Dr. Florina Constantinescu is the Director of the Division of Rheumatology at MedStar Washington Hospital Center and Associate Professor of Medicine at Georgetown University Medical Center. Prior to joining MedStar Health, she was a full-time faculty physician and Assistant Professor of Medicine at Virginia Commonwealth University in Richmond.
Dr. Constantinescu is also the Director of Rheumatology fellowship at MedStar Washington Hospital Center. As such, she is involved in planning the rheumatology curriculum and providing mentorship for the rheumatology fellows. Dr. Constantinescu's key area of research interest is medical decision making, specifically communication strategies for explaining risks and benefits to aid in patient decision making and to diminish health disparities. Dr. Constantinescu also conducts research on rheumatic diseases, rheumatoid arthritis, and gout.
Her clinical expertise, research focus on treatment preferences, broad cultural experience, and fluency in five languages positions her as an advocate to improve the quality of care delivered across racial and cultural backgrounds.
Dr. Constantinescu has published articles and research in peer-reviewed journals such as the Journal of Clinical Rheumatology, Arthritis and Rheumatism, and Medical Care. She is a fellow of the American College of Rheumatology. In addition to having board certification in Rheumatology and Internal Medicine, she is certified in clinical bone densitometry by the International Society for Clinical Densitometry. Dr. Constantinescu was chosen in 2008 as a Bone and Joint Decade young medical investigator and received a recognition award in 2011 for teaching medical students at Georgetown University.
Dr. Constantinescu earned a medical degree from the University of Medicine in Bucharest, Romania, PhD from the University of Medicine in Bonn, Germany, and MS in Biostatistics/Clinical Research from Virginia Commonwealth University. She completed her residency in Internal Medicine at Norwalk Hospital/Yale University and fellowship in Rheumatology at Georgetown University Hospital/MedStar Washington Hospital Center.
Dr. Constantinescu's research interests include
- Health disparities research
- Medical decision making
- Communication strategies
- Chronic rheumatic diseases
- Rheumatoid arthritis
- Steroid-induced osteoporosis
In a study published in Arthritis and Rheumatism, Dr. Constantinescu and colleagues sought to determine whether African American and White rheumatoid arthritis patients differ in how they evaluate risks and benefits related to medications. It was concluded that African American patients attached greater importance to the risks of toxicity and less importance to the likelihood of benefits than white patients. Effective risk communication and improved understanding of expected benefits may help decrease future variability in health care.
Dr. Constantinescu and colleagues conducted a study funded by MedStar Health Research Institute, “Validation of the Self-Report of Rheumatoid Arthritis and Systemic Lupus Erythematosus: The Women's Health Initiative (WHI).” This research, published in the Journal of Rheumatology, was designed to determine an effective, efficient means to validate the accuracy of self-reported rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus in the WHI. This study found that despite education and socio-economic class, women with various forms of rheumatic disease tended to incorrectly identify their type of arthritis. This study showed that medication histories can be used to confirm self-reported cases of rheumatoid arthritis and systemic lupus erythematosus, thus eliminating the need for time-consuming medical chart review.
Dr. Constantinescu is currently the principal investigator for the Stopping Anti-Tumor Necrosis Factor Agents in Rheumatoid Arthritis (STARA) Clinical Trial, a large trial funded by the Patient-Centered Outcomes Research Institute (PCORI).
- Research Areas
- Other Medical