Sarasota fishing pier
For many, the winter holidays can mean anything from putting up the Christmas tree to, depending on the calendar, lighting the Hanukkah menorah. It can also be a time to take advantage of days off from school and vacations to host family reunions.
For Einstein Healthcare Network infectious disease specialist Jerry Zuckerman, MD, it also means a family reunion in Sarasota, Fla., combined with another custom that is quite different from all the rest. Together with his brothers-in-law (Kenneth and Keith Kaye), Kenneth’s wife (Elaine Kaye), and one other physician—all infectious disease experts—he instructs a continuing medical education course in infectious diseases for primary care physicians. American Medical Seminars, Inc., sponsors the course.
Dr. Zuckerman (left), whose areas of interest include Infection Prevention, HIV/AIDS, and tuberculosis, has been involved in the course for the past 20 years. He was awarded a plaque last week recognizing his service. Dr. Zuckerman’s father-in-law, Donald Kaye, MD (also an Infectious Diseases physician), started this course series 31 years ago. This is the first year Dr. Kaye was not a speaker and was able to relax in the audience. “Keith and Ken are Donald’s sons, and I married his daughter Kendra,” says Dr. Zuckerman. “It’s a very medically oriented family.”
The course always takes place over the winter holidays. This year, it ran from December 26 through the 30th.
“We try to provide something that’s practical that primary care doctors can take home with them that they can use in their own practices,” says Dr. Zuckerman, who is chief quality and patient safety officer at Einstein Healthcare Network. “We all have different topics. Mine were on immunizations, community-acquired pneumonia, tuberculosis, HIV/AIDS and c. difficile (an often dangerous diarrheal infection). Some years, depending on what’s going on in the world, we change things around—bioterror, for example, or Ebola or bird flu. We try to be current with whatever is emerging in the world in terms of infectious diseases.”
The CME course doesn’t take all day—the program ends each day in the early afternoon—and the Kaye clan takes advantage of the time to get together in a big way. “Each year everyone from my wife’s family comes down to Sarasota. Over time with marriages and children the group has gotten bigger. We are currently 19 members over three generations.”.
“Everybody comes down for this week,” he says. “We all stay in the same hotel.”
It’s a grand tradition, and sometimes it’s hard to believe the tradition has gone on this long.
“When I first came down, my oldest daughter was one and my other one wasn’t born yet,” says Dr. Zuckerman, “and now one is graduating college and the other is a sophomore in college.”