When selecting your career path in medical school, how did you come to decide on Internal Medicine?
I relish problem solving and, to me, being a physician means being an astute “investigator,” and that is the crux of being an internist. In medical school, I enjoyed interacting with adult patients and their families very closely. I listened to their symptoms, observed their signs, and subsequently formed hypotheses (aka differential diagnoses) that I tested by ordering additional studies. I experienced a sense of gratification putting this “puzzle” together without subjecting the patients to invasive procedures. The culmination of this exploration is seeing our patients’ health improve, which I find the most gratifying part of our profession.
What drew you to Mayo Clinic for your residency training?
On my interview day, Mayo stood out as the residency program where the residents were brilliant, friendly, and passionate about patient care. As an aspiring cardiologist, I believe that having a solid foundation in internal medicine is crucial to my success. At Mayo, I am being trained by world-renowned consultants, seeing patients from all over the world, and, most importantly, being exposed to fascinating, rare cases while mastering the “bread-and-butter” of medicine. Also, I am passionate about translational research and LGBTQIA health advocacy. Mayo offers unparalleled support for meaningful, cutting-edge research during residency, and fosters an inclusive environment that I felt was welcoming to everyone. Besides, who does not want to be trained at the #1 hospital in the nation?
Is there anything that surprised you about Mayo Clinic?
I have been fascinated by the approachability of every single person at Mayo and the plethora of resources for employees and patients alike. Consultants who are experts in their fields are happy to answer questions and to teach. I have been surrounded by compassionate and inspiring co-residents who push me to be better.
Furthermore, I am pleasantly surprised about how responsive and accommodating the residency leadership is. When I wanted to start the LGBTQIA & Allies Resident Committee to enhance LGBTQIA health education, I was immediately offered incredible support by faculty advisers, chief residents, and my co-residents.
Is there anything that surprised you about Rochester?
Rochester is a very convenient place to live. Having always lived in metropolitan areas, I find it refreshing to have almost everything within a 10 or 15-minute drive, even at 5 p.m. on weekdays. Additionally, whether it is hiking at Whitewater State Park or Quarry Hill Nature Center, kayaking at Silver Lake, or simply enjoying an artisanal caffeinated beverage at Café Steam or Fiddlehead, Rochester has it.
What are your plans following residency/where do you see yourself in 10 years?
Given my passion for multiple aspects of academic medicine, I envision my future practice to involve clinical work, translational research, and teaching.
I intend to pursue a fellowship in cardiology with a focus on heart failure. I love the physiology of the cardiovascular system, and in addition to caring for patients, I intend to participate in translational research. My goal is to bring innovations in healthcare from bench to beside. Through intensive clinical training and research experience in diabetic cardiomyopathy and heart failure biomarkers with Dr. Horng Chen, Mayo has helped me immensely to reach my goal of becoming a great clinician investigator.
Describe the environment of diversity and inclusion at Mayo Clinic.
Mayo has been incredibly welcoming of employees and patients from all walks of life. As a member of the LGBT community, I have experienced equal treatment to my non-LGBT co-residents by all faculty and employees. Additionally, the internal medicine residency has taken significant steps to address gaps in knowledge of LGBT health issues, evidenced by the recent launch of the Mayo IM Residency LGBTQIA & Allies Committee. The resident-led committee has worked to incorporate gender and sexual minority health topics into the IM residency curriculum and to promote LGBTQIA healthcare advocacy by collaborating with local and national organizations.