Internal Medicine

Aline Gottlieb, MD, PhD Aline Gottlieb, MD, PhD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Columnist

Hillsboro Medical Center


Aline went to medical school at the University of Essen in Germany. She started training at the University Hospital Essen in Internal Medicine with the focus on GI/Hepatology. She then followed one of her former supervisors in 2017 to the University Hospital Magdeburg and continued her training for two years. In 2019, she started a two-year research fellowship at Johns Hopkins University with a scholarship by the German Research Foundation. During that time, she decided not to return to Germany and instead attempt to become a physician in the US. She has started her internal medicine residency this year at Hillsboro Medical Center in Oregon.

Surviving IM/G

am an international medical graduate in internal medicine residency (IM/G), sharing my experiences with all of you. If you are an IMG, hopefully you can relate to some of the stories and feel encouraged, because we are not alone. If you are an American-based resident: I hope these stories help you better understand your IMG colleagues a bit better. And above all, I am hoping to hear from you as well: let's share knowledge, experiences, and pave a path for the many other IMGs seeking to fulfill their dreams in the United States.




Surviving the First Month as an IMG Resident

Let’s start with a very brief introduction: Hello! My name is Aline, and I am an international medical graduate (IMG) from Germany. I used to work in Germany in internal medicine, where I have completed four out of five years of training. I would like to share my experiences, thoughts, and later also some of the processes and steps that got me here over the course of this new column.

Along the Road: A Perspective on Medical Training in a Pandemic

It feels odd to have family members in the hospital regularly again. My patient’s wife approaches cautiously; for a second I pretend not to see her. She looks like she wants to talk and I’m afraid she wants good news I can’t give, promises I can’t make, and time I don’t feel like I have. She wants time to tell me her loved one’s stories.

Early Palliative Care and End-of-Life Planning as a Primary Preventative Intervention During the COVID-19 Pandemic

The novel coronavirus pandemic (COVID-19) has drastically increased the number of critically ill and dying patients presenting for hospitalized management of dyspnea, acute respiratory failure and other serious complications. The emergence and spread of SARS-CoV-2 has created unprecedented demands on all avenues of inpatient hospitalist medicine. One of the many services in high demand includes palliative care, with increased need for complex end of life planning.

Internalizing Medicine: Starting Intern Year in the Time of COVID

In my home city of Washington, D.C., citizens have taken the changes brought on by COVID-19 very seriously; social distancing, masking and frequent hand hygiene are now routine. These days, I am startled when I see the bottom half of someone’s face out in public. Our homes have become our sanctuaries. In the hospital, however, much of our work continues unabated. Orders are written, notes are signed, lab work is drawn, imaging is performed. Housestaff are on the front lines with nurses, respiratory therapists and patient care technicians taking care of the sickest patients day-in, day-out.

Facing the Consequences of the Pandemic as an Oncologist-in-Training

For the first time in history, a pandemic has shut down the entire globe. COVID-19 has affected our lives in many ways, including significantly impacting health care services. Many people, sensing an unseen danger looming in the air, have become increasingly afraid to visit their primary care physicians, and we are now discovering the catastrophic consequences of this delay.

Witness

This elderly yet jolly gentleman answers our unending questions about his physical health, but it is his question to us that makes me pause. Do I have time for a poem? This busy clinic day, I stop reflecting on why his heart stopped beating and instead what motivates his heart to beat in the first place.   

Can Empathy Be Taught, or Is It Innate?

In medical school, I was taught to sit at eye level when speaking to patients, ask how they would prefer to be addressed, and ask open-ended questions to allow them to express themselves. I learned to interject with “That must be really difficult for you,” or “I can only imagine how that makes you feel,” as a way to show empathy and foster better connection with patients.

Vandana Kumar, MD Vandana Kumar, MD (1 Posts)

Resident Physician Contributing Writer

SUNY Downstate Medical Center


Vandana is a PGY-2 resident in the general psychiatry program at SUNY Downstate Medical Center in Brooklyn, New York. She is passionate about improving access to quality mental health services for those who need them the most and enjoys spending time outside of work volunteering for the Brooklyn Free Clinic. She wants to pursue a fellowship in child and adolescent psychiatry after residency. When she is not working with patients, Vandana can be found lost in a fiction novel, learning a new dance routine, or cooking some Indian dish or another.