Educator Spotlight: Yelena Burklin

Yelena Burklin, MD is an assistant professor of medicine and Site Assistant Director for Education (EUH Midtown) in the Emory University Division of Hospital Medicine.


Tell us about yourself.

I came to Emory after graduating from an internal medicine residency program at West Virginia University in 2007. Over the past nine years as an academic hospitalist, and now as a recently appointed Site Assistant Director for Education at Emory University Midtown Hospital, I’ve been privileged to work with fascinating people who taught me a lot and who continue to inspire. Having a friendly, highly professional work environment conducive to continuous learning is an important factor in achieving career satisfaction as an educator in medicine.

Why did you go into medicine?

As long as I can remember, I was drawn to medicine. One of my first kindergarten pictures depicts me posing with a stethoscope auscultating a doll, and by the serious look on my face I can conclude I was determined to hear a “Lub-Dub.” I guess going into medicine was my fate, and I feel very fortunate.

What do you enjoy most about teaching?

Teaching, to me, is an ongoing self-improvement project. Teaching requires learning, and learning is growth. To quote a British philosopher, John Henry Newman, “Growth is the only evidence of life.” Helping our learners grow, find their calling, and gain confidence in the profession they’ve chosen, is a remarkably uplifting and satisfying feeling.

Dogs or cats (or something else)?

We have an incredibly resilient little fish, who has been officially renamed a number of times by the junior members of our family. It appears that with every name change, our little pet friend somehow gains another life, of which we are all very pleased.

What do you like to do in your spare time?

It would probably be easier to list the things I would not do, such as sky diving and sailing alone across the ocean. Otherwise, I am happy to learn and explore many possibilities that life presents, as long as they are safe and I can share them with my family and friends.


Dr. Burklin and her family on vacation

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