Dr. Jose (Pepe) Subauste is a Professor of Medicine and Fellowship Program Director in Endocrinology. He has been awarded numerous teaching awards over the years, including the Department of Medicine’s Teacher of the Year, and his “off the top of his head” lectures are regarded by residents and students as some of the best they’ve ever heard.
What is your professional background?
I attended medical school in Lima, Peru. As part of my medical school training, I spent 3 months in the Amazon jungle during my last year of school. I completed my residency in internal medicine in Illinois and then my fellowship in endocrinology at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor.
Tell us about what you do at UMMC.
I spend significant time teaching, which is my passion. I have been in charge of the endocrinology fellowship training program for the past 17 years. I am also responsible for the M3/M4 clerkship and resident rotation in endocrinology. I attend the inpatient consult service at the UMMC. At the VA, I attend in the outpatient clinic, on the inpatient medicine service, and on consults.
What advice would you give to someone pursuing medicine today?
Be patient. This has been a very difficult year with the pandemic, but there is light at the end of the tunnel and I hope the vaccine(s) works well. For trainees at all levels, I would say that although medical knowledge and good test scores are important, do not forget that the most important qualities of a good physician are work ethic, excellent bedside manner and compassion, as well as good clinical judgment.
How has life changed due to COVID-19?
Life has changed significantly on the personal as well as professional level.
Personally, my family and I have not been able to travel much at all or go to restaurants, concerts, etc. Professionally, patient care and education have been affected as well. We have had to accommodate to the pandemic with telehealth medicine, however in my opinion, nothing replaces face to face encounters with patients. Regarding education, we have had to provide virtual classes (WebEx, etc.), however, I try to keep face to face classes as much as possible with students, residents and fellows, following guidelines of small groups and social distancing. There is much more interaction and flexibility with in-person classes and I believe the trainees get more from them. Likewise, it is very difficult to teach physical findings without direct patient contact. Also, fellowship interviews were virtual, and I hope by next academic year we are back to face to face interviews.
What do you like most about UMMC?
I enjoy the emphasis on education of this program. I also enjoy the friendly and cordial atmosphere; most people are easy to get along with. Also, I am very pleased that my sister Angela joined our division in 2013. She has been a wonderful asset to the program.
Tell us something about yourself that people may not know.
My parents were great role models for my siblings and me on both personal and professional levels. Both were physicians (Internists/endocrinologists). My dad completed part of his medical training at Harvard. He was an excellent clinician and educator, and he was my mentor during my training and career. I have been married to my wife Fulvia for 31 years and she has always been an inspiration for me. We have 3 sons, Alex, Giancarlo (BG), and Stefano.
I am a big fan of soccer and follow the European soccer leagues, EURO competition, and World Cup soccer. Thanks to my sons, I have become a huge fan of SEC college football.
I like classical music and attend (until pandemic hit) Mississippi Symphony concerts. I also enjoy progressive rock. Regarding other hobbies, I am a philatelist and collect stamps from European countries.