Dr. Miloslavsky says being an educator enhances one’s work as a clinician. He believes teaching positively affects his ability to be a physician because rheumatologists have to teach their patients about their disease and treatments. “A lot of the skills you use in teaching can transfer to teaching patients and their families,” he says.
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Being around students also helps Dr. Miloslavsky remain fresh and curious—because students often challenge his thinking. “[The students] help me think about things in ways that I may not have thought about before,” he says.
Despite the rewards, many physicians in academic medicine struggle with balancing research, securing grant funding and completing relative value units, while delivering true quality care.
“The constant demands from so many different directions can be exhausting,” Dr. Meissner says. “This [feeling] is compounded by the uncertainty of changes in an evolving healthcare system. As teaching physicians navigate these challenges, it is imperative they remember why they chose this path in the first place.”
For Dr. Miloslavsky, the challenge is to continuously improve his teaching skills.
“The field of medical education and the tools that we use to teach constantly change,” he says. “It’s important to watch others teach, try new techniques and challenge yourself to keep your skills sharp and evolving. It can be very beneficial to interact with educators outside of your own division to learn from them and form new collaborations.”
Karen Appold is a medical writer in Pennsylvania.