Section: Life Skills Category: Life Skills

A Career in Academic Medicine - Is it right for you?

Suhad Hadi, DPM

**** This lecture is not available for CME ****

  • Author
  • Suhad Hadi, DPM

    Louis Stokes Veterans Administration
    Akron Community Based Outpatient Clinic
    Akron, OH

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  • It is the policy of PRESENT e-Learning Systems and it's accreditors to insure balance, independence, objectivity and scientific rigor in all its individually sponsored or jointly sponsored educational programs. All faculty participating in any PRESENT e-Learning Systems sponsored programs are expected to disclose to the program audience any real or apparent conflict(s) of interest that may have a direct bearing on the subject matter of the continuing education program. This pertains to relationships with pharmaceutical companies, biomedical device manufacturers, or other corporations whose products or services are related to the subject matter of the presentation topic. The intent of this policy is not to prevent a speaker with a potential conflict of interest from making a presentation. It is merely intended that any potential conflict should be identified openly so that the listeners may form their own judgments about the presentation with the full disclosure of the facts.


    Suhad Hadi has nothing to disclose.

  • Lecture Transcript
  • And I’m going to introduce a good friend of mine, Suhad Hadi who is a woman in Podiatric Medicine and Surgery who has developed superb skills. She’s a great educator, a great speaker as a wonderful family. And she’s going to share some things that she has experienced that will be a benefit to you. Please welcome Dr. Suhad Hadi.

    Suhad Hadi: Thank you. And thanks to the committee and present for having me here. Definitely wise advice I graduated not from my residency program in 2000 and it was the hardest decision to decide where you want to be after residency. And probably of all my friends and classmate, I know two people who have stayed in the same job that they went into right after residency. So a lot of people find themselves making a decision than moving along afterwards, which kind of brings us into this portion of is a career and academic medicine for you. After graduating residency, I have to work at UT Health Science Center in San Antonio as a clinical instructor and director of their resident education program for three years. Before I decided, I wanted to branch out of a little bit in doing the private practice. So I went into private practice with the multi specialty group for five years. I absolutely love the experience and it was everything that we just heard that it was. However, I did feel that I was lacking in the sense that I really wanted academic medicine back in my life, after having worked with residents and students initially. I think we all as even as you guys as residents have a level of teaching within us. If you think about it, first year of residence, you guys are teaching students all the time. Second year of residence you’re teaching your first year, as third year teachings second years and there’s just big circle with teaching going on in academic medicine. So, ones I forgot how to move forward. The big thing is I ask the residents, what do you think of a career in academic medicine. And the first thing is a lot of them say is, well I don’t know that I can really be the residency director. And I think that’s a misconception. There are so many venues which afford you in area in academic medicine. And there is a whole list of them from clerkships to externships, research collaborations and working with the colleges. I kind of wanted to touch on the pros and cons of this, because as you go in the practice it’s wise actually not to think you’re going to be residency director of probably your first year out into practice. It’s probably wise to get some experience under your belt but there are ways that you can incorporate some of the academics side and give back to the profession and help it to grow in this sense of academia. Clerkships are nice. Some of them have affiliations with the schools but there really is no obligation in the sense to have to give the student a lot of hands on experience. So there are the shadow. They’re really there to learn what podiatry is about, what office practice has to afford you. And so clerkships can actually involve students from undergraduate level from podiatry schools as well as high school students who really just want to learn about the profession. And I think that’s a way, that’s a great way first year in the practice to really incorporate some of that teaching into your day. Externships become a little bit more involved. They definitely involved affiliations and you’re really affording a student the chance to get a little bit more hands on. You’re affording them the opportunity to work up your patient, maybe present it to you, maybe even do a little bit of the actual care involves with the patients. So, these are two real simple ways when you first come out that it can incorporate academics. If you really feel that you have this passion that you want to teach and give back at that level in your future practice. Fellowships are great. And I think, a few years out if you find that your practice or the group that you’re with really has an emphasis on a niche whether it’d be room care, limb salvage, sports medicine biomechanics, reconstructive, whatever aspect of podiatry that you feel you have a larger focus or emphasis. Fellowships are definitely in need especially now and it’s the whole different topic and a time of residency shortage. If we have a way that we can afford people some advance training beyond schooling, we should probably push towards that. And if you feel you have a niche that you develop, it’d be nice to see more of those pop up. The big one is residency program. And probably I should com presidency programs and the last three things together, clinical structures, college affiliations. Residency programs are great. I think it a lot of people you hear them joke underpaid, overworked and that’s what residency programs are all about. But there really is a satisfaction that comes to it. My time at UT when I was the director of resident education was probably some of the most fulfilling in terms of my academic career. And I find myself having gone full circle now in the VA system.

    [05:01] My husband is actually residency director at Seattle, so we get to work directly with the residents. We are involved in curriculum development, all of that. So I’ve brought it back into my career. But residency programs are great because you can get involved without being the residency director, without being the director of resident education. I think it’s nice when people from the community who have the passion to want to teach or maybe leave back to their residency program or to podiatry in general, to get involve in a journal club curriculums, to get involved in their grand rounds, their diving therapy conferences. All these things that you can give back in terms of teaching, showing your cases to residents, having them learn from them or maybe having them come out and be part of the program where your clinical instructor and have them come out and scrub with you on cases, work in your clinics. A lot of programs now are incorporating maybe a -- you can call it a clerkship level, rotation into their program where residents are going out there to learn, the office based management of practices daily. So there’s a lot of ways to get involved at the residency program level without having to be the director. A college affiliations and academic appointments, I have a good friend who was very involved in sports medicine, big athlete herself and she lectures at the colleges regularly and addresses sports medicine, biomechanics, Orthotics and the sports teams and I think that also a good way to get affiliated to get them at the colleges and give back a little bit. When I was a student at OCPM, we have no preference here. I went to OCPM, so. But I went to OCPM before, OCMP was Kent State. But Dr. Gerard Hews, many people remember him withhold the radiology conference and he invited the students to come once a week. And we would get up early at 6:30 and go and attend the conference. So there are lot of ways that you can give back this from your daily everyday practice and have the students involved and teach. And then I think by taking some of these smaller steps, I think that will expose you to academics and medicine and really let you see if that’s where your passion lies. And if that is where your passion lies, then you can definitely build onto it. And maybe, some of you guys become residency directors. Again, definitely in the time of residency shortage, we need more people who are willing to delve in to academics and not feel that it’s something that’s going to set in back in terms of your own professional growth and goals that you’re trying to achieve. Research collaborations, we had many private practice. When I was in residency who did a lot of research work, and they were more than willing to have residents collaborate with them and do some of the leg work with them. Sure, a lot that it was probably doing a leg work, the literature reviews and all of that. But it got you on the research. It got you involved in research. It is something that’s going to help move our profession forward in regards to evidence based medicine in the future. And I think that’s something that you guys can consider too as part of what I consider academic medicine. So again, it doesn’t mean just becoming the residency director doesn’t mean strictly being an instructor at the school. There are lot of ways and I think you just have to find within yourself that you have the passion to take your teaching to the next level because like I said I really believe that a lot of us have teaching in us because we all have somebody who’s under us that we’re guiding and mentoring along the way. And I think if you feel that you can take it to that next level and fulfill one of these, I think that would be one of the best ways to incorporate academics into your career. Why do people hesitate? And I think this is a big thing. When I left private practice, a lot of people thought I was actually insane because, yes, the money better in the private sector. It was. Was my time a little bit freer in the private sector, it was. Especially because I was at the multi-specialty group, and again I had coverage when I was on way on vacation. I had coverage on the weekends. I had their concert referral based. And to go back in academics, we’re kind of almost 24/7. You’re building curriculum. R residents are calling you, all of that. And so, time commitment becomes a fear for people when they kind of want to consider going into academics. I think it’s a juggling act. I think only you know, if you can devote that time, that’s necessary to it. I feel like I went on a five-year hiatus for awhile because I had three children in five years. And I’m kind of slowly getting back into it but I know that it’s something that I want to do. So I think that something that never needs to consider. It is your own restrictions, not necessarily what the time restrictions would be when you do get involved. It’s an increase workload like I said in the sense of developing curriculum, guiding residents and having them rely on you. Think failure and accountability are something people fear in regards to going to academic medicine. I find that some people don’t want to have to hold somebody accountable all the time. And some people fear the failure if somebody is not successful under their supervision or they can’t get somebody to the next level.

    [10:03] But again, I think it’s a passion. I think it’s something that you have to decide if you’re able to do. We use to joke that even our worst resident was really good because we were so hard on the residents. So, you know, it’s how you want to take it and how you want to develop it. But failure and accountability are two that I think are the biggest things that people don’t want to have to deal with, but it’s a skill. So I think that that’s about it. I think again take advantage of the people who are here. A lot of us have gone full circle. Again, I’ve gone from University institution to the VA to private to private practice. And I think there’s a lot of people we could talk to, but I think academics is something that we need in our profession. We have over 100 residents who are not matched. And I think it’s because we’re lacking and people who want to go into the academic arena. It’s not as scary as it sounds and there are actually a lot of support networks out there through our national organizations as well as local hospitals and affiliations that will help guide you with this. Thank you.