Why Choose WashU

Class of 2024 — Sam Erlinger, MD

My journey to WashU began earlier than most. Growing up just outside of St. Louis, I attended high school just a few blocks away from WashU’s medical campus. As a result, I had the opportunity to participate in a program that paired students with a physician-scientist mentor at WashU. Even at that early point in my life and career, WashU provided an incredibly motivating environment based around compassionate and driven individuals. It was this experience that guided me to medicine, and that made WashU remain on my radar as I went to undergraduate and medical school elsewhere.

As I navigated the residency application process, WashU was clearly going to be near the top of my list. I was happy to find that the same culture that inspired me a decade earlier also existed in the Department of Anesthesiology – cutting-edge clinical care paired with a strong local community presence; nationally regarded faculty that are approachable and interested in residents; co-residents that are immensely talented yet down to earth. This combination of traits made me delighted to return home for residency and to train amongst the best in anesthesia at WashU.

Now on year three of my training here, I have been able to experience that culture more fully and grown an incredible amount as a result. There have been the expected ups and downs that come with residency — long nights and tough cases. But through those ups and downs, I have been able to hone my clinical skills as I begin to look toward fellowship. I have made close friends with residents and faculty not only in our department but throughout the hospital with colleagues across nearly all specialties. With those friends, we have celebrated our successes, joked throughout the hospital, learned from our mistakes, and supported each other when cases were the hardest.