Hera Maryam, MD
Inova Fairfax Medical Center, PGY-3
Why did you choose internal medicine?
I loved the breadth and flexibility of pursuing different careers within internal medicine. Perhaps most compelling was the opportunity to take patients’ stories and turn them into diagnoses. I am a big fan of the social aspect of internal medicine—I enjoy getting to know my team and my patients.
What lesson(s) did you learn in residency that can help you for the rest of your career?
I learned that internal medicine feels and functions like a family. My residency class motivated me to pursue my passions, and I am deeply invested in mentoring and advocating for my peers.
I also learned to pursue interests outside of medicine with my limited free time. I went back to my childhood interests in creative writing and ended up publishing a poem in Annals of Internal Medicine.
What are your plans for after residency? Are you becoming a chief, going into fellowship, or starting as an attending? What factors or advice from mentors contributed to your decision?
I plan to pursue a fellowship in infectious diseases (ID). I love all things ID though my favorite infections to study are undoubtedly syphilis, histoplasmosis, and HIV!
My ID mentors showed me that infectious disease–trained physicians derive a lot of satisfaction from diagnosing and treating infections. This was particularly important to me. My residency mentors showed me how to consistently advocate for our underserved patients and be conscientious teachers. These were all of the qualities that I wanted to grow into as a physician myself, and ID seemed like the best fit.
I am also passionate about improving health care access via health policy, and a career within ID can help facilitate those goals.
How has being a member of ACP helped you in your professional life? What resources have been most helpful to you?
ACP helped me connect to people with similar interests—I am a member of Virginia’s Health Policy Committee and am also part of the Council of Resident/Fellow Members (CRFM). I have had the opportunity to meet with representatives at both the state and national levels. Importantly, I found mentorship from peers and long-term ACP members for a variety of different interests including but not limited to infectious diseases, health policy, and advocacy!