Leaders in Medical Education

Dr. David Pizzimenti, Chair of Graduate Medical Education at Magnolia Regional Health Center

Dann Griffin
Published on Sep 16, 2015. Updated on Invalid date.

Dr. David Pizzimenti, is a Florida native who settled in rural north Mississippi in 2005. He attended Nova Southeastern University Medical School and did an Internal Medicine Residency at Mount Sinai Medical Center from 2002-2005. Currently, Dr. Pizzimenti is the Chair of Graduate Medical Education and Internal Medicine Program Director at Magnolia Regional Health Center, and he was recently named the 2015 American College of Osteopathic Internists “Teacher of the Year”. While at Magnolia, he has transformed a developing program into one of the best Osteopathic Internal Medicine residencies in the nation.

How did you first become interested in medicine?
Growing up I did not know I wanted to be a doctor. I was initially intrigued by the challenge and enjoyment of my science classes. I played baseball though high school and college and just like in sports, I saw a direct correlation between how hard I worked and how well I did in the classroom. This love for science and medicine continued to grow until I reached the hospital wards. Here I became totally consumed with my love for medicine. I loved the daily challenge and the ability to use my mind and knowledge to solve complex medical problems. Solving and working on interesting cases has almost become an addiction, and I can honestly say that I am lucky I picked medicine as a career. I believe there is no better job in the world than being able to help people everyday and I enjoy my job so much that it doesn’t feel like work.

How did you first become interested in Medical education?
As a medical student I had an attending, Dr. Martin Grossman, who really took interest in my education. He would make me read every day and give me daily hand written quizzes. I loved the quizzes and getting pimped on what I was learning. When I became a resident, I incorporated those same methods with my students and junior residents. Through writing questions, friendly pimping, and talking though medical cases I realized I was learning more and becoming a better doctor. I enjoyed that experience so much that when I was asked to start a brand new Internal Medicine residency in rural Mississippi I jumped at the chance. I was told that it would be “impossible” to train residents in rural Mississippi, but I knew my heart was set on teaching medicine, and it was the best decision I could have ever made.

Can you share your background on how you got to where you are right now?
I was raised in Florida, which is also where I attended college, medical school and residency. While in medical school, I signed up for the National Health Service Core to help pay for my education. This commitment led me to rural Mississippi. When I finished my National Health Service Core contract, I was approached by Magnolia Regional Health Center to start a residency program. The area had many underserved patients and a residency program was a great way to train and recruit physicians. I loved the idea and signed on. Almost eight years later I’m still here and still loving it.

What are 2-3 changes you would like to see in the current medical education system?
I would like to see a change in the cost of medical education. As a nation if we truly need more doctors we need to make medical education more financially accessible. While I understand running a medical school is expensive, I feel medical schools are preying on students’ dreams of becoming a doctor. My hope is that with the further development of technology some of this cost can be curtailed and medical education can become more affordable.