Medicine in Harlem, New York that Returned to Duluth, Minnesota

In August 2022, Lisa Roazen, MD, an ’03 graduate from the University of Minnesota Medical School, Duluth Campus, began her leadership position with the Medical School Alumni Relations Board having joined the Student Engagement Committee as part of her board membership role. Over the ensuing months, her suggestions and participation in the conversation to establish and begin a mentoring program have been valuable to everyone. 

While celebrating National Women’s Physician Day on February 3, 2022, Dr. Roazen shares additional details about the U of M Medical School, Duluth Campus comradery and the years following her medical degree achievement. 

Are there memories of your classes or school experiences that you would like to share? 

Dr. Roazen: I was born and raised in Duluth. So much of those first two years at the Duluth campus is a blur — the scent of formaldehyde, "my" seat in the first-year classroom, the overwhelming fun of problem-based learning, stressing over neuroscience and Step 1, bonding over trips to family cabins, flag football (our team was The Bezoars), dinner parties and Wear Your Prom Clothes To Class day. The relationships that I invested in during those first two years continue today. 

How would you describe your work experience? 

Dr. Roazen: After my emergency medicine residency in Harlem (NYC), I left the academic world and joined a small community hospital practice in Long Island, commuting from my home in Brooklyn. After a few years, two kids and a great introduction to the world of being an attending, I stepped away from the emergency department (ED) and joined a large urgent care practice that had an office within walking distance from our apartment. Our third child came along and we decided our time in New York was drawing to a close, so I returned to Duluth in the hopes of returning to the ED. I joined the Urgent Care at St. Luke's for a year before transitioning back full-time into the ED. 

How about your current work experience? How would you describe it? 

Dr. Roazen: I am now full-time in the emergency department at St. Luke's Hospital. I am also on the Board of Directors for the Minnesota chapter of the American College of Emergency Physicians, where I am one of two doctors representing all of Northern Minnesota.  

What do you like about your work? Challenges? 

Dr. Roazen: I love the satisfaction of diagnosis and the privilege of setting into motion a treatment plan to soothe, heal or even save lives. My department has been instrumental in coordinating patient transfers from overwhelmed smaller hospitals, overseeing outpatient COVID-19 treatments and supporting our inpatient colleagues. 

February 3, 2022 was National Women Physician's Day. What advice would you give to female medical school students or an alumna just starting into this field? 

Dr. Roazen: There is something special about the camaraderie among female physicians. The happiest doctors are those who feel valued and supported as well as fairly compensated. These should be factors in any job you consider as you begin practice. Participate in groups and committees — professional and social — to make real change, and practice saying "no" when it is in your best interest. Insist on your own balance. The dividends are priceless.

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