AAIM Member Spotlight
Susan Lane, MD
Program Director and Vice Chair for Education
Department of Internal Medicine
Stony Brook University School of Medicine
How long have you been a member of AAIM?
I’ve been a member of AAIM since 2004 when I started as an Associate Program Director—at that time I was working part time at Stony Brook precepting medical students and residents in the clinic, and raising three very young boys at home. Two of my boys are now in college! Time sure flies.
Describe your typical day.
There is no such thing as a typical day. As residency program director and vice chair of education for the department of medicine each day is different, which is great for me since I get bored with routines. Life as a program director is never boring! I spend some days precepting as a general internist and working with medical students and residents and geriatric fellows in the clinic, some days I’m running from one meeting to the next with administrators and other program directors, and on other days I’m teaching and meeting with residents, offering career advice and mentoring. We always laugh at the phrase “other duties as expected”—you never know what skills you will develop out of necessity as a program director!
What is your favorite part of the job?
I think it’s the mentoring and coaching. I am happiest when I’m helping residents sort through their career and life goals and helping match them with potential mentors who will guide them in their careers.
How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?
I think for me it’s the inspiring educators and leaders whom I have met who have become my role models. Being involved with the Alliance has helped me grow in my career. Early on I became involved with the public policy committee, now called the AAIM Health Policy Committee—the people on the committee are so informed and passionate about advocacy.
Since I’ve joined I haven’t missed an AAIM meeting. I loved the new Skills Development Conference that I attended this past fall. I am working on large projects, and attended a session called “One Page Project Management.” It was a wonderful workshop and I picked up a new skill that I put into action immediately upon my return home.
I’m absolutely going to the meeting in March…I get so much out of AAIM meetings and they always recharge the battery. I can’t imagine missing a meeting. Plus it’s the chief residents’ meeting—it’s always great to meet our next generation of educational leaders.
What's your favorite moment of your career so far?
I really enjoy the day-to-day informal meetings with my residents and chief residents. Some favorite times are reconvening with my chiefs and APDs on interview days after candidates have gone home—we chat about the amazing candidates we’ve met and how each one could contribute to the program—it’s a special time to bond and plan for the future. Another favorite is when interns become senior residents, and we witness how they develop into senior residents and lead the new interns and medical students.
What was your childhood dream job?
My dad was a veterinarian and helping him out in his practice had a huge influence on me while I was growing up. I was going to be a veterinarian for cats and have an office on Fifth Avenue in New York City! It was that or a working as a marine biologist out of Woods Hole, MA.
How do you spend your free time?
Being with my family. We are very close. I met my husband, a pediatric endocrinologist, in medical school. He’s my best friend and we have three wonderful boys—one in high school and two in college. My favorite time is being with them.
What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?
I am trying to teach myself how to play the banjo. I’ve always loved the sound of blue grass music.