My main goal for residency was to graduate as a competent anesthesiologist, prepared for any complexity that might arise. This included choosing a program like WashU. Like many top-tier programs, it offered early exposure to sub-specialty care, with complex pathologies in every case. But what made WashU stand out was its one-of-a-kind culture. Everyone is just so friendly and ready to help. Three years later, I’m still impressed by the camaraderie and collaboration at all levels of care at WashU. I’ve found friends in medicine, surgery, radiology, and more. I feel the same way about my co-residents, who are always ready to support each other in whatever challenges the OR brings. Many of WashU’s faculty are leaders in their fields, and I was excited at the opportunity to learn from their practice. With their guidance, I’ve gained the confidence and skills to tackle difficult cases in anesthesiology. The training and the people are truly top-notch.
Location was a second priority for me. At the time, I was looking for a change from where I completed most of my education in Florida. I also liked how there was a diverse range of activities and experiences for residents in St. Louis. With a decent work-life balance, some dedicate this time to academic projects that the department is happy to support. Others choose recreation and exploration. We have many avid cyclists between the faculty and residency classes with an annual bike ride that lets everyone catch up. I’ve spent my residency rock climbing at the local gyms, as well as hiking in the surrounding areas. Forest Park is a great amenity that provides a nearby source of many outdoor events and activities. There are a good amount of weekly events, new restaurants, and unique neighborhoods that have something for either the individual or families. Some of my favorite restaurants are located in our version of Little Italy on “The Hill.” Overall, there are many opportunities to meet new people and make some memories that don’t involve scrubs.
As I submitted my rank list, I reflected on how quickly medical school seemed to pass by. I knew that going forward into residency I wanted to make the most of these four years of training and that finding the right ‘fit’ was essential. For me, WashU’s balance of clinical training, positive culture, and laid-back city led me to my final decision. I’d wholeheartedly choose WashU again.