I’m a Texas native without any inside scoop on WashU, I only knew it by its outstanding reputation. I was a bit intimidated, with no family or friends in the Midwest, and no idea if I could live up to the caliber of this program. However, I quickly discovered how silly my fears were as I got to know the people of WashU. The physicians here are some of the most brilliant, kind, approachable, and empathetic individuals I’ve met. They take their role as educators seriously and cultivate a learning-oriented environment that allows residents at any level to thrive.
The anesthesiologists here come from all over the country and world, offering a varied array of techniques and teachings that are a true gift for trainees. Along with staff diversity is the substantial case diversity, drawing many residents to the program. With a catchment area spanning hundreds of miles and 1,400+ beds, training at Barnes-Jewish Hospital is not remiss of any pathology or procedure. This instills our graduates with the confidence that they will excel in whichever career path they pursue. During my interview dinner, I remember being captivated with this confidence beaming from the graduating class.
Aside from a learning-oriented environment and case diversity, I knew outstanding leadership with an emphasis on work-life balance would be crucial. There’s no better example of this leadership than here at WashU. For example, my experience with residency applications had an extra layer of complexity with the couples match. Those going through it know how convoluted and daunting it can be, but WashU couldn’t have been more supportive of our endeavors. There were apparent interdepartmental conversations and the institution was warm and welcoming of couples in the match. The department truly prioritizes wellness amongst its residents with monthly happy hours, biennial galas, and frequent check-ins from the chiefs and the PD.
Speaking of wellness, my colleagues and I have explored some of what St. Louis has to offer (there is so much)! There is a wide variety of cuisine that makes our bellies truly happy. And when that post-meal guilt kicks in, Forest Park (right next to the hospital) holds plenty of running and biking trails. With a quick drive, we have enjoyed light shows at the botanical gardens, wine tastings, and plays at the Fabulous Fox Theater. Choosing WashU has afforded us time to enjoy life outside the hospital without the financial worry to do these activities, thanks to the affordability of living in St. Louis.
As intern year comes to a close, and I reflect on why I chose WashU, I can confidently say this was the best decision I could have made, not only for my career, but for friendships, confidence, and personal growth. I would absolutely choose WashU again!