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AAIM Member Spotlight
How long have you been a member of AAIM?
I became a member about six years ago when I became Program Director in 2011.
Describe your typical day.
Eighty percent of what I do at work is related to the residency program. My day varies depending on the time of year. Today, with all of the applications coming in, I am in recruitment mode. I can spend most of my time reading applications and deciding who to interview. I am program director of a 137-resident program, so I spend time meeting with residents, conducting annual reviews, meeting with chief residents and troubleshooting issues that come up on any particular day. Any time I have remaining I spend attending in the outpatient pulmonary clinic, and internal general medicine wards.
What is your favorite part of the job?
I think anything that I do with residents is my favorite part including counseling, teaching and career mentoring. The most exciting aspect of my job is working with such talented people and playing a role in launching their careers.
How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?
It’s changed over time. I think when I first became program director the networking opportunities were extremely helpful and the practical advice and information about being a program director were useful. The colleagues I meet when I go to meetings are incredibly generous in sharing advice and know how. I was seasoned as a faculty member but had no experience as a program director and it was valuable to find out what works well and what doesn’t and to come back to Yale with new ideas.
Over time there is still a lot of value to networking. The difference is now I can provide information and input. Meetings provide an opportunity to get together with colleagues a couple of times of year. I’ve made a lot of friends in the Alliance.
One of my Associate Program Directors is giving a session at Skills Development on Developing Mentorship and I’m going to be there to support her.
I really appreciate the community in APDIM in particular and one thing we’ve been able to do is push practice in respect to applications and recruitment. There is a lot of strength in the community when we come together to discuss policy and we agree on how we should be practicing.
What's your favorite moment of your career so far?
The first thing that comes to mind is when my chairman offered me the job as Program Director. When I became a candidate, I realized I had found my calling. You can feel fortunate when you have the opportunity to do exactly what you are meant to do. The opportunity to be program director brought together everything I like to do – teaching, being an internist and providing service. To do it on this scale and work with such talented trainees and to make a difference in their lives made it clear to me that I’d be happy in this role.
What was your childhood dream job?
My childhood dream job was to play baseball. I was hoping to play for the NY Mets. Bud Harrelson was my favorite player. I actually calculated when he’d retired and figured I’d be old enough to replace him. That didn’t work out but it was my childhood dream. Baseball aside, my brother entered med school when I was nine and he became my role model.
How do you spend your free time?
I enjoy spending time with my wife and three daughters, particularly when we have a chance to travel so spending time with them traveling. We share a lot of fantastic meals together because my wife is a chef. On my own time I love reading and biking.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I guess people in APDIM might be shocked at how much time I spend reading. I spend an enormous amount of time reading psychology, philosophy, politics, history, and fiction books. I devour The Atlantic,The New Yorker, Vox, and The New York Times. I’m deeply immersed in politics and have a strong passion for social justice, which is a focus of our residency program.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org.
Mark Siegel, MD
Professor of Internal Medicine
Yale School of Medicine