Name: Liz Medina Alm, MD, MPH
Hometown: Bronx, NY (but I have lived in Minnesota for 20 yrs now)
Undergraduate school attended: University of Minnesota
Hobbies: I enjoy exercising and engaging in church activities, although spending time with my friends and family is my favorite hobby. I remain in close contact with my med school SNMA crew, but most of my time is centered around my children’s school, sports and activities (we have 5 kids aged 5-15).
Languages you speak: English and Spanish
Furthest I've traveled from home: Probably Zimbabwe where I worked on my MPH thesis. I love traveling, but I try not to go to the same place twice.
Favorite activity in the Twin Cities: Any cultural, art, sport and outdoor activity. I adore having the option of going to an art exhibit, a show at one of the many theaters, taking in professional sports game (we have all major sports represented here), a MN or local cultural parade. Additionally, Minnesota has an incredible array of outdoor activities in both the summer and winter. There is a reason MN has one of the healthiest populations in the U.S.
What is your specialty: Occupational and Environmental Medicine (OEM - Board Certified under Preventative Medicine)
Why I chose my specialty: I originally spent two years in a general surgery residency, when I realized that I wanted more of a balance in medicine and in life. Although, I greatly enjoyed operating I also wanted to participate in public health, policies and administrative duties. My specialty allows me to address urgent medical issues, read and interpret radiological or laboratory findings and perform smaller procedures and to design health and safety policies.
OEM is generally considered one of the most wide-ranging of all the medical specialties. This area of medicine is devoted to the prevention and management of occupational and environmental injury, illness and disability, and promotion of health and productivity of workers, their families and communities.
We treat work-related injuries, but also work at the corporate, state and federal level to address disparities and design preventative safety policies. We keep up to date on industrial, state and federal regulations for workforce health and safety. I work regularly with OSHA, Minnesota Department of Health and the Department of Labor. We also perform regulatory exams and I am certified as a DOT and Senior FAA medical examiner. Obtaining my MPH was part of my OEM residency. My MPH focus is in Environmental Medicine (which includes toxicology) and I also see patients with environmental exposures and advise on minimizing exposures in the general community.
Additionally, I have also worked continually in Urgent Care since residency. I don’t often see children in OEM, so working in Urgent Care has allowed me to keep up my clinical skills across all populations.
Why Medicine: Medicine is the vessel that allows me to serve my community through a profession that I am continually intellectually stimulated by and spiritually passionate about.