Proud to be a General Internist #ProudtobeGIM

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Category : Medical Rants

SGIM (the Society for General Internal Medicine) launches today its #ProudtobeGIM campaign. As a full disclosure, I am a previous President of the Society. I am very biased towards SGIM and I am Proud to be a General Internist. Please consider the ProudtobeGIM website to learn more.

Here is my story. I finished medical school in 1975 and stayed at my home institution (Medical College of Virginia – part of Virginia Commonwealth University) for residency. During residency the idea of academic medicine intrigued me. In those days, academic GIM had not yet started at my institution. My advisors convinced me to do bench science. I chose a renal fellowship.

After 1 year I learned that I hated rats, and that I missed patients. I quit my renal fellowship and returned to MCV to join the nascent Division of GIM. During that year and my subsequent chief resident year, I had a wonderful epiphany. I love all of internal medicine and GIM would allow me to focus on the entire patient rather than one organ system.

In 1981 GIM included both outpatient and inpatient medicine. I had clinic patients and rounded a few months each year. I also began to do some research on sore throats.

Over the years I learned much from my patients and my learners. These days I no longer do outpatient medicine, because I prefer teaching inpatient medicine. However, my bedside skills clearly were honed during my 15 years of doing primary care internal medicine.

These days I obviously still do some writing, but consider myself primarily a clinician educator. I round over 100 days each year with students, interns and residents. I do morning report approximately twice each week.

GIM has provided me a wonderful career. My SGIM colleagues have inspired me and taught me how to find my passions within GIM. Many colleagues have helped develop the concept of clinician educator as a mainstay of GIM.

Yes I am proud to be a general internist. This campaign is wonderful. Please check it out.

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