On June 2, Eva Feldman received the Johns Hopkins Distinguished Medical Alumna Award at the Johns Hopkins School of Medicine Reunion & Alumni Weekend. The award honors her “demonstrated excellence and achievement through personal and professional accomplishments.”
Festivities kicked off with a luncheon, hosted by the Johns Hopkins Department of Neurology and its director, Justin McArthur, MBBS, MPH, honoring Dr. Feldman and fellow awardee, David Goldstein, M.D., Ph.D., senior investigator at the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS).
That evening, Johns Hopkins Medicine Interim Dean of the Medical Faculty and CEO Theodore DeWeese, M.D., presented Dr. Feldman with the award, complete with a portrait of William Henry Welch. Welch was one of the "Big Four" founding professors at Johns Hopkins Hospital, the first dean of the Johns Hopkins Medical School, and founder of the Johns Hopkins School of Hygiene and Public Health, the first school of public health in the country.
Dr. Feldman completed her residency in neurology at Johns Hopkins, where she was not only named chief resident but also received the Johns Hopkins Hospital Annual Resident Award for Outstanding Medical Student Teaching.
To celebrate this remarkable achievement, we spoke to Dr. Feldman about her time at Johns Hopkins, past, present, and future:
Why Johns Hopkins:
When I was a third-year medical student (at the University of Michigan Medical School), I decided that I wanted to go into neurology. My advisor at the time told me to look into seven schools, and during my fourth year, I began interviewing at those schools. Needless to say, I did not have a very good experience in New York City, where I was mugged, or in Philadelphia, where I also made a trip to the emergency room. Keep in mind I was pregnant through both of these experiences. By the time I made it to Johns Hopkins, my last interview location, I had decided that I was definitely never going to leave Michigan. However, then I met the chair of neurology at the time, Dr. Guy McKhann, and regaled him with stories of my arduous journey, he sympathized with me, charmed me, and made me realize that Johns Hopkins was the place for me.
The Resident Experience at Johns Hopkins:
I loved being a resident at Johns Hopkins. There are so many stories to tell, but they all had similar themes—we had wonderful attendings, incredible fellow residents, and patients who were not only extremely interesting but also grateful for their care. There is such a diverse patient population, from a person who had to take a local bus to the hospital to someone who flew in from another country on a private plane. The experience was unique and one that changed the course of my career. I think it is really one of the best places to train in the country.
A Key Lesson from Her Mentor, Dr. Guy McKhann:
The importance of melding clinical science with basic science. Almost all my teachers were also involved in some type of research, either clinical research or basic science research. They taught me the importance of using research to better understand neurological diseases and develop new ideas about their causes in order to begin to develop new therapies.
Leadership Training as a Chief Resident:
When I was chief resident, we actually ran our own small service. It gave me the opportunity to understand what it was like to be the lead physician. Of course, I had backup from more senior physicians, but in those days, we were given a great deal of latitude. It taught me leadership, time management, and negotiation skills.
Advise for Future Medical Students:
If possible, it is good to go to an institution for your residency other than your medical school. I will never regret leaving Michigan to train at Johns Hopkins just as I will never regret returning to Michigan after my Johns Hopkins training. It was the perfect marriage between the two institutions.
The Best Part of Returning:
I had the chance to meet with many incredible colleagues and discuss future research ideas. One in particular, Dr. Ahmet Hoke is coming to visit us here at Michigan Medicine in September. It was wonderful to catch up with old friends like Drs. McArthur and Charlotte Sumner, as well as make a few new friends.