Anita Shelgikar, MD, MHPE, joined the AASM Foundation Board of Directors in 2018. Shelgikar completed her medical degree at Wayne State University, neurology residency at Emory University and sleep medicine fellowship at the University of Utah. Currently, she is the Acting Chief of the Division of Sleep Medicine at the University of Michigan, and her clinical research interests include multidisciplinary approaches to care for patients with sleep disorders, assessment of alertness and driving safety, and sleep disorders in pregnancy.

Why are you passionate about clinical research?

Clinical research directly influences how we care for our patients. The information we learn from clinical research allows us to give patients the most updated information and diagnosis and management of sleep-wake disorders, with the goal of maximizing their quality of life.

What advice do you have for individuals who are interested in sleep medicine but unsure about committing to a fellowship program?

The field of sleep medicine is ripe with opportunities for collaboration in education, research and patient care. We welcome those who are interested in sleep medicine to help advance sleep and circadian science and deliver the best possible patient care. And remember – it’s never too late to consider a sleep medicine fellowship! The implementation of innovative fellowship training models now gives interested individuals more opportunities to pursue a career in sleep medicine.

How did you become interested in academic medicine?

Academic medicine appeals to me because it gives me the chance to pay it forward, to benefit patient care by training future sleep medicine specialists and contributing to growth of our field.