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AAIM Member Spotlight
How long have you been a member of AAIM?
I’ve been a member since I started at WellStar three years ago.
Describe your typical day.
A typical day is being with residents in our teaching clinic; we run the community clinic’s Hepatitis C on Wednesday morning. We treat patients with Hepatitis C with new medications that are now available and do their primary care clinic in afternoon. It is interview season now so we are focused on interviewing new candidates for our new class. Of course, scattered in between are teaching lectures and continuity clinics.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part is the teaching aspect and primary care. My job prior to overseeing the residency program was running all community clinics for WellStar so when residents came we had the opportunity to expand those clinics. It provides a great opportunity to teach them a different side of medicine and what goes into taking care of a patient who doesn’t have the means to take care of themselves. The opening of the community clinic provided the ideal opportunity to expand this service to the community with new doctors—we are now seeking a new building.
How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?
I had some informal teaching experience prior to overseeing the residency program, but being part of the Alliance is an interesting culture—sharing ideas and sharing what you have learned; you don’t have to reinvent the wheel or feel like you are stealing; it is so collaborative. As an example, when we put the the residency program together and began planning 3½ years ago, we were faced with so many new rules and regulations. Everyone in the Alliance was willing to help and share ideas.
What's your favorite moment of your career so far?
I think it’s been my focus on burnout and resiliency. For those of us who are going through our career this has been a serious issue. I attended a retreat on the issue and learned so much and not just the usual “put a Band-Aid®” on it. Our focus on burnout has become an integral part of training and protecting the future generation from facing this problem.
I do exercises with our new residents that involve meditation to help them reflect on what are the most important aspects of their lives and being aware that family and health are the most important things. You can see that they are thinking about it and even multiple residents have come to me to share their experiences and difficulties they are going through.
I feel like I can start this conversation and teach them small steps that have been very valuable.
What was your childhood dream job?
It was to be a physician or a teacher so I get to do both
How do you spend your free time?
We live in Georgia, which is one of most beautiful places I’ve been to. We hike, see beautiful waterfalls and go apple picking. I love taking my kids and dogs up to the mountains. It’s just beautiful.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I think people would be surprised that I am not religious but have a deeply spiritual side to myself. There are things about life that take a lot more time to learn. I’m am very much interested in the mind-body connection and improving my life from the inside out.
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.
Janet Memark, MD
Associate Program Director
WellStar Kennestone Hospital