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A Year of Open Doors (A New Year's Message)

December 31, 2022

Hi everyone,

In 2022, we recruited 9 international medical graduates, our largest number ever. Since 2011, the year I became PD, we’ve matched IMGs from India, Iran, Israel, Saudi Arabia, Turkey, Greece, Italy, Austria, Germany, Denmark, Russia, Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Mexico, and Canada. This year, we’re trying for more.

IMGs bring fresh perspectives and ideas to our residency. Many have cared for patients with illnesses American doctors rarely see, like extrapulmonary tuberculosis, malaria, vitamin deficiencies, and Chagas disease. Many have advanced physical exam skills, having worked in settings where CTs and MRIs are luxuries. Some have research portfolios that rival junior faculty. Almost all have overcome financial struggles, visa restrictions, language barriers, and discrimination within academic medicine. It’s no surprise that IMGs are among our most resilient and resourceful trainees.

We also have many residents and faculty who moved to the United States as children. Others are the daughters, sons, and grandchildren of immigrants (like me). This morning, as we welcome the new year, let’s resolve to make 2023 a year of open doors. Let’s celebrate the languages, customs, and cultures of immigrants, whose presence enriches our lives and inspires us to become ever more sophisticated, worldly, enlightened, and compassionate.

Wishing everyone a safe, healthy, happy New Year in whatever language (or languages) you speak,


PS: I’ll be spending New Year’s Day in the MICU. Pop by to say hello!

PPS: our annual international Happy New Year greeting:

  • Brazilian:
    • Feliz Natal e Feliz Ano Novo!!! (Matheus Simonato)
    • “Feliz Ano Novo” or “Feliz Reveillon” (Julio Nunes)
    • Feliz Ano Nove (Vanessa Dias Veloso)
  • Chinese (Mandarin):
    • "Happy New Year" in Chinese can refer to either the Jan 1st New Year or the Lunar New Year. (Chang Su)
      • Happy (Jan 1st) New Year specifically is 元旦快乐
      • Happy (either Jan 1 or Lunar) New Year is 新年快乐
      • Happy (Lunar) New Year specifically is 春节快乐
    • 新年快乐 (xin nian kuai le) (Johnathan Yao, Miles Shen, and Anna Qian)
    • 新年快乐!(xin nian kuai le) (Miles Shen)
  • Greek:
    • Καλή Χρονιά! We also smash/break a pomegranate, it is supposed to symbolise strength, as well as good fortune (Evi Vemmou and Ilias Nikolakopoulos)
    • Καλή χρονιά και ευτυχισμένο το νέο έτος (Anthos Christofides)
  • Turkish:
    • Yeni yılınız kutlu olsun! (Idil Eroglu and Saeed Soleymanjahi)
    • İyi seneler (Nazli Dizman)
  • Tamil: Puttāṇṭu vāḻttukkaḷ ! = happy new year in my mother language! (Ramya Kaushik)
  • Gujarati: Sal Mubarak (Amish Desai)
  • Tagalog: Maligayang Bagong Taon (Ysabel Ilagan-Ying)
  • Spanish:
    • Feliz prospero Año Nuevo! (Luis More Verde)
    • ¡Feliz Año Nuevo! (Simon Correa Gaviria, Natalia Tijaro Ovalle, and Isabel Bazan)
    • Próspero Año Nuevo! (Deborah Proctor)
  • Galician or Gallego: But let me add one more and a quick note. “Feliz Aninovo” in Galician or Galego. The quick note being this year I became a citizen of Spain after a law that grants Spanish citizenship to those who can demonstrate Jewish descent from families who were unjustly and violently expelled from Spain during the Inquisition and the following couple of centuries. This is the history of my family and for generations it has been communicated that we descend from Sephardic Jews. We conducted a genealogical study and demonstrated that this was our history. Three hundred and fifty-one years after my ancestors arrived to the Colombian Atlantic Coast in 1671, our origins were vindicated. Galego is the language my ancestors spoke to remain undercover. So, this year, I am saying “Feliz aninovo!” (Simon Correa Gaviria)
  • Nepali: "नयाँ बर्षको शुभकामना" which literally translates to "New Year's well wishes!" (Sabin Kshattry)
  • Quechua: Sumaq Musuq Wata (Isabel Bazan)
  • Persian: سال نو مبارك (Saeed Soleymanjahi)
  • Russian: С Новым Годом! (S Novim Godom) (Dasha Madeeva and Daniel Kats)
  • Hindi:
    • Naye saal ki shubhkamnaye (Ritu Jayakrishnan and Arjun Ravishankar)
    • More from Arjun: In Hindi, “Happy New Year” translates to “Naya Saal Mubarak”, but that sounds a little formal to a native speaker (though easier for an English speaking audience). A better phrase would be “Naye saal ki shubhkaamnaein” (pronounced here) which translates to “Best wishes for the new year”.
  • Gilaki: We speak a northern dialect of the Iranian language family called "Gilaki" in our home. We tell each other "mobarak bibi shimi norouz" or "مبارک بیبی شیمی نوروز". (Hassan Mirbolouk)
  • Hebrew: שנה טובה (Naftali Kaminski)
  • Twi (A language from Ghana): Afehyia pa! (Vivian Asare)
  • German: A classic German way of wishing someone a happy new year is: "Guten Rutsch ins Neue Jahr!" Roughly translates to: Slide well into the new year. (Marwin Groener)
  • Bulgarian: “Честита Нова Година!” or “Chestita Nova Godina!" (Jessica Petrov)
  • Yiddish: A gutte, freilicher yar (a good, happy year) (Naftali Kaminski)
  • Vietnamese: Chuc Mung Nam Moi (Paul Tran)
  • Malayalam: "Puthu valsara aashamsakal” (Ritu Jayakrishnan)
Submitted by Mark David Siegel on January 01, 2023