Dr. Joseph Flood said he prefers modesty in his profession, reluctantly taking credit even when it's foisted upon him.

Flood recently was presented the 2019 lifetime achievement award by the Ohio Association of Rheumatology.

Flood is a rheumatologist at the Columbus Arthritis Center, 1211 Dublin Road in Columbus, and a clinical professor of internal medicine in the division of rheumatology and immunology at the Ohio State University College of Medicine.

"I've had the honor of being honored many times -- maybe too many times," said Flood, who lives with his wife, Jeanne Likins, in German Village.

Flood has numerous achievements, including being named a master of the American College of Rheumatologists and a fellow at the American College of Physicians. He received the distinguished educator award from Ohio State and is a member of its Courage to Teach society.

He is the seventh physician to have received the lifetime achievement award from the OAR, which began presenting the honor annually in 2013.

Flood, a Cleveland native, was studying at then Baldwin-Wallace College and also working in the kitchen at what is now the Cleveland Clinic Fairview Hospital when he met a woman who had debilitating rheumatoid arthritis.

The encounter sparked his early interest in the field.

He later studied medicine and did his residency at Georgetown University and a combined fellowship at Georgetown and the Washington, D.C., Veterans Administration Medical Center.

Flood said he chose the field of rheumatology because doctors build lasting relationships with patients, there is a captivating nature of the immune system and there are rapid innovations being made in the field.

Danielle Carrier, associate director of the OAR, said Flood's staff has augmented a popular acronym, WWJD -- What Would Joe Do?

Dr. Flood's influence in medicine, and specifically rheumatology, is tremendous, Carrier said.

"He teaches medical students and residents. He collaborates with and mentors his fellow physicians, as well as the nurse practitioners, nurses, techs and office staff at his practice.

"He has held numerous leadership positions at the American College of Rheumatology, which provides education, research, advocacy and practice support," she said.

"And, of course, he has been a staunch supporter of the Ohio Association of Rheumatology and all rheumatologists in Ohio."

Flood said he and Likins moved to Columbus in 1984 while he was being recruited as a physician by a medical group that was later acquired by OhioHealth.

Likens, who has her doctorate in early education, left Ohio State University in the late 1990s to help manage Flood's practice and speaking/consulting business prior to his joining the Columbus Arthritis Center in 2012, he said.

She is past president of the German Village Society Board of Trustees and is still a volunteer with the organization.

At 67, Flood said he has no plans to retire.

"I still really enjoy taking care of patients and teaching," he said. "I really enjoy what I do. That's what makes it all worth it."