A Love for General Internal Medicine Inspired This Hospitalist

Q & A with Lonika Sood, MD, MBBS, MHPE, FACP, FHM, Washington State University, Spokane, Wash.

As a volunteer member of The Hospitalist’s editorial board, Dr. Sood considers SHM one of her academic homes.

SHM is one of my academic homes. I love that it leads the charge in terms of being inclusive and accessible to all hospitalists.

Dr. Sood

Dr. Sood

Q: Why did you choose a career in hospital medicine?

A: I love general internal medicine. It offers me the opportunity to care for patients at vulnerable times in their life. I also love the systems-based approach and multidisciplinary care that hospital medicine is practiced in.

Q: What’s been your biggest success?

A: I’ve been grateful to have the opportunities to care for patients, teach learners, and engage in scholarly work. All of these have afforded so many successes in my career, that it’s hard to point one out. Perhaps, a huge success is that I am happy with the work I do.

Q: What challenges have you overcome?

A: It’s been challenging to be treated equitably as a woman in medicine. I am blessed that many allies have been upstanders and have advocated for me.

Q: What makes you happiest about the work you do?

A: I love being able to grow as a physician, learning each day from my patients, their families, and members of my team. No day in hospital medicine is the same. I also love working within academic medicine building curricula for medical students.

Q: Why did you join SHM?

A: SHM is one of my academic homes. I love that it leads the charge in terms of being inclusive and accessible to all hospitalists.

Q: Why did you become an editorial board member?

A: I really appreciate how much thought went into the development of The Hospitalist and wanted to give back.

Q: What’s the first page you turn to when you get your copy of The Hospitalist?

A: I love to turn to the Key Clinical Question page—it gives me the opportunity for a quick review of a topic that is relevant to my day-to-day clinical practice.

Q: What topics would you like to see more of in The Hospitalist?

A: I would love to see more discourse on medical education.

Q: What’s your best piece of advice for new hospitalists?

A: Be cautiously confident; always reach out to a trusted colleague when you are unsure of something.

Q: What’s something someone would be surprised to know about you?

A: I absolutely LOVE working on jigsaw puzzles (presently working on a 1000-piece puzzle with different dog breeds).

Q: What do you wish the world knew about hospitalists?

A: I would love for the world to know that hospitalists value high-quality medicine, are systems thinkers, and value relationships. My former associate program director, Dr. Walter Polashenski used to say, ‘Hospitalists are discharge specialists’, and this has stuck with me to this day.

Q: In a word, hospitalists are/hospital medicine is…important.

Q: How do you stay motivated during stressful days?

A: I enjoy spending time with my family—my husband (also a hospitalist), three dogs, and a feisty daughter.

Dr. Sood earned her medical degree from Maulana Azad Medical College, New Delhi, India, and completed her residency at Rochester General Hospital, Rochester, N.Y.


  1. Sikandar Imran MD

    Lovely to see this Lonika! Still remember all the tiring ICU shifts and stressful nights with you; so full of knowledge and learning. Regards from Pakistan.


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