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Fellow Focus in Four – Hailey Baker, MD, Rheumatology

September 12, 2022
by Jane E. Dee

Fellow Focus in Four introduces you to fellows from each section of the Department of Internal Medicine. This month's fellow is Hailey Baker, MD, MS, a clinical fellow in rheumatology.

Why did you choose medicine?

My grandfather is a pediatric infectious disease specialist in the U.S. Army and he shared the most inspiring stories from his career while I was growing up. He encouraged me to explore fields related to medicine, but I wanted to keep my options open. I always knew I wanted to do something in the sciences, but I also love interacting with people. When I discovered that I could use my passion for science to make a positive impact on people every day, I was sold on medicine.

Why did you choose Yale Department of Internal Medicine for your fellowship?

I completed my residency in the traditional internal medicine program here at Yale New Haven Hospital. I received a top-notch education in residency and knew I would continue to receive excellent training here for fellowship. After living here for three years, training with such excellent faculty, and getting to know this incredibly special and unique patient population, I couldn’t see myself training anywhere else.

What was your path to Yale?

I lived my whole life in the Midwest (Missouri and Kansas) and I was ready to use residency as an opportunity to diversify my experiences. My husband and I both went to the University of Kansas for medical school, and we couples-matched together at Yale—him for ophthalmology and myself for internal medicine. While my husband and I were applying to different programs at Yale, we both got a sense that we wanted to come here for the people!

What's a fun fact about you?

I have an 85-pound dog and two cats. One of my cats, Mr. Pickles, is cross-eyed and has been published twice in the Yale Beeson Beat, the internal medicine housestaff periodical, plus he has his own Instagram, lifewithasideofpickles.

Perks of living in New Haven? Connecticut?

Obviously the biggest perk of living in New Haven is the pizza. The biggest perk of living in Connecticut is being so close to nature. I have awesome hikes five minutes from my house and beaches 15 minutes from my house. My intern year I would forget that I lived so close to the ocean until I got woken up repeatedly by seagulls while trying to sleep in the VA call rooms. Now I don’t know if I could live somewhere without water nearby.

What is your 5-year goal? 10-year? Overall career?

My 5-year goal is to finish my training in rheumatology and get established with a supportive and thriving rheumatology practice. I plan to do primarily clinical work, but I hope to continue to have the opportunity to work with students, residents, and fellows. In 10 years, I hope to have a well-established practice and have some active projects ongoing. Overall, I hope to be happy, have a thriving patient panel, get to work with students and trainees, and still have plenty of time for outdoor activities with my family and pets!

Submitted by Jane E. Dee on August 15, 2022