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April 11-13, 2019
Internal Medicine Meeting 2019
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Dr. Dan Woodliff jokes that his love for
the popular series "The Hardy Boys" growing up and the desire to do
detective work influenced his decision to pursue a career in
internal medicine. "I always wanted to be a detective, and I think
that practicing internal medicine allows you to do a bit of
detective work in determining a patient's diagnosis."
Dr. Woodliff grew up in Jackson, Mississippi, and attended the
University of Mississippi School of Medicine. He received his
undergraduate degree from the University of Mississippi and took
science courses at Millsaps College in Jackson. He was drawn to
internal medicine during medical school because he enjoyed the
"ability to help people solve their medical problems and the
ability to build long-term relationships with patients." During
medical school, Dr. Woodliff had a few mentors who impacted his
decision to go into internal medicine. "My mentors-Ralph Susler,
MD, Max Taylor, MD, and Russell Tarver, MD-were all superb
internists and taught me the value of taking a careful patient
history and the importance of listening to the patient."
After residency, Dr. Woodliff joined Internal Medicine Group
P.A, a private practice in Jackson where he practiced for 26 years.
He watched the practice grow from three to nine general internists.
Dr. Woodliff loved building relationships with his patients and
also loved the autonomy that private practice affords. "I think
internal medicine is a calling. I have treated parents,
grandparents, and children in the same family. Patients have an
incredible amount of trust in you as an internist, and I think that
really is a privilege."
In 2009, Dr. Woodliff was asked to return to the University of
Mississipi School of Medicine as a member of the medical school
faculty. He is currently Associate Professor of Medicine in the
internal medicine department and is responsible for teaching
medical students and residents in the ambulatory medicine
"Teaching students in the clinic has been one of the most
challenging and rewarding experiences of my life. We have very
bright, energetic, and inquisitive students, so you really have to
stay on your toes. " Dr. Woodliff oversees medical students as they
assess and provide care for patients in the clinic. Each student
interviews a patient and conducts a medical history and then
presents the findings in the presence of Dr. Woodliff and the
patient. He admits that the process can at first be challenging,
but it teaches students how to think on their feet and prepares
them for the presenting process during residency. "This specific
teaching method helps students formulate a differential diagnosis
and develop a treatment plan. At first, presenting can be
intimidating but once the students realize that it is a safe and
welcoming environment, they really enjoy it."
He also credits his patients for helping the students learn.
"The patients have been wonderful; they have been very accepting
and are more than willing to participate in the students'
Dr. Woodliff adapted his clinical teaching methods after
attending the Internal Medicine 2010 annual meeting in Toronto,
Ontario, Canada. Patrick Alguire, MD, FACP, and Senior Vice
President for Medical Education at ACP, made a presentation that
Dr. Woodliff thought was particularly relevant to his role in
teaching medicine. Dr. Alguire presented "Teaching Medicine:
Teaching in the Office" as part of ACP's Teaching Medicine six-part
book series. The series summarizes important medical education
literature and shares the collective experience and wisdom of
expert medical educators who are actively engaged in teaching
Dr. Woodliff adapted the teaching methods described in the
Teaching Medicine series and uses his teaching model with the
medical students and residents in the University of Mississippi
Medical Center clinic. "I think it's a great model for clinic-based
teaching. It really helps the students understand the value of
interviewing and listening to the patient."
Although Dr. Woodliff admits that keeping up with the paperwork
involved with being an internist can sometimes be difficult, he
finds his job extremely rewarding. "I love being able to act as a
mentor to the students and residents and help them build their core
knowledge in internal medicine." In addition to his work in
academic medicine, Dr. Woodliff is the Governor-elect of the ACP
Mississippi Chapter. He became involved with ACP when he was in
medical school and previously served on the chapter's Executive
Council. As a chapter governor, Dr. Woodliff will implement
national ACP projects and initiatives at the chapter level and will
facilitate meetings and activities in Mississippi.
Outside of his career and his involvement with ACP, Dr. Woodliff
enjoys playing golf and spending time with his wife and their two
November 2012 Issue of IMpact
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