For Dr. Timothy Burke, working with residents is the best part of the job. Dr. Burke enjoys teaching residents — and learning from them — on a daily basis.
From Internal Medicine Resident to Internal Medicine Program Director, talk about your journey with The Wright Center.
I did some fourth-year rotations with The Wright Center (then the Scranton-Temple Residency Program) as a medical student and did my residency here. I was the first resident in the parallel DO program which just received Accreditation Council for Graduate Medical Education accreditation and was the PGY3 Chief Resident. I stayed on as Associate Program Director after completing my residency (as well as primary care practice) and became Program Director of the Osteopathic Internal Medicine program in 2015.
What made you want to stay and work here in Northeastern Pennsylvania?
I was born and raised in Archbald, Pennsylvania and most of my family as well as my wife’s are in Northeastern Pennsylvania. I am deeply invested in the population and couldn’t think of a better community to serve.
What do you look for in prospective residents?
I look for compassion for the patient, dedication to the field of medicine, respect for mentors and the drive to make a difference. Their ability to work as a team is very important because so much of medicine revolves around teamwork. Board scores and letters of recommendations of course play a role. I try to choose candidates with qualities such as empathy, determination and humility who will grow up to become the next leaders and pioneers in the field of medicine.
What is the most rewarding part about working with the residents?
My reward is when a resident calls to inform me of passing their board exams or when a resident who struggled in their first year goes on to match into their desired fellowship. My reward is when a resident considers me their role model. My reward is when I receive an email appreciating one of my residents for providing quality medical care. My reward is to welcome each year a fresh batch of eager interns with hope and fire in their eyes. The most rewarding thing about working with residents is that I can teach them and learn from them. They are all very eager to learn. And to be part of their journey, from residency to working independently, is wonderful. I’m privileged to be a part of that journey.
What is one of the most challenging part of your job?
One of the most challenging parts is saying goodbye each June at graduation to the people I have worked so closely with over the past three years. But I would do this job all day, every day.
What are some lessons the residents have taught you at The Wright Center?
Every day I learn from my residents. I learn how to keep the passion and love for medicine alive and how to approach every patient with a new perspective. They teach me the diversity in cuisines, they teach me languages and they teach me cultural awareness. They inspire me to continue striving to be a good teacher for them. Residents encourage me to be the best physician I can be for my patients. Every day, I come home with a new lesson and I love working with them.