Steven K. Schmitt
Infectious Diseases leapt off the pages of Paul de Kruif’s Microbe Hunters in the eighth grade and has held me ever since. I was enticed by the curiosity of the early giants — Koch, Pasteur, Ehrlich. I gravitated to immunology in college, then clinical ID in medical school. There I found that ID specialists were considered the most thoughtful physicians in the hospital, performing the thorough history and examination to expose the disease, ordering the most appropriate testing and treatment, explaining the disease and remedy to patient and family. I discovered that ID specialists make brilliant discoveries at bench and bedside. They lead infection prevention, antibiotic and diagnostic stewardship, and public health, and these systems roles make ID an ideal platform for health care leadership. I could not wait for ID fellowship to join my mentors: Marty McHenry’s verbatim histories and jovial literature dives, David Longworth’s humanistic care and even-handed leadership, Tom Keys’ direct wisdom, Walt Tomford’s collegial passion, Susan Rehm’s clinical acumen and insightful mentorship, Steve Gordon’s vision and team building. I carry with me some of each of them. I would encourage anyone who finds this kind of diverse experience appealing to speak with ID specialists or IDSA and discover ID!
– Steven K. Schmitt, MD, FIDSA, FACP
Infectious disease department, Cleveland Clinic
Member, IDSA Governance Task Force and Leadership Institute Work Group