People Profiles – Dr. Eric Wisotzky

Eric Wisotzky, MD, (Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation) says that a passion for helping people get through difficult life experiences is what led him to pursue a career in medicine, and in particular, his specialty. The philosophy of Physical Medicine and Rehabilitation (PM&R), he explains, is based on helping patients participate in the things that are most meaningful to them—for example, family roles and recreational activities—despite debilitating medical challenges.

Dr. Wisotzky credits his mentors at MedStar Health with his own ability to pursue what he most values. “From day one, my mentors have supported me in pursuing the parts of my career that are most meaningful to me: caring for the patients I’m so passionate about, pursuing the academic areas I’m interested in, and working with and leading training for medical students, residents, and fellows,” he says.

Now a mentor himself, Dr. Wisotzky reminds his residents and fellows to really observe their attendings and to try and put themselves in their attendings’ shoes. “They are not so distant from you,” Dr. Wisotzky says. “Try to imagine yourself doing what they do each day. This will help you maximize your training to prepare you for what your attendings do.”

Though he always planned to attend medical school, Dr. Wisotzky majored in theater as an undergraduate. One of his theater professors once offered a piece of unexpected advice to help him prepare for his future and, in his professor’s words, to make him a better doctor. The advice was to take an improvisation class, and only later would Dr. Wisotzky fully appreciate its impact. “As a physician, we have to think so quickly on our feet and respond to a variety of unexpected situations. I truly believe that this improv class helped prepare me for the adventures each day would present,” he says.

Dr. Wisotzky serves as the residency program director for PM&R and an associate designated institutional official on MedStar Health GME’s Executive Team. He is also a subgroup leader on the MedStar Health Academic Affairs Working Group for Racial Justice, where he’s had the opportunity to listen and to learn about what residents and fellows from under-represented backgrounds need to feel supported and thrive in MedStar Health’s learning environments. In partnership with Georgetown University Medical Center, the Working Group for Racial Justice focuses on developing and implementing sustainable positive change in MedStar Health’s clinical learning environments.