Favorite Faculty: Andrew N. Pfeffer, M.D.
Andrew N. Pfeffer, M.D.
In what ways do you work with medical students on campus? Which way is your favorite?
I am ridiculously lucky to work with medical students in a range of different settings. I am one of the mentors for Batson College (i.e. the best of the colleges), so I get to spend a ton of time leading small group sessions, lecturing, and mentoring. I also get to work with students in emergency departments at Vanderbilt and the VA hospital, doing bedside teaching and clinical supervision. It’s hard to choose a favorite, but if I have to, it’s helping lead my fellow Batson-ites in competition during College Cup. I would be remiss if I didn’t mention that Batson won in 2017, and will very likely repeat in 2018. Phoenix rising!
Did you have any physicians you looked up to while training? How did they inspire you?
I have been so fortunate to train under incredible physicians, in medical school and especially in residency here at Vanderbilt. The one who stands out the most is Dr. Keith Wrenn, former Residency Director for Emergency Medicine. He was such an incredible combination of brilliance, compassion, and humility. He was the epitome of an idealized doctor, all while striking an amazing balance between his career and his family life. I’ve also been inspired by my colleague, friend, and Batson College co-mentor, Dr. Bill Cutrer. His passion for medical education is contagious, and he has inspired students and faculty alike to push themselves as physician educators. Truth be told, I’m not sure if he is actually a human or if he’s a robot…either way, he’s awesome.
What are your favorite hobbies outside of medicine? Any advice on how to keep life balanced in medical school or with a medical career?
Outside of Emergency Medicine, my favorite hobby is being a dad! I have three amazing children: Noah (3 y/o), Charlotte (1.5 y/o) and Emma (1 month old). They are my world, and along with their mommy/my wife Emily, and I love spending as much time as I can with them. It’s not always easy with this job, and I’ve learned the hard way that time is the most precious and fleeting resource (and that it has no patience for slacking). However, by being intentional about each moment, practicing mindfulness, and avoiding distractions that can devour hours (sorry Netflix), I’m starting to figure it out.
What do you think is the most unique aspect of the Vanderbilt medical community and atmosphere?
Vanderbilt is always striving to innovate. We don’t particularly like the status quo around here, and we are not afraid to be different. It’s in our DNA, and it’s how we approach clinical care, research, and education. It creates an incredibly exciting and invigorating environment, one that I am honored to be apart. I also want to point out that Vanderbilt isn’t just a school or a hospital; it’s home. When you come here, you become part of a family, and you feel that everyday, and for the rest of your career even if you leave Nashville. It’s truly a special community, and I hope you all choose to join us!