Naftali Kaminski MD is the Boehringer-Ingelheim Endowed Professor of Internal Medicine and Chief of the Pulmonary, Critical Care and Sleep Medicine, at Yale School of Medicine. After completing his medical school residency and fellowship in pulmonary medicine in Israel, Dr. Kaminski was appointed head of functional genomics at Sheba Medical Center. In 2002, he was recruited to head the Simmons Center for Interstitial Lung Diseases at University of Pittsburgh, where he stayed for over a decade before joining the faculty at Yale. Dr. Kaminski and his team are responsible for many breakthroughs in the diagnosis and treatment of interstitial lung diseases. And he has authored over 275 research papers. He was an associate editor of the American Journal of Respiratory and Critical Care Medicine and deputy editor of Thorax BMJ. He's an elected member of the Association of American Physicians, a fellow of the European Respiratory Society, and a fellow of the American Thoracic Society. In 2018, Dr. Kaminski received the Andy Tager Excellence and Mentorship Award by the American Thoracic Society for his contributions in training the next generation of physician scientists.
Dr. Naftali Kaminski came to the United States from Israel for a research fellowship. He immediately went from being a confident and successful pulmonologist to feeling like the “dumbest person in the lab (and that too with an accent)”. With integrity, persistence, and some knowledge of baseball, Dr. Kaminski shares an incredible journey from shaping his career as a physician scientist to leading the Division of Pulmonary & Critical Care at Yale. He leaves us with some sage advice to overcome challenges: 1) leave your comfort zone and 2) advocate for yourself.
Pearls of Wisdom:
1. Advice Dr. Kaminski’s mother (who made him feel as the best person in the world) gave him: Don’t think you’re better than anyone else because of achievements, privilege, or financial status.
2. Two tips for overcoming challenges: First, don’t withdraw into your comfort zone. Second, Don’t be afraid to advocate for yourself.
3. A great formula for moving from the good to the great is full integrity plus persistence.
4. Being a physician, although a challenging profession, is a privilege. Appreciate the beauty in small, everyday successes so you don’t live a one-dimensional life.