Member Spotlight: 3 minutes with Joshua Hanson

By Penny Schnarrs posted 09-18-2023 03:15:52 PM


Reach out to @Joshua Hanson, (he/him/his), Associate Dean for Student Affairs & Leadership Training at Long School of Medicine for the past six years, about leadership training, dual degrees and the SOAP process. Let's learn more about this month's #MemberSpotlight

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Why do you think engaging in the AAMC Virtual Community is important?
Increasingly our engagement takes places in virtual spaces, I think it is important for people to maintain contact with our community between in-person meetings.

Do you have a professional skill or area of expertise that might be of particular interest to your peers in this community? Are you the “go-to” person at your institution for advice or expertise in a particular subject?
I'm not sure if I'm the go-to person but recently I've been assisting the community with the SOAP process and the Step 1 preparation process. At my institution, I'm increasingly focused on leadership training and dual-degree programs along with our manager for dual-degree programs.

What should people in the virtual community contact you about? 
Anything they might think I could help with.

What was the best book you most recently read?
The Golden Thread by Kassia St. Clair and Embassytown by China Mieville

What’s the best piece of professional advice you have ever received? 
In terms of your career and job satisfaction, you have to consider your own skills, the organization's needs, and your interests. Picture a Venn diagram - you want to move towards where all of these overlap.

What’s the worst piece of professional advice you have ever received? 
Learn how to say no. It's overly glib and not particularly useful.

What do you think is the best, most challenging, or most unique thing about working in academic medicine?
The varied interests and drives of the people who work within in it.

What do you hope to gain from this online community?
As someone who has a very small online presence, I don't really know what to expect.

Did you have an unusual path to your current career?
I think the interesting part of my career path is that I started wanting to go to medical school not really knowing about academic medicine, then fell in love with the academy and wanted to stay in it. I thought I would be a heme-onc researcher as I finished medical school, but then trained in public health and began practicing hospital medicine. I was in clinical operations for several years before being offered a job in student affairs to work on a few particular programs. Then, ended up doing work that I never thought I would be doing. I'll be interested to see where the next 10 years takes me.

How do you prefer to start your day?
I wake up early and go for a run.

How do you prefer to end your day?
With my kids.

What’s the biggest misconception people have about your position?
That people automatically do what I ask of them simply based on my title. Faculty and students alike are very surprised that I receive a fair amount of pushback, or I have to negotiate a fair amount to advance the program.

You’re throwing a dinner party and can invite 3 people (alive or dead). Who do you invite? 
Ira Glass, Anthony Bourdain, Simone de Beauvoir

How did you maintain your wellness and resilience during the pandemic? Any tips to share with others?
I wrote a nightly email to the students for ~200 days. I made sure to run. I really connected with the student affairs team that I worked with.

You live/work in San Antonio. What’s your favorite restaurant there? Is there something special we should check out next time we visit?
My current favorite restaurant is Cured in San Antonio. You should check out the riverwalk extension which is a linear park and not at all like the downtown tourist area. Also check out the Pearl.

When you were a kid, what did you want to be when you grew up?
A physician; boring I know.

What do you do to turn things around when you’re having a bad day?
Make sure I find something to accomplish - if I can feel like I've done good work.

If you could only have three apps on your smartphone, which would you pick?
Podcast app, text message app, GPS app

What’s the weirdest food you’ve ever eaten?
I don't know - this is a really hard question because I don't necessarily find food to be weird.


Say “hello” to Joshua here in the communityFeel free to post any questions you have for her in this blog post, or direct messages via the community are also a great way to connect. 

If you’d like to be featured in a future Member Spotlight post, reach fill out this form. Curious about what a community champion is? Read more here.

And, if you’re viewing this Member Spotlight as a non-member of the community, won’t you consider joining us?