Dr. Holly Mitchell is a clinical assistant professor of medicine in the Division of Rheumatology and Immunology at the Medical University of South Carolina. Dr. Mitchell received her undergraduate training at Indiana University where she was awarded a bachelor's degree in music and chemistry in 1985. She attended medical school at Vanderbilt University School of Medicine in Nashville, Tennessee and was awarded her M.D. from this institution in 1989. Dr. Mitchell remained at Vanderbilt for a residency in internal medicine. During this time, she was selected to participate in the clinical investigator track of internal medicine allowing her to develop skills in basic science research. Dr. Mitchell’s research involved studying the role of autoimmune B-cells in the development of type I diabetes mellitus. It was during this time that Dr. Mitchell developed a keen interest in the pathogenesis and treatment of autoimmune diseases, which led her to pursue further training in rheumatology. Dr. Mitchell initiated fellowship training in rheumatology at Vanderbilt and completed her training at the Medical University of South Carolina in 1996.
After completion of her rheumatology training, Dr. Mitchell left MUSC for private practice. She returned to MUSC, however, in 1998 and joined the Ralph H. Johnson VA Medical Center as a staff physician in 2004. Dr. Mitchell’s clinical interests include the inflammatory arthritides, systemic lupus erythematosus (SLE), and scleroderma. Dr. Mitchell remains involved in clinical research and manages the MUSC connective tissue database, a longitudinal patient database developed to provide insight into the multiple factors affecting disease course and outcomes. She recently helped to develop a web-based data management system for storage and management of this data. Dr. Mitchell has developed an interest in identifying and addressing health disparities in minority and economically disadvantaged patients with rheumatic diseases. These patients tend to have poorer outcomes, and minority patients are disproportionately affected with certain rheumatic diseases such as SLE. Dr. Mitchell’s goal is to study interventions that may be effective in helping to improve outcomes and quality of life in these patients.