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Grateful for You

November 23, 2022

Hi everyone,

Here’s what I’m grateful for today: My mom is walking again after breaking her hip in August. She turns 99 next month. Heide’s cooking school is flourishing again after surviving the pandemic. And today, all the girls are home, so our family will be whole for the holiday.

This morning, I am grateful for you. When I became program director eleven years ago, I dreamed of building a residency run by the residents for the residents, believing it the best way to train physician leaders.

The plan was simple: First, recruit a team of APDs and administrators who shared the dream. Second, harness the abundance of this medical center, which overflows with clinical, teaching, and research opportunities. Third, foster an ethos that values the worth and potential of every trainee. Finally, step back and let the residents lead.

And that’s what’s happened. Residents teach each other. They lead Report. They create learning opportunities, like our new morning skills conference. They lead committees, wellness activities, distinction pathways, interest groups, and M&Ms. They produce “The Beeson Beat.” They present at national meetings. They advocate for community engagement, social justice, and care for marginalized people. Most importantly, they give compassionate, respectful, state-of-the art care to every patient they see.

This morning, I’m filled with gratitude for the residents, fellows, faculty, students, clinician colleagues, and staff who comprise this community, which shines as an exemplar of all that medicine can be.

Happy Thanksgiving, everyone. Program Director’s Notes will return on December 4.


PS- More gratitude to fill your hearts, serving up answers to our annual question “what are you thankful for?”:

“I am grateful for my colleagues who buoy me without knowing it through their affirming words, actions and attitudes.”

-Tara Sanft

“I’m grateful for a loving and supporting fiancée, family, friends, and colleagues who push me to be the best version of myself. I’m thankful for good health, happiness, and a future full of endless possibilities.”

-Dan Kats

“My new grandbaby, Mila, and an amazing marriage to Grace for the past 35 years. Aaron Judge’s year was pretty special, too.”

-Dan Federman

“This year, I especially grateful for our housestaff who left their home countries to train in the U.S. and are here serving the people of New Haven. Even as these residents are separated from their own loved ones, and are practicing in a new environment (and sometimes a second language!), they are compassionate and superb physicians providing exemplary care to our patients.

“I hope you also know how grateful I am to you and the leadership of the Trad Program for making Yale’s program truly diverse by welcoming residents from around the world to train with us.”

-Shelli Farhadian

“I am grateful to work with bright, energized and caring residents who cause me to look at clinical situations from a different perspective and question systems and ways of thinking that have become engrained. It is a joy to coach residents as they develop their own style and grow in their comfort with uncertainty.”

-Mellisa Pensa

“Beautiful trails in CT and anyone who will go trail running with me.”

-Marcia Mecca

“I am grateful for our residents, chiefs, fellows and medical students. I am grateful for our patients who teach me every day. I am grateful for our administrative staff who help me every day. I am grateful for my 41 children and 10 teachers at COPPROME. I am grateful for the friends and like-minded people I have met through my work in Honduras. And most of all I am grateful for my husband and children who I love dearly!”

-Deborah Proctor

“I’m grateful for family, friends, sunny days, and senior residents.”

-Justin Dower

“I am thankful for our residents and fellows, who continue to make this place (and our program) better than they found it.”

-Jaimie Meyer

“I am thankful for my co-residents as they have become some of my closest friends. I am thankful for being able to couples match with Ben as I cannot imagine going through residency without him. I am thankful for all of our attendings who are patient with our learning and teach us every day!”

-Mary White

“Grateful for our friendship as always. A gift to share caring thoughts and intellectual and spiritual pursuits. Hope you and the family are well. My whole family will be in Philly for Thanksgiving-an amazing gift to have 4 children, 3 spouses, and 5 grandchildren together!”

-Hedy Wald

“I am grateful for the amazing colleagues and friends who have inspired, supported and taught me so much throughout my residency thus far. I feel extremely lucky to be around people who every day go above and beyond to better the care of their patients and support their co-workers. There are so many days I reflect on that could have been incredibly tough because of factors both inside and outside of the hospital but did not end up being so bad because of the team I was with. I couldn't imagine being with any other group of people and am so excited to see all the things this program accomplishes over the next year!”

-Josh Rusheen

“Food & family :)”

-Isabel Bazan

“Happy holidays! I am thankful for my family, my dog Nemo, and my amazing co residents that have made intern year so fun! Also thankful for the delicious food, especially mashed potatoes, I will be eating on thanksgiving day.”

-Natasha Cigarroa

“I’m thankful for my family and Ann, Alex, Christina, and Sofia.”

-Raksha Madhavan

“I am so grateful for my co-residents here at Yale who I love spending time with in and outside of the hospital, for my family who have been a constant source of support through the trials of PGY-2, and for my mentors who inspire me to be my very best for my patients and profession.”

-Neeha Namineni

“I'm incredibly grateful for this tiny sliver of Haven where co-residents have become friends and friends have become like family.”

-Sanju Garimella

“I am grateful for family, friends, mentors, and everyone else making the world a better place.”

-Jim Ho

“I’m grateful for the care that members of our community show one another…. and grateful for 🍕!!”

-Matt Grant

“I am thankful for all my loved ones being safe and all those who keep them safe.”

-Chang Su

“I am thankful for the wonderful co-interns and seniors that I have been able to work with. They have supported and taught me every day of intern year so far! I also appreciate all the candy, coffee runs, and commiseration when warranted 😅

“I'd say I'm also very thankful for my family this holiday season, even though time spent physically together has been limited given scheduling difficulties, they have never ceased making me feel loved and heard!”

-Rumzah Paracha

“I am grateful for the co-residents that lift each other up and cheer each other on, offer sage advice and well-timed coverage, and help us all make the most of resident life. And for the faculty who answer emails and schedule last-minute phone calls at all hours of the day/week for a resident in need. I feel truly lucky to be part of the Yale-IM family.”

-Natasha Freeman

“I am thankful for my family and friends and their unending support. I am thankful for my co-residents, mentors, and advisors, who teach me every day and continue to mold me into a better physician. I’m forever thankful for our residency program as they have introduced me to lifetime friends who have become my extended family - I love you all! And lastly, I am thankful for living in the United States of America, and in a state and community that continues to advocate for the freedom and rights of its people.”

-Lexie Schwann

“I'm thankful to be part of a supportive and thoughtful program and to be with amazing co-residents who inspire, motivate and create a sense of camaraderie practicing medicine. Thankful for the growth 2nd year has allowed. And thankful for family who have helped me stay grounded during this intensive residency experience.”

-Johnathan Yao

“We must remind ourselves to always be grateful for the greatest blessing of all: freedom. Yes, the democracy and freedom we enjoy in the West may have many flaws, with a lot of room for improvement. But in the four corners of our planet, many of our fellow humans who are deprived of their rights and dignity, must sacrifice life and limb, prison and torture, to obtain the freedoms we take for granted. The best way to show gratitude for freedom, is do everything we can to safeguard it.”


“I am incredibly thankful for the friends and memories I’ve made over the past few years. It’s hard to believe that this is our third Thanksgiving here — time flies when you’re working hard and laughing along the way. Thanks to everyone :)”

-Danish Zaidi

"Grateful for having my wife with me, after a long time apart. Grateful for being healthy, in a great program, and gaining the best training I could wish for."

-Anthos Christofides

“I'm very thankful for an amazing residency community that has been so supportive during my entire residency, but especially during this fellowship application cycle- from co-residents going out of their way to cover for last minute interviews to faculty/mentors always willing to lend an ear and give sound advice during final rank list panicking- I couldn’t be luckier to be around such great people!

“I’m also very thankful to have found a fabulous musical community outside of work this year, the New Haven Chorale, which has been the most wonderful way to rediscover my love for choral singing. Especially after a long day at work, the simple act of creating beautiful melodies and harmonies with others brings such a sense of peace and joy! Come hear us sing on Dec 4th at our annual winter concert!!”

-Swathi Krishnan

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on November 24, 2022