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AAIM Member Spotlight

How long have you been a member of AAIM?

I’ve been a member for just over a year after I formally joined the Oregon Health & Science University internal medicine residency program leadership team. At this point, I have not had a chance to attend a conference. I’ve seen others go and have been intrigued. I am looking forward to attending one in the future.

Describe your typical day.

My day begins early at home with a flurry of activity to get my two young kids out the door to their respective schools. We also have a new puppy so I take her for a 15 to 20-minute walk in the morning before anyone else is out of bed, which is good “me” time.

I spend the bulk of clinical time in the Pre-Operative Medicine Clinic, which involves being a hospitalist in an outpatient setting without practicing primary care. I do pre-op consultations on a wide variety of patients having a wide variety of surgeries and help supervise a core of group of nurse practitioners in the clinic. I spend the remainder of my clinical time attending on inpatient medicine wards with the residents.

When I’m not seeing patients, I wear a smattering of other hats. I’m an assistant program director of our residency program. I also do a lot of work behind scenes on scholarship and manage social media accounts for the residency program. I can be followed on Twitter at @aoglasser, and the residency program is account is @OHSUIMRes.

What is your favorite part of the job?

My favorite part of my job is the ability to make connections--that makes me tick. The day I am more resilient is the day I have had meaningful connections. Also, what I do with pre-op medicine forces me out of the internal medicine comfort zone and provides me with the opportunity to work with surgeons and anesthesiologist who I otherwise wouldn’t know.

Social media for physicians also intrigues me as it fosters connections with people who share a common interest.

How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?

It’s a means for different types of learning and connections. I’m a member of several professional societies, but this affiliation engages the med-ed side of the work I do. The motivation to be part of this community compelled me to submit a poster last year. I submitted a workshop abstract with a collaborator who I met on Twitter and we were able to come together to share our experiences 

What's your favorite moment of your career so far?

I have a very memorable experience with one particular elderly patient in pre-op clinic. I discovered he was a Holocaust survivor. His past surgical history tab was blank in the EHR. Asking him about any past surgeries began a conversation about how he survived a major injury in a concentration camp. He had been hit by artillery fire and had makeshift surgery without anesthesia in the camp and survived.

What was your childhood dream job?

I wanted to be paleontologist. I was the two year old who read the book about dinosaurs and got hooked. It was my foray into sciences, and I started college on this career pathway. As I matured and had the right mentorship, I realized my place in sciences was not poring over rocks, and that the human connection was missing from that. I briefly considered a career in forensic anthropology or pathology since I loved studying anatomy and bones, but I ultimately realized that I wanted to work with living people. 

How do you spend your free time?

I have two kids, six years old and four years old, and a new puppy. I like knitting to keep my hands busy, as well as cooking, gardening, and genealogy research. 

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you? 

I come from a family of educators. My mom has been in early child development since I was a baby--I was part of her master’s thesis when I was a toddler. My younger sister went into special education and teaches 3rd grade. I didn’t see myself as a classroom-based teacher when I was younger, but they’ve both been my inspiration as I’ve found my niche in the realm of graduate medical education.


Nominate Someone

The Alliance turns the spotlight on members to highlight how they are making a difference and how they have benefited from AAIM membership.

It offers an opportunity for you to share your story with your colleagues, inspire future academic internal medicine professionals, and strengthen awareness of the profession and association.  Member Spotlight appears regularly on www.im.org and in AAIM Connection. To nominate another member or yourself, submit a name online or email spotlight@im.org.

Avital O'Glasser, MD

Associate Professor of Medicine 
Assistant Program Director (Social Media, Scholarship)
Oregon Health & Science University