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Kate Koplan

Kate Koplan, MD, MPH


Kate Koplan, MD, MPH


Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:

Yale, BA in History

Medical School:

Emory University School of Medicine

Emory University School of Public Health – MPH

In practice since:


Your Specialty:

Internal Medicine

Where and for how many years did you train AFTER medical school:

Brigham and Women’s Hospital, Boston, MA – 3 yrs

How did you choose your specialty?

My father and family friends had done this, and they were my role models; too, I thought this would give me the most leeway in terms of broad exposure to many medical fields and types of work for future application; finally, I thought this was most linked to my interested in public health – population health, chronic disease management, preventive care, etc.

What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?

MOST – the breadth and depth of the knowledge; intellectual and academic rigor; the colleagues; exposure to many aspects of medicine and the human condition; ongoing relationships with patients; relationship-based work of patient care; broad applicability across topics; link to public health topics; flexibility to work in clinics, hospitals, many different care environments; loved the residency training structure content and people; gave me opportunity to pursue my field of interest which is quality/safety within a medical group.

LEAST – not enough time with patients when doing patient care; too much paperwork (even if electronic); not enough deep knowledge about certain specialties or conditions (would like to primarily care for patients but frequently need to refer them out to specialists); inbox for follow-up burdensome.

In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?

  • Broad clinical interests
  • Scientific inquiry and curiosity
  • Relationships with patients and families
  • Ability to deal with complexity and living in ‘gray’ areas of clinical and nonmedical/social issues
  • Ability to work well in structured environments and without many outside requirements (quality, documentation, productivity, etc)
  • Ability to make connections between people and be a good communicator – colleagues, specialists, team members, patients, families
  • Interest in patient motivation and behavior change
  • Leadership qualities (frequently need to lead teams)

Hobbies/special interests:

  • Travel
  • Listening to music
  • Reading
  • Walking outdoors
  • My dog
  • My family

Special interests in medicine:

  • Quality
  • Patient safety
  • Integrated care
  • Global health