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P&S Journal

P&S Journal: Fall 1996, Vol.16, No.3
Alumni Weekend.
Doctors Tell It Like It Is

At April 17's Career Forum'96, alumni from a variety of fields, including family medicine, psychiatry, ophthalmology, anesthesiology, pediatrics, OB/GYN, surgery, and orthopedic surgery, gave a captive audience of students a feel for the real world of practice. From professional satisfactions and challenges to lifestyle and salary expectations, they covered all the bases.

Shari Hall'91, a former fellow in cardiac anesthesia at P&S, recently joined the staff of Palm Beach Anesthesia Associates in West Palm Beach, Fla. She was attracted to the fast pace of anesthesia and the fact that it touches on all fields, offering the thrill of the OR without the hectic lifestyle of the surgeon. Randall Ehrlich'93 opted for orthopedic surgery, he said, because "I need a goal that I can grasp. I need to be able to fix things and see

that they are fixed. That's what orthopedics is." Karen Moody'95, an intern in general surgery at St. Luke's-Roosevelt, described the strain and thrill of surgery and the satisfaction of rapid patient management. "You develop your mind, body, and personality to deliver care to a human being in distress. That's my biggest reward."

"Yes, I'm a family practitioner and I'm here at Columbia: I thought the guard was going to turn me away at the front door," joked New York native Scott Blaker'92, currently with Mount Hope Family Practice in the South Bronx. With the advent of managed care, he said, family practice has once again become an important field, as it was in the past. "It's everything I wanted to do in medicine and more," he said.

Alumni participants at the 1996 Career Forum, from left, were Rebecca Lambert'98, Eric Collins'90, Donna Densel'88, Scott Blaker'92, Karen Moody'95, Randall Ehrlich'93, Shari Hall'91, Pamela Maskara'98, and George Lazarus'71
Eric Collins'90, pursued a fellowship in substance abuse research at Columbia, where he is assistant professor of psychiatry. "There's psychiatry in whatever branch of medicine you go into," he pointed out. What he particularly likes about his chosen field is the potential it provides for long-term relationships with patients. Donna Densel'88 is a member of a private general ophthalmology practice in Bergen County, N.J. Delighting in the dual medical and surgical aspect of her practice, she explained that the ophthalmologist is both "the only M.D. who really gives eye care" and a surgeon who can "in most cases, fix what's wrong and fix it very well."

A Manhattan pediatrician in private practice, George Lazarus'71, loves the little people he treats. "Without a question," he avowed, "we pediatricians definitely have the cutest patients." The last speaker, Elizabeth Lorde-Rollins'93 OB/GYN, lauded "the diversity of my field, from basic gynecology to high risk fetal medicine to surgery to birth."

copyright ©, Columbia-Presbyterian Medical Center

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