Wendy Armstrong, MD
Undergrad Institution; Degree and Major:
Washington University in St Louis, Biology
Harvard Medical School
In practice since:
Where and for how many years did you train AFTER medical school:
6 years, University of Michigan
How did you choose your specialty?
Int Med clearly right for me, but very early was interested in ID for several reasons. I like the diagnostic piece/ detective work/synthesizing lots of information and making sense of it. It's one big logic puzzle. But I also love the way the specialty combines politics and socioeconomics and global issues/public health with medicine, I love that in involves multiple body systems, I like the fact that new infectious diseases are always emerging and in my field of HIV, in addition to what I mentioned, I love that the science moves fast and I find it fascinating. Finally, I like Infectious Disease physicians.
What do you like MOST, and like LEAST, about your specialty?
In your opinion, what attributes are important in anyone choosing this specialty?
Need to like talking to patients and digging out their history and hearing their stories, need to like and be comfortable with uncertainty, need to be thorough and enjoy spending a long time looking at ALL the old records, need to enjoy looking for zebras. Within ID then, there are so many different careers that you can have depending on what aspects you like/dislike most that the possibilities are endless and they all have different flavors.
I love to ski, sail, travel and see new things, chocolate, good restaurants, reading the Sunday NYT…..but I don't have any secret skills which make me an expert in something else.