This interview is one in a series of interviews with recipients of the 2023 ACGME Awards. The awardees join an outstanding group of previous honorees whose work and contributions to graduate medical education (GME) represent the best in the field. They will be honored at the ACGME Annual Educational Conference, taking place this week in Nashville, Tennessee, from February 23-25, 2023.
2023 Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Awardee Dr. Adriana K. Malone is the program director of the hematology-oncology fellowship program and Senior Associate Dean for GME at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai in New York.
ACGME: How did you become involved in medicine, and in academic medicine specifically?
Dr. Malone: I first remember developing an interest in academic medicine from my clinical rotations and mentors in medical school. Once I entered residency and fellowship, my career goal of academic medicine was further reinforced. The dedication to teaching at every level left a big impression on me and I knew I would want to pursue the same.
ACGME: What does this award mean to you?
Malone: I am truly honored to receive this award. At Mount Sinai, I have several incredible role model colleagues – program directors who have received this award before me – and it is a privilege to join them as a recipient.
ACGME: What do you feel is the most important job the program director has?
Malone: To be a mentor and coach for my fellows, to listen and be available when needed, and to work collaboratively with my trainees to continually improve their education and training experience.
ACGME: What is the most rewarding part of your job?
Malone: Seeing the success of my fellows – as they grown into skilled hematologists/oncologists, develop their scholarly interests – publish, present at conferences, obtain grants, and graduate to begin the careers of their choosing.
ACGME: What is the most challenging?
Malone: The lack of time! Managing competing priorities and responsibilities between my administrative roles and patient care.
ACGME: What advice do you have to residents or fellows who may be interested in pursuing a career in academic medicine?
Malone: Academic medicine is highly rewarding and does not fit a single definition or description. Physicians in academic medicine can pursue diverse interests – in patient care, leadership, and scholarship.
ACGME: Is there anything you would like to add I haven’t asked about?
Malone: If I were to choose my career again, I would absolutely pursue program leadership – being a program director has been the most rewarding aspect of my career so far!
Learn more about the ACGME’s Parker J. Palmer Courage to Teach Award and nominate a deserving DIO for the 2024 Award – nominations are due by March 15, 2023.