Hometown: Hacienda Heights, California
Undergraduate Institution: UC Irvine
Pre-Pritzker: I worked for a year in student affairs at the University of California Irvine (where I went to undergrad), taught MCAT classes, and did a tiny bit of public health research.
S&D Track: Healthcare Delivery Sciences (formerly Q&S)
S&D Mentor and Project: Jennifer Pisano, M.D. - "Readmission in patients discharged on outpatient parenteral antibiotic therapy (OPAT)"
Tell us about your research experience(s) at UChicago.
For the Summer Research Program I took the opportunity to try basic science research, which I had never been involved in (did public health/epidemiology research in college). I had a great experience studying cardiac microRNAs in heart failure and had a great mentor but ultimately decided my interests aligned better with clinical and public health research. I transitioned to working on a quality project looking at outcomes of patients discharged on intravenous antibiotics. This project allowed me to gain experience in quality improvement, outcomes research, and observational studies using electronic health data.
I took a year off between 3rd year and 4th year to pursue a masters in Medical Statistics at the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine. There I had the opportunity to be involved in the analysis of some large cross sectional malaria studies.
Why did you choose to attend Pritzker?
I didn’t know a lot about the University of Chicago before applying (maybe better put: I didn’t know a lot about any school outside California). I fell in love with the school on interview day and second look. The faculty I met came off as incredibly supportive and invested in medical education. I appreciated the strong interdisciplinary nature of the university which was reflected in the curriculum (e.g. the prominence of the Healthcare Disparities class, my favorite class by far) and the research opportunities. Most of all I just felt like I “fit” in with the students at Pritzker both the current students I met and the prospective students at second list. The idea of having social rounds every Friday was also pretty stellar.
What have been your most meaningful clinical experiences as a Pritzker student?
Where do I even begin? In the pre-clinical years I was heavily involved in the Community Health Clinic. This was an invaluable experience to learn about the challenges patients face in Chicago and the larger community. I am forever grateful to the patients I met during these clinic experiences. My longitudinal experience in the 1st year was in the HIV clinic and to this day some of the patients I met there stick with me.
During third year I had the benefit of having a good mix of rotations at both the UofC and Northshore (and I did my psychiatry rotation at a separate inpatient facility). Having the chance to experience the different patient populations and healthcare systems was more invaluable than I realized when I was considering schools. Overall my most meaningful clinical experience was in the ICU during my Sub-internship. It was a high stress environment but I felt like I had the opportunity to grow as a student and was able to provide real value to the patient care team. I felt as a medical student I often had the time that other team members didn’t have to sit and listen to patients and family members express their fears and goals. It was in these moments that I really grasped the truly important role physicians have in their patient’s life (I know that sounds cheesy but I swear its genuine! The ICU was a remarkable, if emotional, learning experience).
What do you think about diversity & inclusion at Pritzker?
It was one of the things that impressed me right off the bat.
How would you describe your classmates?
My favorite part of Pritzker hands down. One thing that impressed me about my class at Pritzker is just how diverse everyone was. Despite being a small class, there was a huge range of interests, skills, and personalities. This was a huge asset and I enjoyed the opportunity to learn from my classmates both about topics related to medicine but also about things far from medicine.
What is your favorite thing to do in Chicago or the best thing about living in Chicago?
Biking the Lakefront path during the non-winter months (and occasionally in winter…) was by far my favorite thing to do in Chicago. Being from California I also appreciated the robust and easy to use public transportation system (don’t laugh…).