As you sit in the doctor’s office for the first time, your eyes note the array of diplomas and plaques on the wall. You have never met this doctor before, but your friend said they were good, or you picked them out of a book, or you were referred by another doctor, and you are about to share intimate details of your life with them. You have questions about how you feel, and you are going to get a diagnosis. But who is the person behind the plaques? What do all those fancy diplomas mean? After all, they call the person who finished last in the medical school class the same thing as the first – “Doctor”. Doesn’t it make sense that you know something about this person who is going to ask you personal questions and examine you? Shouldn’t you know more about this person you call “Doctor”? Well, I think the answer to this question is YES! So who am I? Keep reading…
All doctors are trained to make diagnoses, some within specialities – orthopedists, neurologists, surgeons, etc. Most diagnoses are first evaluated by a primary care doctor. There are several specialities that make up primary care doctors – who you see will depend on age, who practices where you live and possibly your gender. Examples of primary care doctors:
- Family Practitioner – a physician trained broadly to care for a person from birth to death
- OB/GYN – a physician trained in women’s health and pregnancy care
- Pediatrician – a physician who specializes in the care of children
- Internist – a physician who specializes in the care of adults
How did I get here?
I am an Internist. How did I come to call myself this? Who am I behind other than the plaques on the wall? After graduating from college at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, OH, I attended the Albert Einstein College of Medicine, in the Bronx, NY, earning my MD with Distinction in Research. I then spent 3 years as an intern and resident in Internal Medicine at New York University Langone Medical Center
and Bellevue Hospital in New York City, completing the training to be a licensed physician. I then served for an additional year as a Chief Resident for my program helping train the recent medical school graduates. It was during this year that I took and passed an exam to become Board Certified in Internal Medicine by the American Board of Internal Medicine (ABIM).
I joined a prominent medical practice in NYC remaining on faculty at NYU School of Medicine. During that time I refined my diagnostic skills, continued to train medical students and residents and eventually earned the rank of Assistant Professor of Medicine at the NYU School of Medicine. After my first 10 years in practice as a Internist, I was tested again by the ABIM as part of a recertification process and again passing a comprehensive exam to remain Board Certified.
In 2012, after 13 years with my practice in NYC, my family and I decided to relocate to Phoenix, AZ where I joined Scottsdale Healthcare to bring my skills to a practice in the Arcadia area of Phoenix. During my first year in Arizona, the American College of Physicians (ACP)
, which is the national society for Internal Medicine, elected me to Fellowship after a review of my professional work. Doctors who have the initials FACP after their names have earned this distinction.
What is next?
This has been my path so far as an Internist. I hope I have given you an appreciation of what the journey is like. Along my journey I have worked with tens of thousands of patients to take the lead in helping them identify risks to their current and future health and well-being; prevent problems, and find the diagnoses that threaten their health today. It is with the realization that a proper diagnosis sets the foundation for all future health issues that I begin The DiagnosisMD blog. My goal is to explain why a diagnosis matters, shed some light on the process a doctor uses to make a diagnosis, and explore interesting and timely topics in medical news.
So what is an Internist? The ACP defines it as:
“Internal Medicine physicians are specialists who apply scientific knowledge and clinical expertise to the diagnosis, treatment and compassionate care of adults across the spectrum from health to complex illness.”
Or as one of my patients from NYC used to say, “You are a Doctor’s doctor.”
I hope you enjoyed this look into my journey as a physican so far, and look forward to sharing my thoughts and reading your comments along this journey.
The path to wellness begins with a proper diagnosis