Jaya M. Raj, MD, FACP
Program Director and Vice Chair of Education
St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center—Creighton University School of Medicine/Maricopa Medical Center (Phoenix)
How long have you been a member of AAIM?
I have been a member since 2002.
Describe your typical day.
A typical day at work includes facilitating Morning Report and then precepting residents in clinic or rounding with a ward team. I also have meetings throughout the day with residents, faculty, students, and/or administration, and there’s almost always a meeting of the PEC, CCC, GMEC, etc. to attend.
What is your favorite part of the job?
My favorite part of the job is mentoring residents and students. It is truly a privilege to help these gifted young doctors achieve their goals and to guide their professional and personal growth. They never cease to amaze me. They are some of the kindest, funniest, most interesting people I know.
How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?
I cannot even imagine being a program director without being an active member of AAIM. I have been attending APDIM meetings for over 15 years, and I always come away feeling inspired and energized. In addition, I get a lot of information from the APDIM discussion forum and website. I also value all the connections and friendships I have made over the years.
What’s your favorite moment of your career so far?
There have been so many! One of my favorite moments was attending the wedding of two of my residents, who had met during internship. I felt like the mother of the bride and the mother of the groom at the same time.
What was your childhood dream job?
I wanted to be a nun when I grew up. I think I really just wanted to be a teacher, but because I attended Catholic school, I assumed that all teachers were nuns. Eventually I figured it out.
How do you spend your free time?
I spend as much time as I can with my husband and daughter. I also enjoy reading historical fiction.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I recently started taking ballroom dance lessons and will be performing the samba at an upcoming charity event. It is so much harder than it looks on TV.