Meet the Editors: Jonathan M. Amiel, MD​

What are your roles and responsibilities with Academic Medicine?

I am an assistant editor at Academic Medicine. In this role, I review new submissions to the journal, designate submissions for peer review, work collaboratively with our fabulous editors and editorial staff to determine editorial decisions, and help authors to finalize their work for publication. As part of this process, I also engage in professional development, learning about research methods and participating in team learning and discussions.

What do you enjoy most about your work with Academic Medicine?

For work that is primarily asynchronous and electronic, I love how the Academic Medicine team makes time to get to know one another, consult with one another, and appreciate one another. In just a few short months, I have learned a tremendous amount (technically, philosophically, culturally) from our work together. I really appreciate the team’s commitment to helping advance the fields of academic medicine and medical education through disseminating high-quality scholarly work. I also really appreciate that the group is also extremely thoughtful about and contemplates diversity of identity, thought, and experience in its work.

Describe your work outside of Academic Medicine.

I am a psychiatrist and Senior Associate Dean for Innovation in Health Professions Education at Columbia. In my clinical work, I work with adolescents and adults who are facing challenges or roadblocks in their life, having problems with anxiety and mood, and want to understand themselves better to move forward. I love working with patients and find the work simultaneously energizing and humbling.

In my academic work, I lead an office that links our institution’s educational leaders and innovators across medicine, nursing, dentistry, public health, social work, occupational therapy, physical therapy, nutrition, genetic counseling, and psychoanalysis. We are working together on areas like competency-based education, equity and justice, and simulation and technology. I also work with national and international professional organizations (e.g., the Association of American Medical Colleges, Arnold P. Gold Foundation, International Competency-Based Medical Education Collaborators, and National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine) trying to help advance the science underlying health professions education, including testing out innovative models and ideas.

What was your first publication?

My first publication was a brief report on a project I worked on as a medical student studying a new medication for the treatment of anxiety disorders. Thinking back on that experience, it’s amazing how much I took in from working with a fantastic and dedicated mentor who was a few years ahead of me at the time and a team of creative scientists dedicated to improving mental health. This team was trying to translate what was then known about the neuroscience of anxiety into new treatments.

The fact that the team took the time to teach a medical student who knew so little about what we were doing felt like a treat and an awesome responsibility. I learned a lot about the human, personal, and relational sides of science and how much we needed to be seen, encouraged, and invested in by our colleagues to slowly build confidence and engage more and more. I think about this a lot in my leadership roles. We need to do a better job making sure all our trainees have these kinds of experiences.

What’s making you happy right now?

My kiddos Ben and Hannah, my husband Paul, and our families are the center of my universe. We love living in Washington Heights in New York City. I also love that work feels like a privilege rather than a chore (even though I am exhausted at the end of the day!).

Twitter: @jmamd