Medical school: Thomas Jefferson University
Residency: SUNY Downstate and Kings County Hospital
Current position: Program director and vice chair for Education, associate professor of emergency medicine, University of Kentucky-Chandler Medical Center
Remember that nerve-wracking season of residency program interviews? Maybe they all blended together — but not if you visited the University of Kentucky, where program director Christopher Doty has been interviewing candidates since 2002.
You’re known as a great educator. What makes a great learner?
Well I don’t know that I’m anything special, but I am trying to make
an impact. I wanted very early on in my medical career to be a medical educator, and I thought — I still think — that’s the way I’m going to be most impactful. There’s a logarithmic effect in having an influence on future emergency physicians. For me, the learners I’m looking for in my programs have always been hungry. What I really value in a learner is the desire to be committed to the relentless pursuit of excellence — and I mean pursuit, I don’t mean attainment; there’s a critical difference. I would much rather have people aim high and miss, even miss often, than aim low and hit every single time. It’s in the missing that we grow as learners, and that’s where I live as an educator — that’s my jam. I want to help people see the gap, help them close the gap, and then open a new gap.
What keeps you coming to work every day?
I really live for seeing the lightbulb go on over someone’s head, when they really connect the dots. That opportunity to affect the next generation of leaders in medicine — that’s what gets me up in the morning.
If residents remember just one thing when, it should be ______.
Be humble. There’s always something you don’t know. When you really think you have all the answers, you get body-checked. As soon as you stop taking patients seriously, you get spanked.
What is the most-used app on your phone?
Probably Twitter. (Follow him @poppaspearls)
What goes on pizza?
My all-time favorite would be New York style, because I do consider myself a New Yorker, with sausage and mushrooms. And it’s gotta be a red pizza — no white pizza.
Last song stuck in your head?
It was playing on the radio when I came in, and I’m not going to admit I like this song: Britney Spears’ “Piece of Me.”
Who are you outside of medicine?
A family man. My wife, Laurie Doty, is also an emergency physician, in private practice. And we have a 2-year-old son, Max.