Brian Wojeck, MD, MPH, a clinical fellow in the Section of Endocrinology & Metabolism at Yale School of Medicine (YSM), plans to pursue several medical interests when he begins a new role as assistant professor of medicine (endocrinology) in July 2022.
Wojeck’s interests are in diabetes, obesity medicine, and sleep medicine, specifically in how treatments for sleep disorders, diabetes, and obesity overlap. He also is interested in how new drugs might help treat sleep apnea as well as obesity.
“My goal is to combine these different fields and do a broad range of things,” he said.
In about the last five years, the medical treatment of obesity as a chronic health condition has gained traction due to the availability of new FDA-approved drugs. “We can do really significant things with weight management and improving long-term health outcomes safely with medicines that we couldn't before, and there's a whole scope of other obesity interventions that we can use as well,” Wojeck said.
He plans to see patients at Yale’s Center for Weight Management, a multi-disciplinary center where he will bring a sleep component. “Any obesity center should be multi-disciplinary to truly treat this kind of really complicated problem,” he said.
Wojeck arrived at YSM in 2016 as a sleep medicine fellow in the section of Pulmonary, Critical Care & Sleep Medicine (Yale-PCCSM), completing his fellowship in 2017. Endocrinology captured his interest when he studied insomnia in women and considered a future in combining these two different but interrelated fields.
“One of the things that I think is really exciting about sleep medicine is there's a lot of black boxes in medicine, so there are things that we just don't know enough about,” Wojeck said.
He realized how much he enjoyed sleep medicine when he took a break in between his sleep medicine and endocrinology fellowships and worked as a hospitalist providing general inpatient care. During the same time, he treated patients at a sleep clinic. “I'd have a really stressful week in hospital work, and then I'd go to my sleep clinic and I'd be like, oh, this is nice,” he said. During this interlude he also pursued additional education in obesity medicine and developed an interest in the science and treatment of the chronic disease. He has been mentored by Klar Yaggi, MD, MPH, and Silvio E. Inzucchi, MD, during his endocrinology fellowship and credits much of his success to their guidance.
Finding a place in medicine and in life
As Wojeck was deciding on the direction to take in his medical career, his personal life took an unexpected turn. Five years ago he met his wife, Jennifer Dudanowicz. The couple has been married for three years.
“I'll be honest, I was a really boring person until I met my wife,” Wojeck said. “She's a lawyer who knows how to live much better than I did.” Together, the couple enjoys several pastimes, including snowboarding, scuba diving and sailing.
Early in the COVID-19 pandemic, when Wojeck and Dudanowicz were delivering masks in New Haven, a stray dog ran in front of their car. “So we picked him up,” Wojeck said. “No one claimed him, so we have a dog now and he's lovely. He’s an old guy and enjoys sitting lazily in front of a fire - that is 90% of what he does.”
The couple set out to learn more about their new pet. “My wife was really interested so we got a doggie DNA test, 'cause people would look at him and ask, ‘What is he?’ And we would say, ‘We don't know!’" Wojeck said. He and Dudanowicz learned that their dog is half Pekingese, a quarter Chihuahua, and quarter Shih Tzu. They named him Murray.
Yale’s Section of Endocrinology & Metabolism works to improve the health of individuals with endocrine and metabolic diseases by advancing scientific knowledge; applying new information to patient care; and training the next generation of physicians and scientists to become leaders in the field. To learn more about their work, visit Endocrinology & Metabolism.