Dr. Langdon Stone: Eliot Goldings Award in Rheumatology

By Patrick McGee

Dr. Langdon Stone took a winding – and ultimately successful – route to medical school after dabbling a few years in more off-the-wall endeavors.

Though both his parents are physicians, Dr. Stone initially wanted to try other avenues. After graduating from UT Austin with a bachelor’s degree in biology, he worked as a bartender, construction worker, and “mud logger” analyzing mud samples for natural gas companies, then looking for signs of where to drill next.

Dr. Langdon Stone
Dr. Langdon Stone

“I mastered the job within one or two months, and then it was the same thing the whole time I was there,” Dr. Stone said. “I got bored with it.”

After enrolling at UT Southwestern Medical Center, however, he’s been far from bored.

“The great thing about medicine is that it’s changing all the time,” Dr. Stone said. “I don’t know if you can ever really master it because as soon as you learn something, there’s some new article coming out that tells you something different. It keeps you on your toes, and it’s always going to be interesting.”

By all measures, he took a great interest in his studies. Dr. Stone was selected for the 2014 Eliot Goldings Award in Rheumatology, which recognizes the most outstanding medical student in rheumatology. The award honors Dr. Eliot A. Goldings, a faculty member in the division of rheumatic diseases who died in 1988 at age 40. Dr. Goldings joined the division in 1978 and distinguished himself as a scholar, teacher, and clinician.

“Lang Stone is a dedicated and hard-working student who was motivated to learn and provide thorough care to his patients,” said Dr. David Karp, Professor and Chief of the Rheumatic Diseases Division in Internal Medicine.

Rheumatology’s focus on joints and connective tissue appealed to Dr. Stone because it is demanding.

“A lot of these diseases can affect every organ in the body, so you have to be well versed in a lot of topics to treat these patients,” he said.

Dr. Stone spent a month working with rheumatologists at Parkland Memorial Hospital, and was inspired with their thoroughness, and with the time and attention they gave to each patient.

“I was really impressed with the people I worked with, so it’s flattering to get an award from them,” said Dr. Stone, who will remain at UT Southwestern for his residency in internal medicine.

Dr. Karp said it was evident that Dr. Stone took the field seriously and learned a lot from the doctors he worked with in rheumatology.

“Langdon showed us his skills as a teacher by delivering an excellent talk on an atypical case to the faculty and residents in our weekly conference,” said Dr. Karp, director of the Rheumatology Fellowship Program. “I am excited that he is staying here.”

Originally intending to have an easy job where he would have time for hobbies, Dr. Stone said he is glad he changed course and went to medical school. But he said he’s also glad he tried a few other things first.

“There’s nothing nagging in the back of my head, ‘What if?’ ” he said.

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Dr. Karp holds the Fredye Factor Chair in Rheumatoid Arthritis Research, and the Harold C. Simmons Chair in Arthritis Research.

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