My chess teacher grabbed my arm as I moved my knight to take his rook, “What are you missing?” he asked. I scoured the board aware that he could take my knight, a sacrifice I was content with; “Nothing,” I replied. He released my arm and I took his rook off the board. His bishop took my queen, which was exposed after I moved my knight. “Always reevaluate the possibilities,” he said. While the cognitive component that mimics the game of chess confirmed Internal Medicine as my selected specialty, an additional appeal was the relationships built with my patients. I found myself arriving to hospital duty 45 minutes early to talk to patients and learn about their experiences, the lessons they have learned, and to provide a laugh if I could. My conversation with a patient who was homeless enlightened me to how unreliable shelters can be due to capacity issues, financial requirements, and other factors. I was reminded of that conversation during the coronavirus outbreak and how an entire community lost their access to food as shelters closed or minimized their capacity - I decided I had to act. I made over 200 meals of red beans and rice and delivered them to the homeless population in New Orleans, an act that likely would not have occurred without the perspective of my patient.
Why I Chose Cincinnati
Initially, I didn’t know much about Cincinnati. I liked the program on paper and thought highly of it. On interview day, however, I experienced what no website could publish. I saw the team dynamics of the residents and the way they laughed as they shared stories of rough work days. I could feel the authenticity of their interactions and knew that these were the kind of people that would make work never feel like work. I witnessed the dedication of Dr. Warm to medical education and the excitement that faculty had to be speaking to prospective residents. I felt that I’d be entering an environment that would not only support me, but help me unlock my full potential as a physician.
MD: University of South Alabama College of Medicine