Unlike some children who wanted be firefighters or astronauts when they grew up, ever since Raj Sehgal, MD, FHM, was a boy, he dreamed of being a doctor.
Since earning his medical degree, Dr. Sehgal has kept himself involved in a wide variety of projects, driven by the desire to diversify his expertise.
Currently a clinical associate professor of medicine in the division of general and hospital medicine at the South Texas Veterans Health Care System, San Antonio, and University of Texas Health San Antonio, Dr. Sehgal has found his place as an educator as well as a clinician, earning the Division of Hospital Medicine Teaching Award in 2016.
As a member of the The Hospitalist’s volunteer editorial advisory board, Dr. Sehgal enjoys helping to educate and inform fellow hospitalists. He spoke with The Hospitalist to tell us more about himself.
How did you get into medicine?
I don’t know how old I was when I decided I was going to be a doctor, but it was at a very young age and I never really wavered in that desire. I guess I also would have wanted to be a baseball player or a musician, but I never had the talents for those, so it was doctor. That’s always what I was thinking of doing, straight through high school and college, and then after college I took a year off and joined AmeriCorps. I spent a year there and then went to medical school in Dallas at UT Southwestern. After medical school, I thought I should go somewhere as different from Dallas as possible, so I went to Portland, Ore., for my residency and then a fellowship in general internal medicine.
How did you end up in hospital medicine?
When I was doing my residency, I always enjoyed being a generalist. A lot of different areas of medicine interested me, but I like the breadth of things you encounter as a generalist, so I could never picture myself being a subspecialist, doing the same things every day, seeing the same things. I knew I wanted to keep practicing general internal medicine, so I took a fellowship where I was working both inpatient and outpatient, and when I was looking for a job, I sought out things that involved some inpatient and some outpatient work. It turned out hospital medicine was the best fit.
What would you say is your favorite part of hospital medicine?
My favorite part of the job is getting to teach, working with medical students and residents. I also like the variety of what I do as a hospitalist, so I’m about 50% clinical and the rest of the time I perform a variety of tasks, both administrative and educational.