatology and Clinical Immunology

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photo Thomas A. Medsger Jr., MD

Professor of Medicine Emeritus


Phone: 412-383-8765

Office: Division of Rheumatology
S722 BST, 3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-8765
Fax: 412-383-8753
Administrative Assistant:
Linda Sadej
Address: SBST, 3500 Terrace Street
Pittsburgh, PA 15261
Phone: 412-383-8123
Fax: 412-383-8753
Education and Training
B.A., Haverford College, 1958
M.D., University of Pennsylvania, 1962
Internship, Jackson Memorial Hospital, 1963
Fellowship, University of Pittsburgh, 1966
Residency (Internal Medicine), Presbyterian University Hospital, Pittsburgh, 1968
Fellowship, University of Tennessee College of Medicine, 1969
Research Interest
Dr. Medsger has over 280 peer-reviewed publications and over 150 invited works (textbook chapters, reviews). He has a national/international reputation for his clinical and translational research on systemic sclerosis (SSc). His interests include development of clinical and serologic classification and subset classification of SSc, serum autoantibodies in SSc, clinical features, organ system involvement and natural history of disease (morbidity and mortality). He co-created the University of Pittsburgh Scleroderma Patient Registry, a longitudinal database containing over 4000 patients. He developed a widely-used damage index for organs affected by SSc. Ten of his former research trainees have founded SSc research and patient care programs at other institutions. In 2016, in recognition of his accomplishments, the Department of Medicine created an endowed professorship for arthritis research in Dr. Medsger's name.
Clinical Interest
Dr. Medsger specializes in scleroderma and related diseases (systemic sclerosis, localized scleroderma, eosinophilic fasciitis, Raynaud disease). He sees new and return patients one half day per week (Scleroderma Clinic) at the Arthritis and Autoimmunity Center, Falk Medical Building. First year Rheumatology Fellows attend the Scleroderma Clinic.
Educational Interest
Dr. Medsger plays an important role in medical education at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine (SOM). He has been a voting member of the Curriculum Committee (CC) for over 20 years, and is Co-Director of the Introduction to Patient Care Block of courses for first and second year medical students. His CC peers elected him to its Executive Committee (2008-2012). He has served as Director or Co-Director of SOM courses including Physical Diagnosis and Rheumatology. He has won a number of SOM teaching awards (see Achievements below).
For my complete bibliography, Click Here.
Selected Publications:
Kaji K, Fertig N, Medsger TA Jr., Satoh T, Hoshino K, Hamaguchi Y, Hasegawa M, Lucas M, Schnure A, Ogawa F, Sato S, Takehara K, Fujimoto M, Kuwana M. Arthritis Care Res (Hoboken). 2014 Apr;66(4):575-84. doi: 10.1002/acr.22163. Autoantibodies to RuvBL1 and RuvBL2: a novel systemic sclerosis-related antibody associated with diffuse cutaneous and skeletal muscle involvement. Kaji K1, Fertig N, Medsger TA Jr, Satoh T, Hoshino K, Hamaguchi Y, Hasegawa M, Lucas M, Schnure A, Ogawa F, Sato S, Takehara K, Fujimoto M, Kuwana M. Arthritis Care Res. 2014; 66: 575-584.
van den Hoogen F, Khanna D, Fransen J, Johnson SR, Tyndall A, Matucci-Cerinic M, Naden RP, Medsger TA Jr., Carreira PE, Riemekasten G, Clements PJ, Denton CP, Distler O, Allanore Y, Furst DE, Gabrielli A, Mayes MD, van Laar JM, Seibold JR, Czirjak L. 2013 classification criteria for systemic sclerosis: an American College of Rheumatology/European League against Rheumatism collaborative initiative. Ann Rheum Dis. 2013; 72: 1747-1755.
Aggarwal R, Lucas M, Fertig N, Oddis CV, Medsger TA Jr. Anti-U3RNP autoantibody in systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2009; 60: 1112-1118.
Steen V, Domsic RT, Lucas M, Fertig N, Medsger TA Jr. A clinical and serologic comparison of African American and Caucasian patients with systemic sclerosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2012; 64: 2986-94.
Fertig N, Rodriguez-Reyna T, Kuwana M, Domsic RT, Medsger TA Jr., Feghali-Bostwick CA. U11/U12 RNP antibodies in systemic sclerosis (SSc) are a new serologic marker associated with pulmonary fibrosis. Arthritis Rheum. 2009; 61: 958-65.
Scalapino K, Arkachaisri T, Lucas M, Fertig N, Helfrich DJ, Londino AV, Steen VD, Medsger TA Jr. Childhood onset systemic sclerosis: classification, clinical and serologic features and survival in comparison with adult onset disease. J Rheumatol. 2006; 33: 1004-1013.
Feghali-Bostwick CA, Medsger TA Jr, Wright TM. Analysis of systemic sclerosis in twins reveals low concordance for disease and high concordance for the presence of nuclear antibodies. Arthritis Rheum. 2003; 48: 1956-1963.
Medsger TA Jr, Silman AJ, Steen VD, Black CM, Akesson A, Bacon PA, Harris CA, Jablonsky S, Jayson MIV, Jimenez SA, Krieg T, LeRoy EC, Maddison PJ, Russell ML, Schachter RK, Wollheim FA, Zacharaie H. A disease severity scale for systemic sclerosis: Development and testing. J Rheumatol. 1999; 26: 2159-2167.
Torok K, Baker NA, Lucas M, Domsic RT, Boudreau R, Medsger TA Jr. Reliabiilty and validity of the delta finger-to-palm (FTP) distance, a new measure of finger range of motion is systemic sclerosis. Clin Exp Rheumatol. 2010; 28 (Suppl): S28-S36.
Notable Achievements
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Golden Apple Award (Clinical Years), SOM, 1976
Rheumatism Reviews, Editor, 1980-1983
American College of Rheumatology, Board of Directors, 1984-1988
American College of Rheumatology, Distinguished Rheumatologist, 1998
Scleroderma Clinical Trials Consortium, President, 1998-2000
American College of Rheumatology, Master, 2001
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Kenneth Schuitt Award, 2003
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Adler Award for Innovation in Medical Education, 2012
American College of Rheumatology, Klemperer Memorial Lectureship, 2012
University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Distinguished Service Award for Medical Education, 2013