When selecting your career path in medical school, how did you come to decide on Internal Medicine?
From the beginning of medical school, internal medicine appealed to me as a cognitive specialty. I love the diagnostic dilemmas and the “aha” moments of discovery. I have a background in biomedical research, and took a path from my research interest in genetics and molecular biology to a clinical interest in oncology. I appreciate the breadth of my training in internal medicine. Cancer biology and therapies affect all organ systems, and I know I will continue to draw on the medicine I am learning now.
What drew you to Mayo Clinic for your residency training?
The culture of Mayo was a big draw for me. There is a genuine commitment to the guiding ethos: “The needs of the patient come first.” Excellence is the standard for patient care. Education and research are also highly prioritized. Collegiality is the norm, and people are generous in sharing their expertise for patient care and research collaborations. Additionally, as an aspiring physician-scientist, I was looking for a training program with a strong residency program, fellowship program, and research environment. Mayo Clinic checked all those boxes for me.
As a resident in our Clinical Investigator (CI) program, what is something you think other CI applicants would love to hear about research at Mayo?
The Physician Scientist has a long tradition at the Mayo Clinic, and the Clinician Investigator program has been in place since the 1980s. Residents coming here to pursue their research and residency training will find a culture of scholarship and collaboration, well-funded and nationally renowned research mentors, easy availability of clinical data, and helpful core facilities. The CI program has a track record of success in placing graduates in highly regarded faculty positions.
As a mother with young children, how have you been able to achieve balance in your residency training?
I have two little girls. My four-year-old is “helping” me write this bio right now. I asked her how someone can be a doctor and also a parent. Her advice is, “Go to work. Then come back.” Sounds about right. I also re-read Radhika Nagpal’s “The Awesomest 7-Year Postdoc” every few months (go google it!), and remind myself that I, too, am aiming to be the best “whole” person I can. Picking the right residency program helped. The Mayo IM program respects its residents as whole people with obligations and passions in addition to medicine. That allows for some balance in life, whether you have children or not.
Is there anything that surprised you about Rochester?
Having lived in bigger metropolitan areas previously, I was surprised by all the ways that a smaller city improved my quality of life. I was able to purchase a home here that I love and could not have afforded in the other cities I was considering for residency.. My morning commute is less than 15 minutes by bike, with minimal traffic. I have never waited in line more than 10 minutes for anything. Life is just convenient – and that’s a huge advantage during the busyness of residency training. And when I want to visit friends and family or take in a bigger event, Minneapolis is only 90 minutes north.