Lisa Bernstein, MD
Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:
University of Pennsylvania, History Major
Medical College of GA
In practice since:
General Internal Medicine
Where and for how many years did you train AFTER medical school:
Internship/Residency: Emory Internal Medicine x 3 years
How did you choose your specialty?
I originally thought that I wanted to be an OB/GYN or a Pediatrician. I did Peds and found that while I loved kids, I didn't like looking for abuse all of the time, calculating weight-based meds, and having kids scream in fear of me. I loved the deliveries in OB, but realized I didn't love the OR and wasn't sure if I'd be so excited about the field after the 50th delivery. Upon coming to med school, I had no idea what IM was. When I was on my Internal Medicine rotation, I worked with a physician who did an amazing job explaining HIV to a patient, sitting at the bedside and drawing things out. I realized that I really enjoyed being able to get a history from an adult patient, developing relationships with patients and doing preventive care as well as acute and chronic management of a wide variety of medical illnesses.
What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?
I really enjoy developing long-term relationships with my patients and treating a wide variety of medical issues in both the in- and out-patient settings (preventive care as well as acute and chronic management of a wide variety of medical illnesses). I also get to incorporate women's health into my clinical work, even taking care of pregnant women with medical issues.
I was most fearful of being a "jack of all trades, master of none" going into IM because of the wide range of issues we treat. I have overcome that fear, realizing that I find my comfort level of expertise in each area and then consult when needed. I love my specialty but sometimes "primary care" is devalued when compared with specialties.
In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?
You have to be warm, empathetic and enjoy building a longitudinal relationship with patients. You have to work well with others (nurses, techs, social workers, consultants in inpatient and outpatient settings) and enjoy puzzle-solving. There are many subspecialties that branch off of IM, so if you enjoy procedures, this specialty could be for you too!
I enjoy dancing, cooking, and attending theater, musical & sporting events.