“Jeff’s recruitment followed an extensive national search, and we could not have found a better fit for General Internal Medicine and our nascent academic health network,” said Douglas Vaughan, MD, chair of Medicine and Irving S. Cutter Professor of Medicine. “I am certain that he will have an enormous impact on our primary care network as it evolves.”
The scale in Linder’s division alone is formidable: The Department of Medicine’s largest division, with about 300 faculty members, General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics has the potential to touch more students and patients than perhaps any other. Its research programs span from quality improvement and safety to use of electronic health records to reducing disparities for historically underserved communities.
“We’re all interested in delivering, and improving the way we deliver, high quality primary care,” Linder says. “From an intellectual standpoint, being a general internist can be the most challenging, because we’re taking care of the whole person, through thick and thin.”
He hopes to instill his excitement about general internal medicine to the next generation. “There’s nothing more rewarding, from the patient contact you get, to the unceasing variety,” he says. “As a student here myself, I got great clinical training and exposure to think hard about what we do every day, and the desire to see what we can do to make it better.”
“Jeff brings many skills and talents to the Division of General Internal Medicine and Geriatrics: the ability to critically and thoughtfully appraise the healthcare delivery system, the capability to develop relevant change strategies to improve healthcare, and the leadership needed to conduct vigorous practice-based research to test new approaches,” Persell says.
“I am thrilled to work with him at Northwestern.” Linder has already started a study at Northwestern to measure antibiotic prescribing practices at his new health system, and he won’t soon give up his interest in respiratory infections.
“American healthcare doesn’t do a great job treating these very common, simple infections,” he says. “Yet we have this expectation of doing ‘precision medicine’ very soon. We need to pay attention and get the simple things right, too.”