Dr. Desai has been a pillar of this department for over two decades. He came to Hopkins as a resident in 1998 and then served as an Assistant Chief of Service for the Osler Medical Residency and a fellow in pulmonary and critical care. His passion for the program was clear from the very beginning, and it helped grow his interest in graduate medical education. That sparked his move to Georgetown University to become the associate program director of their pulmonary fellowship program. Luckily, he came back to Hopkins in 2011 to join the faculty and lead the program that started it all.
During his tenure as Program Director of the Osler Medical Residency and Vice Chair for Education for the Department of Medicine, Dr. Desai’s research has primarily focused on resident education and wellness. In 2014, he began work on the Individualized Comparative Effectiveness of Models Optimizing Patient Safety and Resident Education (iCOMPARE) study, where he chaired the executive committee. The results of this study were published in a series of articles in the New England Journal of Medicine. In 2019, he received a Reimagining Residency grant from the American Medical Association to establish a multi-institutional laboratory measuring how to optimize clinical skill and well-being in graduate medical education. In 2020, he was named the Myron L. Weisfeldt Professor, generously sponsored by Dr. J. Mario Molina to support the director of the Osler Medical Residency. During Dr. Desai’s tenure, the Osler residency has developed pathways to support career interests of our residents, increased the number of physician-scientists, expanded diversity, and assembled an Osler residency advisory board. As Vice Chair for Education in the DOM, he has started a strategic planning process, helped to increase the pay for fellows, enhanced retention of our residents into our fellowship training programs and increased collaboration between our the Osler and Bayview residencies.
Dr. Desai often talks about how once you become an Osler resident, you are always part of the Osler family, and how the program will always be a part of who you are afterward. Well, the opposite is also true for Dr. Sanjay Desai. He will always be a part of the Osler program. The program saw many challenges during his tenure, including operational pressures, EMR burden, and regulatory changes. He responded to these with innovations that kept our residents at the bedside, enhanced their individualized training and prepared them as leaders for the future in which they will practice. He often said while we are proud of our traditions, we will never be encumbered by them. He led by preserving our core values while keeping us at the leading edge of medical education. One attribute that remained constant was Dr. Desai’s positive energy. That energy reverberates throughout the program, throughout each and every resident who he individually mentors, throughout the interviewees who he has already taken an interest in, throughout the faculty and staff who work closely with him and are inspired by his compassion. We are incredibly grateful for his leadership over the past decade, and excited to see what he will do in his new role with the American Medical Association where he will have an opportunity to have an impact on medical education on a national scale. Although it will be difficult to say goodbye, we can take comfort in the fact that his impact will always be with us. We thank him for leaving us with a program even greater than when he joined us.
If you or someone you know may be interested in the role of Vice Chair for Education and Program Director of the Osler Medical Residency, please see the Request for Applications here. Applications are due by Friday, August 27.