Why Yale?

October 22, 2017

Hello everyone:

I flirted with Yale twice when considering medical school and residency but fell in love the third time, when I arrived for fellowship.  In the two-and-a-half decades since, I trained in pulmonary and critical care, joined the faculty, and climbed the ranks.  Along the way, I got unwavering support and, if I succeeded, it was because senior faculty like Jack Elias, Richard Matthay, and Lynn Tanoue helped me chart an unmapped academic path, trusting me with the MICU at age 33.

New Haven was the perfect place to raise a family.  Heide and I moved into a white colonial in Hamden and raised three daughters, each with a love for the arts that was nurtured at the Neighborhood Music School.  Heide followed her dream and became a chef, started a cooking school, and reconfigured her experience in broadcast journalism into recurring segments on TV.

My career took a turn in 2011 when Cyrus Kapadia stepped aside after 12 successful years as residency director.  Once again, I was trusted with an enormous responsibility but got expert support from Steve Huot, Rosemarie Fisher, Jack Elias, Gary Desir, Tom Duffy, Fred Kantor, Peggy Bia, Vinny Quagliarello and others.  It's been the best job of all, working with stellar APDs, Core Faculty, Firm Chiefs, Chief Residents, and staff.  But the best part is the opportunity to train, mentor, and recruit so many wonderful residents, whom I adore.

With interview season starting on Tuesday, we should ask why so many talented young physicians are drawn to New Haven.  Other residencies offer excellent clinical training, research opportunities, and fellowship matches too, so other factors must be in play. What are they? Why Yale?

It goes without saying that we have exceptional hospitals, clinics, educational programs, and research, but I think what really defines Yale is our commitment to the values Paul Beeson articulated 60 years ago: collaboration, community, and kindness.  We recognize the abilities of individual physicians, but we value the synergy that emerges when talented people collaborate.  Similarly, we recognize that great things can be accomplished when people who like and respect one another come together as a community.  And in a world that too frequently worships the crude, the boastful, and the power-hungry, we value the opposite, holding up the ones who are thoughtful, articulate modest, altruistic, and kind. 

These values have fostered many exciting programs in our residency, from committees to interest groups to distinctions pathways to social justice activities (see attached).  Our faculty's dedication to the residents led more than forty to volunteer as Mentors-Advisors-Coaches (MACs), and close to 100 attendings and fellows to join the Intern Selection Committee.  Our residents' devotion to each other spawned a robust Wellness Committee, which is committed to helping their peers stay grounded, rested, focused, and happy.

Applicants need to choose the program that's right for them, and the best way to choose is to spend as much time as possible with the residents.  On interview days you will have ample opportunity to meet with our visitors.  Please be candid.  Tell them why you chose Yale, share your experiences, and help the students decide if we're right for them.

Every year, applicants tell us that our residents are among the most intelligent, energetic, and friendly people they meet on the interview trail, which proves what Fred Kantor says: you're "as good as any and nicer than most."  It was the people at Yale that drew me here 25 years ago, and it's why I could never imagine working or living anywhere else.

So rest up and enjoy your Sunday, everyone. We're about to recruit another spectacular class of Interns.

Mark

Submitted by Mark David Siegel on October 22, 2017