Peer Perspectives: Megan Hiles, MD, FACP

Megan Hiles, MD, FACP

Megan Hiles, MD, FACP
Director, Edlavitch Wellness and Prevention Clinic, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO

1. What is your current professional position?

Director, Edlavitch Wellness and Prevention Clinic, National Jewish Health, Denver, CO

2. Why did you choose internal medicine?

I’ve always liked puzzles. I also enjoy taking ownership of a patient’s concerns from beginning to end. The depth and complexity of internal medicine fit well in both these areas. I was also intrigued by the multitude of career types available within the specialty.

3. What trends are you seeing in your day-to-day practice (with patients, the health care system, or otherwise)?

Physicians in primary care internal medicine are more often working in employed models where they have less autonomy and flexibility in their work. This drives burnout and the feeling of being less connected to our mission and purpose. It is important that physicians take a role in operational decision making. Physicians should be at the center of building health systems that work for patients and the people who care for them. This means prioritizing physician flexibility and autonomy to build sustainable careers and spark joy. It means addressing issues of fragmentation in care, interoperability, and administrative burden. We can and should build health systems that facilitate physician well-being in the best interests of our patients.

4. What do you want to accomplish professionally within the next five years?

We are building a new prevention and wellness program at my institution that I am proud to lead. I am grateful to work in a program that engages personalized, precision medicine to promote health and prevent illness in a manner that exceeds expectations. I look forward to completing my MBA within the coming year. I hope to embark on new projects to prevent cardiovascular disease, improve health care service delivery, and instill joy in the practice of primary care internal medicine.

5. Can you share a brief (and anonymous) patient encounter or professional situation that made you proud to be an Internal Medicine physician?

With all the complex and expensive diagnostic and therapeutic tools at our fingertips, I think the cases that are elegant in their simplicity really stick with me. An internal medicine physician can weigh the risks and benefits of interventions with the aversions and preferences of patients they know very well. In those instances, we can provide high value, personalized care and avoid unnecessary harm. I recall several instances where taking extra time to talk with patients, call a subspecialist, or review additional records meant that we were able to provide care that was more aligned with a patient’s goals.