When selecting a residency program, I had several important elements that I was looking for. First and foremost, I wanted a program that would provide an exceptional educational experience with diverse training and medically complex patients. Secondly, it was important to be in a welcoming environment where I could find supportive individuals both within and outside of the hospital setting. Finally, I have always been a very social person and knew that I needed to look for a program that supported socialization outside of work, preferably in a location that boasted plenty of activities.
Beyond the residency program, I was also considering my long-term fellowship opportunities.
WashU provides fellowships in several areas, staffed by clinicians from around the world who bring cutting-edge clinical care, research, and education to the institution.
Many of the graduates from WashU’s anesthesiology program go on to complete a fellowship here, while those who pursue fellowships elsewhere feel they have a well-rounded education that makes them competitive in the application process.
Fast-forward a year: I recently completed my intern year at WashU’s affiliated teaching hospital, Barnes-Jewish Hospital, which draws a wide variety of patients from the surrounding region, most of whom require complex, subspecialty care. As an anesthesia intern I rotated through many departments; Emergency Medicine, Internal Medicine, and Surgery to name a few, providing me with a well-rounded experience and enhanced understanding of the different services I will be working with throughout the hospital. Because interns spend the majority of their year as an “off-service resident,” I was concerned I would feel like I did not belong. However, I found all of the services to be welcoming and just as invested in my education as they were in their own residents. My fellow anesthesiology interns and I were even invited to other departments social events!
Outside of the hospital, I live in the Central West End. It is a neighborhood located within walking distance of the hospital that is more than an affordable neighborhood – it is convenient! I can easily walk not just to work, but also a grocery store, numerous restaurants and bars, and it is just a short drive to anything else I might need.
Both my home and the hospital are located near Forest Park, one of the largest free parks in the nation that includes biking, running, and walking trails (my dog loves them!), a zoo and several museums (all free!), and frequent festivals. Many of my fellow residents live in the Central West End too so it is very easy to get together and socialize after work.
Selecting WashU for my training has been a great experience in terms of both education and quality of life outside of work. I am looking forward to beginning my clinical anesthesia years and am confident I will be well trained to pursue a career as an anesthesiologist.
Micaela Clark, MD
BS: University of Nebraska ’12
MD: University of Nebraska College of Medicine ’18