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Jaimie P. Meyer, MD, MS, FACP, discusses the calling of internal medicine and her work with infectious diseases and addiction medicine
Jaimie P. Meyer, MD, MS, FACP
Infectious Disease Physician at Yale Medicine and Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine in the Section of Infectious Disease, AIDS Program
— MEDICAL SCHOOL —
University of Connecticut, Storrs, CT
— RESIDENCY —
NY Columbia Presbyterian, New York, NY
— FELLOWSHIP —
Yale School of Public Health, New Haven, CT
What is your current position?
I am an infectious disease physician at Yale Medicine and an Associate Professor of Medicine at Yale School of Medicine in the Section of Infectious Diseases, AIDS Program.
Where did you attend medical school and postgrad training?
I attended medical school at the University of Connecticut, internal medicine residency at NY Columbia Presbyterian, fellowship in infectious diseases at Yale School of Medicine, and fellowship in interdisciplinary research on HIV at the Center for Research on AIDS (CIRA) at Yale School of Public Health. I also completed a master's of science program in biostatistics and epidemiology at Yale School of Public Health.
Why did you choose to become a physician?
It was less of a choice and more of a calling. In my opinion, there is no other profession that so intimately impacts individuals' lives or has the potential to so powerfully impact the health of communities.
What field of internal medicine did you select and why?
Infectious diseases and addiction medicine, because they encompass outpatient continuity of care and the most challenging and interesting cases in hospitalized patients. You are with people at some of their darkest moments, but they generally get better. If the COVID-19 pandemic doesn't convince people that ID physicians are rock stars, I don't know what will!
Please describe a typical day in your practice.
Most of the time I am engaged in clinical research. I work from my home office as much as I can (especially during COVID-19). I generally spend the day conferencing with staff and collaborators, writing grants and papers, analyzing data, and mentoring students. Once a week I have my HIV clinic, where I mostly care for women living with HIV whom I've known for over a decade from my prior clinic in the women's prison in Connecticut. About 8 weeks a year, my research and clinic take a backseat while I attend in the hospital on the infectious disease consult service or our ID floor. While COVID-19 related restrictions temporarily paused all on-campus research, I've spent a lot of my time serving as a medical expert for public media and legal cases involving COVID-19 prevention and management in prisons and jails.
What are some of your special interests professionally?
HIV, women's health, addiction medicine, criminal justice systems, intimate partner violence, social justice, and health equity.
What are your interests and hobbies outside of medicine?
Anything active and ideally outdoors (spinning, kayaking, standup paddling, and skiing) or with my kids (I am an avid hockey and baseball mom!). I also love a good piece of fiction and a fresh crossword puzzle.
What advice would you like to share with medical students, or what do you wish someone would have told you while you were in medical school?
Don't give in to the pressure to fit a perfect mold or track—take the time to understand what you need to be happy. Find a way to do what you love even if it means forging a new path. Remember you have to get out of bed every morning to go to work—life is too short to waste. Seek out inspiration in your patients and mentors who can guide and advocate for you.
If you could change one thing about yourself, what would it be?
Be more patient (which admittedly may conflict with my motto below).
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
Personally, my two amazing children. Professionally, testifying before the U.S. Commission on Civil Rights for their Briefing on Women in Prison.
What is your most treasured possession?
Our family lake house that has been a constant source of peace and joy.
What is your motto?
Stop talking about it and just do it!