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Stepping Away

May 22, 2022
by Mark David Siegel

Hi everyone,

There’s never an ideal time to step away, but this week is as good as any. Even program directors need breaks.

This was the most hectic residency year I’ve ever had. Most of our leadership team turned over, we navigated emotionally fraught personnel issues, and we battled a pandemic that won’t surrender. On June 7, our PGY3s will graduate, having spent most of their residency fighting COVID-19.*

I’m proud of this program. The APDs have gelled into a cohesive group, and the Chiefs have grown into premier leaders. The interns are beyond ready to run teams, the PGY2s to pursue jobs and fellowships, and the PGY3s to become fellows and attendings.

There’s still work to do. We currently have more residents out with COVID than ever before. Thankfully, all are vaccinated and boosted and will return as soon as they finish quarantine. The Rising Chiefs are homing in on the 2022-23 schedule and, under Brett Marks’ leadership, we’re about to come together again for an (outdoor) graduation. Four days later, we start orientation.

To step away, leaders need to trust their teams, and I certainly do. We have extraordinary administrators, APDs, Chiefs, and residents. What more could I want?

That’s why I can step away for an overdue break. Tomorrow morning, I’m heading for Acadia National Park, where I plan to spend the week reading, hiking, and repleting my stores of Vitamin D. I’ll be back after Memorial Day to join the Blue Team in the MICU.

Take care and stay well, everyone,


*One of my favorite pictures, which I use as a bookmarker, from our last residency ball. Note the date:

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on May 22, 2022