By Michael Mozdy
We are thrilled to welcome Sharon Kwan, MD, MS to our faculty in the Department of Radiology and Imaging Sciences. Dr. Kwan will be clinically active in our busy Interventional Radiology section and will also serve as our inaugural Vice Chair for Wellness and Engagement.
Kwan comes to Utah from the University of Washington in Seattle, where she was an associate professor of Interventional Radiology and Director of the Medical Student Clerkship for seven years. Her undergraduate degree in Biomedical Engineering comes from Yale and her MD from Stanford. “We’ve never lived far from a coast,” she admits, “but my family and I are very excited to be in Utah.” She is looking forward to exploring our famed outdoors; “I’m open to suggestions for places to visit,” she adds.
Kwan was inducted as a Fellow of the Society of Interventional Radiology in 2017, an honor reserved for fewer than 10% of SIR members, bestowed on those who have demonstrated excellence in research, published works, teaching or leadership within the field. She pursues health services research in her field and received a Masters degree in Health Services from UWash to complement this interest.
Kwan is also keenly interested in wellness. She notes that while burnout among physicians is a known problem, burnout in academic radiologists is even more so. Rates have also been found to be higher among junior faculty, women, and interventional radiologists. “I feel strongly that wellness feeds into so many other things,” she notes. “If you have staff and faculty who feel valued and have a good level of wellness in their jobs, they become better providers, more productive at work, and just happier human beings.”
Department Chair, Satoshi Minoshima, MD, PhD, agrees wholeheartedly. “As Sharon and I discussed her role in coming here, we shared an interest in focusing on wellness and engagement. I think she’s a fantastic choice for this role, not just because she’s a woman, an interventional radiologist, and a mother, but also because she is energetic, very smart, and perseverant.”
For her part, Kwan laughs that she wasn’t really looking for a job, but her discussions with Minoshima and time getting to know our interventional radiologists convinced her that this was a perfect opportunity. She also remarks that the IR section chief, Karen Brown, MD, was a major reason she was thrilled to come. “Karen is world-renowned in her work in interventional oncology,” she states, “everyone in the field knows her and her important work.”
She has already jumped into the busy clinical service in her section, and is in a self-described learning phase when it comes to wellness and engagement. “I want to understand how our physicians and staff feel about these subjects,” she explains, “especially since COVID-19 has thrown such a monkey wrench into our work lives.”
We look forward to engaging with Kwan on these topics. Please help us welcome her to Utah and the department.