Curtis Weiss, MD, MS
• Instructor of Medicine - Division of Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine
• Mentored four residents who recently presented at ATS
• Chicago native who returned home after 11 years at Yale
Tell us a bit about your background.
I was born and raised in Chicago, in the Lincoln Park and Lakeview neighborhoods. I graduated from Lincoln Park High School. Then I spent the next 11 years at Yale. I went to Yale for college, where I obtained both a BS and MS in Molecular Biophysics and Biochemistry, then to Yale School of Medicine, and finally Yale-New Haven Hospital for internal medicine residency training. I came to Northwestern for fellowship training in pulmonary and critical care medicine. While it was hard to leave New Haven after living there for so long, I was anxious to return home. Thankfully my wife also loved Chicago, so it was an easy decision. Choosing Northwestern was also easy after discovering the welcoming and collegial atmosphere in the pulmonary division during my fellowship interview. I found everyone excited to be here, and to be extremely invested in training future pulmonary and critical care physicians.
Who have been your mentors? How have they shaped your experiences? Has your experience as a mentee made you want to become a mentor?
Drs. Sznajder and David Baker are my most important career mentors. They continue to provide incredible support and advice for my career plans. Since my research is multidisciplinary, I have several research co-mentors, including Drs. Stephen Persell and Richard Wunderink in the Department of Medicine, and Prof. Luis Amaral in the Department of Biomedical Engineering, who is a world renowned expert in complex systems and network analysis. These mentors have shaped my desire to forge an academic, clinical research career that draws on multiple scientific fields. In addition, since they have given a great deal of their time, I feel responsible to be a mentor for those trainees who want to continue to move critical care research forward
Can you tell us more about your research and the ATS conference where four residents under your leadership were accepted for poster discussion sessions?
Last summer I conducted a clinical trial in the ICU comparing an electronic checklist with face-toface prompting of physicians to consider changes in antibiotic prescribing practices. Four residents shared in the prompting duties and also observed the team that used the electronic checklist. These residents have also been involved in planning the study, data collection and analysis, and are now going to be co-authors on a manuscript. In addition, they each prepared an abstract for the American Thoracic Society conference, our annual professional conference. Each abstract was accepted for a discussion session, which includes a poster presentation and moderated discussion of the research among the presenters and audience.
Left to right: David DiBardino, Curtis Weiss, Rich Wunderink, Brett Collander, and Jason Rho
(not pictured: Nina Sung)
What do you find most rewarding in your job?
The most rewarding part of my job is that I am able to do what I am really excited about. I find the ability to care for complex critically ill patients to be highly rewarding. In addition, my research agenda focuses on critical care implementation science and outcomes, through which I focus on improving the translation of evidence-based therapies into clinical practice.
Where can we find you after hours?
Mostly you can find me at home or around my neighborhood with my wife and almost two year old son. We also enjoy our subscription to the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, walking along the lakefront, Coalfire Pizza (the best New Haven-style pizza in Chicago) and Argyle Street Vietnamese cuisine, and teaching our son to be a good Cubs fan.
Dr. Weiss was did a video feature on mastering the MICU and MICU presentations. Click here to view.