First Year

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Robert Alleyne MD
Emory

Hey! I’m Robert and I was born and bred in Northern Virginia to a military family. I grew up the younger of two rambunctious sons to two West Indian Brooklynites, not too far from the FBI headquarters, Quantico.

Ready to explore life outside VA, I left for Rhode Island where I attended Brown University and concentrated in Neuroscience. I found myself drawn to medicine as I established close ties to the Providence community through working with grassroots organizations to bring healthcare directly to the patients¬– in soup kitchens, street corners, and churches¬– in order to improve unsheltered and uninsured patient’s access to free care.

After graduating, I spent a year helping primary care practices across Rhode Island transition into patient-centered medical homes that sought to change how healthcare is organized and delivered.

I then headed down south to the trap music capital for med school, where I studied at Emory and the beloved Grady Hospital. I naturally gravitated to Emergency Medicine: the combination of working on the frontline of patient care, in all its variety and acuity, along with the knowledge of patient flow in a complex healthcare system distinguished the field from the rest.  At my U of C interview, I was struck by the warmth and relaxed vibe of all of the residents in addition to the program’s commitment to serving the south side’s diverse patient population and developing healthcare leaders. I am excited to join the U of C family and looking forward to calling Chicago home for the next few years!

Outside of medicine, I enjoy drawing inspiration from new foods/ways of cooking and developing my own recipes, hanging with family and heated games of spades/dominoes. You may also catch me on an occasional TV binger, brewing ginger beer or showing others the wonders of the legendary Alleyne piña coladas.

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Kate Anderson MD
University of Vermont

Hi all, I’m Kate! I was born and raised in small town in central Vermont. I had a lot of fun growing up in a rural area and have always enjoyed being active and exploring the outdoors. It was my love for adventure that drew me to the west coast for college. I attend the University of California, Santa Cruz where I studied linguistics with a concentration in Spanish. During this time, I studied abroad in Mexico City and had the opportunity to explore many parts of Mexico and Central America.

After graduating I moved back to Vermont and worked as a Clinical Research and Quality Improvement Coordinator for several years while preparing to apply to medical school. I was also certified as an Advanced Emergency Medical Technician and volunteered for 4 years with one of the largest ambulance services in Vermont.

I attended medical school at the University of Vermont, and ultimately decided to take a year off between my 3rd and 4th years of school to gain more experience learning about international medicine. During this year I worked with Partner’s in Health as an EM Quality Improvement and Clinical Education Intern with an EM residency program in Mirebalais, Haiti. This experience helped me realize that emergency medicine is the perfect fit for my personality, my medical interests and my career goals.

I originally learned about the University of Chicago through interactions with faculty and U of C alumni during my time in Haiti. I fell in love with the program during my interview, particularly the diverse patient population, resident and faculty group, and the program’s commitment to addressing health disparities in the local community and abroad.  I am very grateful for the opportunity to complete my residency training with an extremely intelligent, hard-working and fun group of residents, faculty and staff.

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Ravi Chacko MD, PhD
Washington University

I became initiated with Emergency Medicine as a youngster, as I ended up in the ED more often than my mother would have liked. I grew up in New Jersey with a 3-year stint in the UK. I attended Columbia University to study Biomedical Engineering. At Columbia, I played rugby, trained in wing chun and joined the “Lion in the Grass” bluegrass band (guitar, mandolin, vocals). I’m still a hopelessly mediocre musician and I own more instruments than I can practice. After a 1-year post-bacc fellowship at the NIH, where I studied the science of decision making, I moved to St. Louis to join WashU’s legendary MD/PhD program. I researched brain-computer interfaces with Eric Leuthardt, in collaboration with Maurizio Corbetta and Gordon Shulman. We discovered electrophysiological biomarkers of human attention and consciousness using implanted cortical electrodes. I was also a founding member of Sling Health (slinghealth.org), a national student-run medical startup incubator. I later co-founded Mindset (mindset-app.com), a digital health application that reduced PTSD, depression and alcohol abuse symptoms in US veterans with PTSD. Back in medical school, I admired the flexible composure of emergency physicians facing diverse, high-acuity patients. I was drawn to UChicago’s EM program by their passionate residents and award-winning faculty mentors. I wanted to train in an high acuity environment and provide a needed service. I’m looking forward to the next 3 years of training in Chicago (and to surfing the 57th street beach)!

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Abigail Clarkson-During MD
University of Rochester

I was born in Maryland, but spent a significant amount of my childhood living in the suburbs of Denver. After numerous work-related relocations, my family finally returned to the Washington DC metropolitan area prior to my senior year of high school. I attained my BA in Psychology from the University of Virginia (Wahoowa 2019 NCAA Basketball Champs!), and spent a year as an Emergency Department Scribe in Northern Virginia following graduation. Ironically I was pleasantly surprised that life in the ED did not match my expectations. With amazement, I watched as the physicians calmly diffused stressful situations and passionately navigated socioeconomic barriers to healthcare despite their time-constrained interactions.

I ventured away from home to attend medical school at the University of Rochester, where I vowed to keep an open mind regarding specialties. My last mandatory clerkship was Emergency Medicine, and by the end of my first week I knew it was the specialty for me. Excitedly I showed up for each shift eager to see what adventure would come through the doors, and I found satisfaction in variation of complaints and pathology.

Initially I had planned to return closer to home and warmer weather for residency. However, at the advice of a trusted advisor and close friend, I decided to interview at the University of Chicago. By the end of my interview day, I knew what my predecessors described as that “gut feeling”. The camaraderie at U of C among residents and faculty was infectious, and the program’s dedication to social medicine was in line with my goals and values. As I waited for my departing flight from Midway International, I called my mom and said, “We need to have a serious talk. I think I’m coming to Chicago.” I am excited to see where my career takes me as an EM resident at the University of Chicago! In my time outside of the hospital, I look forward to exploring the sports scene, finding scenic running paths, and eating my way through the city.

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Ryan DesCamp MD, MPH
Indiana U

Howdy, I’m Ryan! I was born and raised in Northwest Indiana (“The Region”), about 25 miles outside of Chicago. I spent most of my childhood trying to play sports but I pretty quickly realized that I wasn’t going to make it as a professional athlete, or even just a regular athlete. While I was in high school, I held many jobs including: neighborhood grass-cutter, summer tennis camp instructor, cater waiter, bus boy, and fry cook. I trained to become an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) at the age of 17, which was my first look into the world of Emergency Medicine.

I attended Indiana University in Bloomington, IN (HOO-HOO-HOO-HOOSIERS!) where I majored in Biochemistry and Neuroscience (Nerd Alert!). I worked at the campus gyms as an EMT throughout my time in Bloomington and graduated in 2015. I attended the Indiana University School of Medicine, completing my pre-clinical work in Gary, IN and my clinical training in Indianapolis, IN. During medical school, I also completed a Master of Public Health (MPH) degree, concentrating in Social & Behavioral Sciences.

Throughout my clinical training, I gave every specialty a fair shot, but could not pull myself away from the Emergency Department. I love the fast-paced, high-intensity problem solving that Emergency Medicine physicians are so good at! I chose UofC for many reasons. I knew that I wanted to train in a high-volume, urban, academic hospital with a Level 1 Trauma Center and a diverse patient population. Chicago, in my opinion, is the best place to live because there’s always something new to do or explore. What really sold me was the people here and the diversity of the residents and faculty. I walked out of my interview day, said to myself “this feels like home to me,” and the rest is history.

My professional interests include: EMS, Critical Care, and Social Emergency Medicine. In my free time, I like to travel when possible, cook new things, explore new parts of the city, and go to the beach!

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Arian Frost MD
University of Wisconsin

I’m a New Mexico native, but more and more a Midwest transplant. I was born and raised in New Mexico, but I finished high school on Bainbridge Island, outside of Seattle. When it came time for college, I was lucky enough to receive a nearly fully ride, need based scholarship to Colorado College, an opportunity that would shape my future.

I thrived on CC’s unique block plan curriculum and majored in biochemistry. During that time, I met my husband, Kameron, who is a future veterinarian. We also adopted our first dog, River. A beagle/German Shepard mix of mess. We would later adopt our second dog, Rue, a miniature Australian shepherd mix of fluff.

After college, Kameron and I streamlined our career goals to pursue animal and human medicine, respectively. We were very fortunate to both go to our respective medical schools at University of Wisconsin, in Madison. This began our conversion to the Midwest way of life and the transition from tolerance to enjoyment of winter.

I am so excited to be joining the amazing department at the University of Chicago. It is truly my dream program, with a clear emphasis on diversity and community engagement. I look forward to learning in an emergency department that is uniquely poised to serve the community. I’m excited to explore social emergency medicine and mentorship to find where I can best have an impact.

Outside of medicine you can find me running with my dogs, watching too much Netflix, listening to true crime podcasts, or if I’m lucky, going to music festivals. I’m especially looking forward to eating my way through my new home city!

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Mohamed Hamouda MD
Northwestern

Hello! I was born and raised in South Florida but my family is originally from Libya and Algeria. Growing up, you would either find me hanging out with my three siblings or on the soccer field. I attended Johns Hopkins University in Baltimore where I majored in Biology and took Arabic, Spanish, and French courses. In undergrad, I became interested in film and co-produced a documentary entitled “Forging connections among Muslims” and a full featured film called “Trial of Contrition.” You can check them out on YouTube. I also pursued my interest in global health and had the opportunity to spend a year after graduation in Jordan. I worked on an independent research project with an orphanage to see if a peer-led soccer-coaching program can be sustainable by the youth in the village.

The next phase of my education was at Northwestern where I attended medical school. I am interested in building health infrastructure both domestically and internationally, engaging with diverse patients and medical conditions, and having the confidence and skills to save lives no matter where I am. For those reasons, EM was the obvious choice for me. Deciding to stay in Chicago was easy – just come and visit…during the summer.

I chose The University of Chicago because I am confident that I will receive the training and mentorship to take my career any direction I’d like. The faculty and residents I met were down-to-earth, enthusiastic, and interested in helping one another. Ultimately, residency is difficult but that doesn’t mean you can’t enjoy it. After my interview day, it was clear, I wanted to join the UChicago family! I am grateful for this opportunity and can’t wait to start!

My hobbies include spending time with family, any sport (especially soccer), playing board games, rapping in different languages, eating delicious food, and traveling.

Ma’a Salama

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Kristin Lewis MD, MA
UCSF

Hi everyone!  I grew up in Cypress, California with my parents and younger sister.  My sister’s and my life mainly revolved around dance for most of our childhood and adolescence.  Ballet, contemporary, jazz – I still love it all!  I received a B.A. in psychology and a M.A. in psychological research with a behavioral neuroscience emphasis at California State University, Long Beach (CSULB), and loved being on CSULB’s dance team during undergrad years.  After graduating with my M.A., I was fortunate to teach in the Psychology Department at CSULB for 7 years.  During this time I also worked as a research coordinator at the Long Beach V.A. hospital investigating neurobiological and emotional memory blocking effects of low-dose anesthesia.  This research job sparked a clinical interest in me that continued to intensify.  After volunteering in the E.D. at a level-2 trauma center in Long Beach CA, I was hooked.  I knew I wanted to become a physician.  I began medical school at University of California, San Francisco (UCSF) in 2015 where I was instantly drawn to emergency medicine (EM).  I knew I wanted to work with underserved communities and with EM, I love the idea that you can literally meet and treat anyone at anytime.

I fell in love with Chicago the first time my husband and I vacationed here years ago, so I am ecstatic to call Chicago home for the next 3+ years.  On my interview day at University of Chicago, I instantly felt like part of the family.  I was so impressed by how diverse, talented, friendly, and genuinely happy the residents and faculty were.  I also loved that U Chicago is committed to innovation, advancing medical education, and cultivating future leaders in healthcare.  I am very excited for the opportunity to work with and advocate for patients from the South Side of Chicago who rely on U Chicago’s ED.  Also, the unique opportunity to work as a flight physician on a helicopter was just icing on the cake!

Fun fact: before medical school, I worked as a waitress/bartender on weekends for 15 years!  I met my husband and my best friends while working in restaurants.  In my free time, I love playing with my nieces and nephews, going to baseball games with my husband and friends (Go Giants!), going on a run, watching a dance performance, finding a good happy hour spot, or trying out a new vegan restaurant (Chicago has the best vegan options I’ve ever seen!).

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Glenn McFadden MD
University of Chicago

I’m incredibly excited to continue my journey working and learning at U of C and in the broader Chicago community.  I was born in Chicago and grew up in Evanston, on the northern border of the city.  I had the privilege of growing up with two fantastic, thoughtful parents, two brilliant, creative sisters, and a bevy of family waiting in Greece with open arms whenever we made the trip.  At eighteen, I headed west to attend Pomona College in Southern California, where I got a solid grounding in computer science and sunshine appreciation.  During college, I also worked as a whitewater raft guide in Colorado and a wilderness kayak guide in Alaska.  I learned important skills like backing slowly away from bears and convincing people to entrust a teenager with their safety in class-IV rapids, but perhaps of more lasting importance, I trained as an EMT for my outdoor work.  This was my first taste of the medical field and my first inkling of the path my career would eventually take.

I moved to Washington D.C. following college and worked in database development and project management for the National Human Genome Research Institute.  During that time I volunteered at night as a fire service EMT.  The passionate clinician-researchers I worked with during the day and the dedicated first responders I worked with at night helped inspire me to pursue a career as an Emergency Medicine physician.  I completed a pre-medical post-baccalaureate program at Goucher College, followed by a year as a researcher and database developer at Rush University Medical Center back in Chicago.  I attended medical school at the University of Chicago, and between the unbelievable patients, staff, and faculty I can’t imagine a better place to continue my training, or a better city to continue to explore and grow in over the next three years.

When I’m not in the hospital, you’ll find me outdoors in all kinds of weather–likely making of a fool of myself trying to reenact a more coordinated, athletic past.  I also love live music and trying to coax a few more miles out of my decrepit vehicles.  And although we love Chicago, my partner and I take every chance we can to travel around the country and around the world.

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Allyson Peterson MD
University of Washington

Hey everyone!

I am a 4th generation Montanan, born and raised in Billings, MT. I attended Carroll College for my undergraduate degree where I majored in Biology and minored in Philosophy. From there I went on to medical school at the University of Washington in Seattle. Growing up in Montana I was lucky to live by the mountains and experience all four seasons. My favorite hobbies include x-country and downhill skiing, hiking, trail running, and road biking.

My first exposure to EM was while working as a nursing aide. I felt immediately enamored with the fast-paced nature and the inspiring capabilities of the EM physician being able to treat any patient that walked in the door. From then on, I searched for that same awe and captivating energy through the rest of my clinical rotations. It was during my very first shift as a medical student in the ED that I knew I had found my home.

While on my interview trip to Chicago I felt like I was on cloud nine from the beginning. It started with seeing Hamilton by some miracle (which was amazing), and it didn’t stop there. The trip continued to impress as I was overwhelmed with how fun, friendly, and welcoming everyone was. The faculty leadership, attendings, and residents were extremely down to earth and people I knew I wanted to be surrounded by for my training. The Montanan in me was also very impressed by how well Chicago handled the snow, so I only hoped that my first trip to Chicago wouldn’t be my last.

It still doesn’t seem real that I ended up at this incredible place. I have already bought a Cubs hat so I can be a new official bandwagon fan and am already trying to search out the nearest ski hill for when I have a few days off in the winter. I’m also very eager to run and eat my way through the city in search of the best red curry and running routes. I am so thrilled to be a part of the U Chicago family and start this new adventure here!

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Daniel Semaan MD, MBA
University of Michigan

Hey Everyone!

I was born in London, Ontario but grew up in Ann Arbor, MI and spent my childhood summers visiting family in Lebanon and Montreal. Growing up in Ann Arbor cultivated a strong personal affinity to the University of Michigan, which I attended for undergrad and medical school. During medical school, I started to observe how medicine’s biggest problems were business-related which motivated me to pursue an MBA at the University of Michigan Stephen M. Ross School of Business. This gave me the opportunity to intern with a top consulting firm and learn about the importance and challenges of change management within health systems.

Emergency Medicine was always at the top of my list, even at the beginning of medical school. Not only did I really enjoy working with the people in the Emergency Department, but I fully identified with the fast-paced environment, treating all patients no matter their background, and the inherent connection to all parts of the hospital ecosystem.

I chose the University of Chicago as it is one of the few systems in the country that has patients with significant economic and health disparities as well as those requiring world-class quaternary care, all in one location. I am also excited to be in the vibrant city of Chicago where I look forward to attending concerts, exploring more of the food and drink scene, and appreciating the city’s architecture and iconic lake views. Time permitting, I hope to add to my list of 24 countries that I have visited and continue to immerse myself in other cultures. All in all, I’m absolutely thrilled to be joining the U Chicago family!

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Curren Smith MD
University of Chicago

I was born and raised in Phoenix, but due to an unfortunate distaste for tolerable winters, sunshine, and the option to wear shorts, I moved to Chicago while my wife attended law school at the University of Chicago. I completed my Biology degree at Loyola University of Chicago before joining the Pritzker School of Medicine. I also spent two formative years living in rural Uruguay. Fast forward to today — we have been Hyde Park residents since 2013, and we cannot imagine living anywhere else.

Emergency Medicine appealed to me for its pace, acuity, and team-oriented approach. I loved how the ER offers a visceral contact with the community and how people depend on emergency care to get them through some of their hardest days. It’s a very human place. For these reasons, staying at the University of Chicago seemed like an obvious choice. Hyde Park is my home and my community. I was also impressed with the approachable faculty, the academic opportunities, and, above all else, the chance to finish every night shift with breakfast at Valois in the morning.

My wife and I have two sons who have joined our search for the perfect Chicago donut joint. I enjoy hiking (also known as walking in Chicago), ceramics, and reading, especially history, biographies, religion, and philosophy.

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Miya Smith MD
Meharry

I was born and raised in Kansas City, Missouri. After high school I moved to Nashville, Tennessee for college. I attended Vanderbilt University and majored in both Russian and Cognitive Disorders and Human Behavior, which was my version of a psychology major. I have always been interested in all things brain, so during college I conducted Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) research in a trauma lab at Vanderbilt. I was also very involved with the Minority Association of Premedical Students (MAPS) chapter at my school. The most formative experience of my college was playing for an all-girls flag football team called WNFL. We traveled to tournaments all over the country to play against other college teams.

After college, I stayed in Nashville to attend Meharry Medical College. It wasn’t until my last rotation of third year that I realized that I may like Emergency Medicine. I realized I liked the ability to retain all of the knowledge I had painstakingly learned in medical school while also learning to treat emergencies in a fast-paced environment. I also liked the idea of being able to connect with people and help them at what is likely their most vulnerable moment. I chose Chicago because I was blown away by the training and the program’s dedication to diversity. I’m really excited to be a part of the program!

I love true crime, reading, watching Netflix, taking walks, and a good old-fashioned nap.

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Oretunlewa Soyinka MD
Duke

Hello! I’m Oretunlewa, Tunlewa or “T” to most, and I was born and raised primarily in SoCal’s Inland Empire (“the IE”). My family did travel quite a bit in my early years, including several stints in Lagos, Nigeria and Atlanta, Ga before settling more permanently in Upland, Ca. After high school, I traveled north to the Bay Area to attend Stanford University. Towards the end of my time there I was introduced to Emergency Medicine through my work as a scribe and first drawn by the field’s charge to address the needs of all patients, including those most severely impacted by social inequities. Several years later, I would continue to develop this interest in EM and the role of public policy in addressing these inequities during my time at DukeMed.

I am so excited to join my future colleagues at the University of Chicago to begin training in this incredible field while living in one of the best cities in the country. I first fell for Chicago – its diversity, the countless opportunities for any type of interests, and of course its food – in my first year of medical school during a visit for an AMA conference and knew if I ever worked up the courage to brave the infamous winters, this was a place I would love to live. After spending a month at UofC for my away rotation, I knew I would be incredibly fortunate to have the opportunity to train alongside such down-to-earth individuals who were passionate not just about providing excellent care but also committed to building substantive partnerships with underserved communities in Chicago’s South Side and beyond.

Outside the hospital, I look forward to exploring all the city has to offer with my wife who is just as excited to move to Chicago as I am. In my free time, you will no doubt find me checking out dance venues, attending concerts, supporting Duke Basketball on the hunt for their 6th national title, eating a tremendous amount, and finding cheap ways to travel. Couldn’t be happier to begin this next chapter with my new UofC fam!

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Jamie Staudt MD
University of Chicago

Growing up in the Chicagoland area, highlights of my childhood were watching Jordan and Pippen win championships, swimming in Lake Michigan, and playing as many sports as I could.  The older I got, the more time I spent on a basketball court or a lacrosse field.

I went to college at Santa Clara University where I played lacrosse and studied Spanish and Anthropology.   Through community based learning and studying abroad, I spent a lot of time in community organizations and schools, around San Jose, CA and outside of San Salvador, El Salvador, where I developed an interest in community health.  After college, I coached lacrosse and worked at a health focused non-profit in San Jose, which developed programs addressing food access, nutrition, preventative health, and education.  After a few years I went back to school, looking to develop skills that would allow me to work with patients more directly.  I moved back to Chicago where I completed a post-baccalaureate pre-medicine program at Northwestern University and attended medical school at University of Chicago.

My path to emergency medicine is a change of course after completing a year of residency in pediatrics at Comer Children’s Hospital.  Through the end of medical school and beginning of residency, I fell in love with the emergency department, where doctors and nurses exemplify values I had learned on sports teams: cooperation, quick decision-making, adaptive learning, and humility.  Every shift providers work as a team with patients and with each other: perfecting skills to be prepared to assist anyone who comes through the door, with the goal of addressing the needs of the surrounding community.  I feel so grateful and excited to have the opportunity to stay at University of Chicago, and to enter the field of emergency medicine, while continuing to care for patients on Chicago’s South Side.

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Emily Wilkins MD
University of Connecticut

I was born in Nashville, Tennessee but I have lived most of my life in the small suburban town of Madison, Connecticut. I grew up with my younger brother and my mom, an incredibly resilient lady with whom I share my love of academics, my affinity for board games, and my enthusiastic dance moves.

When I was nine years old I decided that I wanted to be a doctor and I’ve never wavered from that calling. My love of medicine is rivaled in strength and duration only by my love of summer camp. I grew up by the pines of Camp Hazen, YMCA, returning for eight summers as a camper, three as a counselor, and, finally, one as the Girl’s Village Director. It was at camp that I discovered my talent for putting out fires (both literal and metaphorical) while watching over hundreds of campers and staff.

For undergrad I studied psychology at Brown University in Providence, RI. Brown provided me with countless opportunities to lean into my extracurricular interests, all of which helped me to hone in on what I care about most in the medical field. I taught sexual education to middle schoolers and worked with Health Leads, a national program which aims to fight health disparities by addressing social determinants of health such as housing and food access. I also had the incredible opportunity to spend five months in Ecuador and Peru, learning from local medical clinics and working in a shelter for teenage mothers. These experiences affirmed my belief in the value of developing social outreach and education programs in medically underserved communities, a belief that I know will continue to shape my career.

I returned to Connecticut for medical school at UConn. There, I involved myself in student government, developing a strong interest in academic leadership and administration. I considered specializing in almost every other field before discovering emergency medicine, but my relationship with EM was love at first shift! The biggest “aha” moment for me was realizing that constantly meeting people in the ED and shuffling between patients was reminiscent of the jobs I’d loved most, like waitressing and working at camp. I felt right at home amongst the chaos of the ED and in the company of the friendly and level-headed EM staff.

Now, I’m incredibly excited to complete my training at the University of Chicago. Though I’ve never permanently lived outside the East Coast before, I’m ready for the adventure. I fell in love with the Midwest while biking across the country in 2016 and with the city of Chicago shortly thereafter. On my interview day, I was enamored. It was striking to me that UChicago has the resources of an academic hospital while functioning as a county hospital for the surrounding communities. The opportunity to use and improve my medical Spanish, the strong affiliated children’s hospital (with an adorable monster mascot!), and the option to partake in flight medicine all stood out to me as well. Mostly, though, I loved how comfortable I felt with the residents and faculty all day long, and how seamlessly I seemed to fit into the strong community that exists at U of C. I feel honored to be a part of the newest class and I can’t wait to see what the next three years have in store.

Outside of medicine, when I’m not stopping strangers on the street to pet their dogs, I’m bargain-hunting on Google flights and dreaming about my next adventure. I have an extremely social cat named Rascal and a soft spot for audiobook memoirs that are narrated by the author. For the past two years my boyfriend and I have gotten season passes to Six Flags, and I’m excited to compare the Chicago roller coasters with those from the East Coast! Like any sane human I’m a big fan of pizza – I’ve decided that Giordano’s > Lou Malnati’s, but I will go to my grave saying that you haven’t lived until you’ve tried authentic New Haven style pizza from Connecticut!