Dr. Peter Karczmar, a pulmonologist and sleep specialist, was recently named the 2012 recipient of the Charles C.J. Carpenter, Outstanding Physician of the Year award by his peers at The Miriam Hospital. Karczmar is a partner in Coastal Medical’s pulmonary and internal-medicine group and serves as director of the Coastal Medical Sleep Disorders Center. A native of Warsaw, Poland, Karczmar received his medical degree from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey, and completed his internal-medicine residency and fellowships in pulmonary and critical-care medicine at Brown and Rhode Island Hospital.
PBN: Besides practicing medicine full time, you served as president of the hospital’s medical-executive committee and are involved with other community organizations, including a nonprofit asthma clinic you founded. Can you share any time-management tips?
KARCZMAR: I am the last person to give out tips on time management. Unlike my wife, Cathy, who is the time-management queen, I work best when I know there is a deadline. Nothing focuses the mind like an impending execution. Not having kids is also something that allows us to channel our energies into community endeavors.
PBN: In addition, you’re currently working to establish another clinic – this one in conjunction with the Institute for the Study and Practice of Nonviolence. What prompted this venture?
KARCZMAR: We live on the South Side of Providence and held a fundraiser at our house for the institute. I was struck by how much of the work done by the institute is a public-health issue, and how relevant this is not only to victims of violence, but to our entire society. There is this entire generation of kids and young adults who are invisible to those of us who live in what are termed “safe neighborhoods.” I believe it’s important for all of us – particularly those in the health care profession – to help those who aren’t as lucky as others.
PBN: And you’re also an assistant professor. What do you like about teaching clinical medicine at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University?
KARCZMAR: Anyone who has become a physician did so with the help of teachers and mentors. For generations, whether during medical-school classes or clinical rotations, there were always teachers present who did so much more than simply teaching skills. •