Julie A. Venci, MDProgram DirectorUniversity of Colorado School of MedicineDepartment of Internal Medicine and Pediatrics
What has the MPPDA meant to you?
When I became a new Program Director in 2018, I was the new kid on the block. However, all the other program directors and associate program directors were so incredibly welcoming and were available to answer questions. I do recall being nervous at my first MPPDA meeting, mainly because I thought that my initiation to the group involved singing Karaoke. Thankfully, Nate Derhammer signed up for 10 songs, so I was able to hide! I do feel very fortunate to be apart of such an amazing group of smart and dedicated educators, clinicians, leaders, and advocates. I’ve especially enjoyed being a member of the MPPDA Curriculum Committee and most recently the Diversity and Inclusion Task Force.
How has Med-Peds training helped you throughout your career?
When I moved to Colorado I was one of two Med-Peds primary care providers practicing at Denver Health and the University of Colorado. This put me in a unique position to help build the new Med-Peds residency training program and start our first combined continuity clinic. My own Med-Peds training and time as a Med-Peds Chief prepared me to take on the important responsibility of developing a mission and vision for a new residency program. With my Med-Peds training I have also been able to create my ideal primary care job at a FQHC in southwest Denver—I provide gender affirming care for transgender youth and adults, address substance use disorders with medication assisted treatment, and apply my interest in public health by collaborating with local stakeholders on quality improvement and population health efforts. When I meet with students who are interested in Med-Peds, I am able to speak honestly about the diverse opportunities that they will have after completing a Med-Peds training.
And what do you see for the future and opportunities for Med-Peds going forward?
Over the last few months it has been really great to see how Med-Peds clinicians can play such an important role in providing care across the age spectrum. We have seen first-hand the value of the combined training our residents receive and the unique ability they have to provide adult medicine expertise, even while rotating in a children’s hospital. One of our Med-Peds hospitalists and a former graduate of our program provided leadership and guidance to Childrens Hospital Colorado (CHCO) on best ways to prepare for adult admissions during the peak of COVID. Although we have all faced challenges during these difficult times, I think the pandemic has highlighted again the breath of opportunities that exist for Med-Peds trained clinicians.
What do you enjoy doing in your free time?
Living in Colorado means that you have to own hiking boots, skis, and a four-wheel drive car (ok, we also own a minivan but the Colorado plates make it look cooler). I feel very fortunate to be minutes away from amazing trails and incredible peaks. As much as possible, we try to be outside and active. My husband is from Minnesota and I am from Chicago, so we are very aware that wearing a t-shirt in November is not normal. We try to remind our kids how hard we had it when we had to walk to school in below zero temps, but they don’t seem impressed!
Family, significant others, pets…?
I’m married to Pediatric Emergency Medicine physician who works at CHCO. We have 3 awesome kids—Maeve (10), Fiona (6), and Nolan (3). No pets currently, but Denver allows you to have six chickens and one goat! For some reason my husband thinks this is a bad idea. Give me one year and I may have an update! #MemberSpotlights