Saptarsi Haldar, MD
Case Western Reserve University
Sarnoff Fellow Years: 1998-1999
What impact did the Sarnoff Fellowship year have on your career?
My experience as a Sarnoff Fellow had a tremendous impact on my career. First and foremost, though I was always interested in Science, I had no hands-on experience. I learned more in my year as a Sarnoff Fellow than any other year of training. I discovered that I really enjoyed research. It gave me the right experience at the right time and greatly influenced the direction of my career. It helped to differentiate me at an early stage. Most medical students earn their PhD and then do clinical work. Being a Sarnoff Fellow allowed me to get clinical experience sooner. It gave me insight to help define my training. It gave me a big head start and I hit the ground running.
How did the relationship with your Preceptor shape your career?
Dr. Thomas Michel was my Preceptor. I left Johns Hopkins to do research in Cardiac Biology at Brigham and Women's Hospital. He and I became very close and we remain so even today. Dr. Michel has been involved in my career, from nuts to bolts, and continues to advise me. His involvement in my development has been invaluable!
Why should medical students consider the Sarnoff Fellowship apart from other programs?
Now that my Sarnoff Fellowship year was almost 10 years ago, it is so clear how the Sarnoff Foundation is different from any other. I have continual relationships with the Foundation, with my peers, and with very senior people. It is longitudinal. Career development is not just determined in one year; it has many stages. As you move along in your career, the sphere gets smaller and smaller. My experience with the Sarnoff Foundation has been very helpful. It gives me a network of relationships with people at all career levels. These relationships are even more valuable now as my own career develops. I have received great advice! Also, it is amazing how important my own peers in the Sarnoff Foundation are to me. We are all succeeding in our own areas. There has been an incredibly enriched retention rate in academics. To me that is one of the best metrics.
What are your professional aspirations?
My first goal, in the biggest picture, is to make improvements and contributions to cardiovascular medicine that change the way that we think of this disease and; our advanced knowledge, in turn, improves the lives of the patient.
What is your greatest professional accomplishment?
A big milestone for me was when I received the NIH K08 award. This was a big step in my own career development.
What is your most memorable Sarnoff moment?
A memory that stands out in my mind is the fun that we always have at the Annual Meetings. One night in particular, we all went out dancing at a place called Lulu's. It was fun to get everyone out on the dance floor!
What are your hobbies?
I am very active with soccer. I play in a Men's League and follow the European League. Another one of my favorite past times is to play Scrabble. My wife, Trupti, and I enjoy playing this game together and with friends.