One day, Danielle Grossman, MD, (PGY-5, General Surgery) would like to own a vineyard in Napa Valley, California. California is far from her home state of Florida, where she grew up the daughter and granddaughter of physicians, or Boston where she majored in stem cell biology during undergrad, but owning a vineyard is right on track with Dr. Grossman’s enthusiasm to dive into new challenges.
“I’ve always been a hands-on problem solver,” she said.
Even though both her father and grandfather practiced medicine, she was never pushed towards the field. Instead, she felt called towards a career that would allow her to remain a lifelong learner and use that knowledge to help other people.
“Surgery uniquely combines all my favorite things about being a doctor: a patient comes to you with a problem, and you collaborate with your colleagues to figure out the cause. Then, the best part is that a lot of time you can physically fix that problem, right then and there,” she explained.
Dr. Grossman partially credits her success at MedStar Health to her colleagues and is grateful to her mentors and co-residents for getting her though tough times, including the pandemic. “Find your people,” is her advice to others.
“Medicine, especially surgery, is a team sport,” Dr. Grossman continued. “There’s a famous Isaac Newton quote where he said, ‘If I have seen further, it is by standing on the shoulders of giants.’ I believe that’s particularly true of success in a medical career.”
She’s working to help the next generation of MedStar Health residents see further by serving as a resident representative on the Graduate Medical Education Committee (GMEC). It’s been a rewarding experience. “I’m proud to be part of the team that’s working to improve food access, optimize interview protocols and orientation programs, and generally increase GME decision-making transparency for trainees. That’s really important,” Dr. Grossman said.
The GMEC has recently worked on a range of issues affecting residents, fellows, and faculty, from increasing access to food as well as increasing access to, and awareness of, mental health resources. “Access to mental health resources is more important than ever, and healthcare systems in America are finally really investing in resident and trainee wellness. Our GME Committee has really leaned into that which has been awesome,” Dr. Grossman said.
She encouraged her colleagues to reach out if they have feedback. “I hope that any resident or fellow in the system would feel comfortable coming to one of our GMEC members including myself, with any issue or any suggestion that they might have.”
Dr. Grossman also shared a very important message: Please get a screening mammogram at age 40 and a screening colonoscopy at age 45.
“Prevention is the best form of treatment.”