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Choices Choices

February 02, 2019
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone,

Today’s short-term choices are easy. This evening, I’ll watch the Super Bowl in Lloyd Friedman’s basement, like every year. We’ll feast on steak, baked potatoes, asparagus, and grilled onions, like always. The beer and the crowd will be the same. The Patriots will also be the same, unfortunately. But it’s all good, and Lloyd’s house is the place to be.

Today’s long-term choices are far more consequential and difficult. Before The Game, I’ll be ranking hundreds of residency applicants for The Match. The candidates are stellar. They’ve published, performed, competed, and led. The choices are excruciating because almost all the candidates are wonderful. The reassuring news is we can’t go wrong- most would be great residents.

We have equally consequential and difficult choices to make for our 2020-21 Chief Residents. Consider this: of the 39 PGY2s listed on our survey, 37 got votes. Many of the endorsements made my eyes mist. Fabulous teaching. Spectacular patient care. Selfless contributions. Taking over for a colleague facing a personal crisis. Patience with new learners. Kind words. Treating other residents’ patients like their own. Forgoing a day off so a friend could visit family, expecting nothing in return. Again the choices are excruciating because all the candidates are wonderful. Again I reassure myself- we can’t go wrong.

But choose we must. Over the next few days, we will finalize our rank lists. We will invite 10 Chief candidates to submit essays and interview. By March, we’ll know the names of 56 new Yale interns, 5 Traditional Chiefs, and I expect, VA Chiefs for Quality and Safety and the Center of Excellence. The results will be spectacular.

By this afternoon, my mind will be numb from all the choosing. Fortunately by then, it will be time to drive to Bethany, open a Sam Adams, veg-out on the couch, and watch The Game. Like the Rams and Patriots, my goal for today is to “leave everything on the field,” or at least on the computer. It’s the only way to play.

Happy Super Bowl Sunday everyone,


Submitted by Mark David Siegel on February 03, 2019