Some decisions in life are quite difficult and complex; others come more easily and naturally. For me, the latter was the case with my decision to pursue a career in infectious diseases. From early first year pharmacology classes, to learning at the feet of ID giants like Harold Neu, Glenda Garvey, Mark Goldberger and many others in my 3rd and 4th years, going into ID was an easy choice.
I was fascinated by the idea that after taking a complete detailed history and being a good detective, with the simple stroke of a pen (today, the click of a mouse), I could cure somebody’s potentially fatal illness with an appropriate prescription. No scalpel, no painful chemotherapy, no invasive procedure necessary. Merely a few days of a powerful new antibiotic would save this dying person’s life!
As I entered the real world, however, things weren’t always quite so straightforward. The development of HIV infection, resistant organisms and new expensive toxic antimicrobials made life more difficult than I originally thought. But ID has been a phenomenally satisfying and fulfilling profession. It is a career choice that I highly recommend to young physicians interested in truly making a huge impact on individual lives as well as public and population health. It is a decision I have never regretted. I’ve always been proud to say, “I’m an infectious diseases physician.”
Aaron E. Glatt, MD, FACP, FIDSA, FSHEA
Chairman, department of medicine
Chief, division of infectious diseases and hospital epidemiologist
Mount Sinai South Nassau
Clinical professor of medicine
Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai