March 25, 2021

‘Not for the faint of heart’ – An interview with educator and physician Anne Messman, M.D.

Anne Messman, M.D.

The spotlight continues to shine on Warrior Strong women at the Wayne State University School of Medicine during Women’s History Month. Anne Messman, M.D., a practicing Emergency Medicine physician with a passion for teaching, was appointed associate dean of Graduate Medical Education earlier this month.

She is an associate professor of Emergency Medicine and vice chair of Education for that department. She chairs the Women in Medicine and Science organization at WSU and is a mother to two boys – 9-year-old Eli and 10-year-old Caleb.

Dr. Messman is mom to Caleb, at left, and Eli.

After completing her Emergency Medicine residency at St. John Hospital and Medical Center, Dr. Messman was certified in Medical Education Research by the Council of Emergency Medicine Residency Directors and the Association of American Medical Colleges, and completed the Stanford Faculty Development in Medical Teaching program and the Academic Life in Emergency Medicine Faculty incubator faculty development program.

(Learn even more about Dr. Messman’s career here).

Dr. Messman enjoys the outdoors with her significant other Dr. Jeffrey Kline, who she said will join the faculty in August as associate chair of research for the Department of Emergency Medicine.

In her new role, Dr. Messman will serve as the School of Medicine’s designated institutional officer, overseeing the Office of Graduate Medical Education and all Wayne State University residency programs. We asked her about that, and more, in an interview to celebrate Women’s History Month.

Question: Why do you think celebrating Women’s History Month is important?

Answer: If we don't want history to repeat itself, we need to learn from the past. This applies to many things, including women’s history. We also need to honor those who came before us and paved the path for us to achieve what we are now capable of achieving.

Q: What do you think of being a woman in medicine and science? 

A: I think being a woman in medicine and science is awesome. We have the opportunity to mentor and teach other women who are up-and-coming in medicine and science, and to educate our male colleagues about the realities of being a woman in medicine and science so they understand the challenges that still exist. We get to break glass ceilings. I think it’s a very exciting time to be a woman in medicine and science.

Q: Have you ever faced any challenges because of your gender? If so, what were they?

A: Being a woman in medicine has certainly been a challenge in terms of ‘balancing’ -- if that even exists -- demands at work and at home, starting a family and pursuing professional goals. Women are acutely aware that if children are a goal in the future that time is often a constraint, and this can add tremendous pressure to one’s personal life and career. Being pregnant, breastfeeding, raising a family and maintaining personal relationships while maintaining professional goals is not for the faint of heart.

Q: What are you looking forward to most in your new role?

A: Of course, my core mission as an educator is to provide the best educational experience possible to my learners, so I’m looking forward to doing as much as I can to help the residents that I will be overseeing and the faculty that teach them.

Q: What about it appealed to you?

A: I love new challenges and I have a feeling that this position will have plenty of those. It will also be fun to use a different part of my brain and different skills that I haven’t otherwise been able to use.

Q: How long have you been a faculty member at Wayne State University? 

A: I began as voluntary faculty in 2013 when I was an attending physician at St. John Hospital in Detroit, and became full-time faculty in January 2015 when I began working at Sinai-Grace Hospital.

Q: Will you still be seeing patients in the Emergency Department?

A: Absolutely. I will still work clinically in the EDs at Sinai-Grace and Detroit Receiving hospitals. I love taking care of patients, but equally important to me is spending time working with my residents at Sinai-Grace and Detroit Receiving. I could never voluntarily stop working with them, they are too important to me.

This is the latest in an occasional series of articles spotlighting women at the Wayne State University School of Medicine in honor of Women's History Month.