Member Spotlight: Karina Torralba, MD


AAIM Member Spotlight

Karina Torralba, MD

Karina Torralba, MD

Division Head and Fellowship Program Director
Department of Internal Medicine
Division of Rheumatology
Loma Linda University School of Medicine

How long have you been a member of AAIM?

I’ve been a member since 2014 when I was enrolled under my academic institution Loma Linda University.

Describe your typical day.

A typical day has a lot of variety. I have half day of clinic where I see patients in the a.m. In the afternoon I spend a few hours dedicated to program directorship or administration, research with fellows or planning research projects. This is not structured time and I sometimes have meetings depending on division needs. I enjoy the variety and doing something that is academic.

What is your favorite part of the job?

Interacting with the fellows. They keep me young and on my toes! They ask a lot of questions and I focus on teaching them how to find the answers.

How has the AAIM membership been of value to you and your career?

I think the more practical stuff about being a program director has come into play as an AAIM member. If I have questions about how to run a program, I have access to resources. I also value connecting with other members whether it’s during a meeting or a phone call. I participate in one of the editorial boards and have learned a lot from interacting with other members.

What's your favorite moment of your career so far?

It’s actually the personal relationships I develop with Fellows and when I’m invited to attend life changing moments like weddings and graduations or when I help them through difficult times. A fellow recently was married and I attended her wedding. Her fiancé approached me and commented on how much she talks about me. The influence we have on Fellows is not just on their learning, but how we mold them as people.

What was your childhood dream job?

I was editor of my college newspaper and had hoped to be a journalist. However I was brain washed into being a physician by both of my parents who are physicians. That’s why I am involved in editing our journals.

How do you spend your free time?

Taking my 4-year-old son to the park, Legoland and the zoo, watching movies, shopping for shoes and getting massages!

What’s one thing people would be surprised to know about you?

I’m an introvert. Because of my job, I have to interact with people and reach out to them but it doesn’t come naturally. When I tell people this they don’t believe me!