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Department of Medicine

Department of Medicine

 Internal Medicine Residency Program 

Why Choose Pitt's Internal Medicine Residency?

Our Residents Tell Their Stories

Elizabeth Ann Oczypok, MD, PhD | Casey McQuade, MD



Elizabeth Ann Oczypok, MD, PhD
Incoming Internal Medicine Intern

Elizabeth Ann Oczypok, MD, PhD

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency?
I am undecided about what internal medicine subspecialty I would like to pursue, so it was important to me that Pitt was renowned in so many clinical fields. Additionally, Pitt's booming research environment, diverse patient population, and strong support for educational experiences made it a very attractive academic program for me. There is also an immense collegiality among faculty at UPMC, and the residents seem very happy. I was also drawn to the program because of the clinical scientist track—I have a background in basic science, but wanted to obtain more formal training in clinical research during residency.

What about the city of Pittsburgh attracted you?
I have lived in Pittsburgh my entire life, and I am still finding new things to do! I have watched the city transform over the years into a hotspot of cultural activity. I regularly try new restaurants, go to the symphony, and enjoy the parks. The city is a nice size and very affordable. Each neighborhood has its own unique personality. The love that Pittsburghers have for their city (and its quirks!) is infectious—if you move here, you'll come to love pierogie races, Kennywood Park, smiley cookies, and more. For me, I also like living close to my family.

How did you research residency programs before the Match? What advice to you have for prospective applicants?
I focused mostly on academic programs in the Northeast and Midwest. I searched websites and spoke with current and previous residents from those programs to get a feel for each place I interviewed. I also paid attention to where each programs' residents went for their fellowship training. My advice for applicants is to go with your gut feeling—you have to pick the place that is right for you. A lot of programs are structured similarly, so find the place that fits your specific needs and has the people that you get along with the best.

What are you most looking forward to over the next three years?
Most physicians I have talked with look back on their residency training, despite its long hours and hard work, as some of the best years of their careers. I think this is because of the great friendships you form and the growth you experience as a physician during these three years. I am looking forward to these experiences and can't wait to see where the journey takes me. In addition to my clinical training, I am also excited to have the chance to teach medical students  and develop my skills as an educator.

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Casey McQuade, MD

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency?
I was most impressed with the people I met on my interview day at Pitt. Starting with my pre-interview dinner and throughout the next day, I came across many down-to-earth residents from a diverse set of backgrounds. The faculty I met were clearly devoted to resident education and had a vision for developing well-rounded, compassionate physicians. All of the places where I interviewed promised rigorous training and abundant research opportunities. Pitt combined those promises with a group of people I knew I would enjoy working with throughout my residency.

What are your thoughts about the city of Pittsburgh?
As a guy with a pretty diverse set of interests, I think Pittsburgh is a great city. First and foremost, the Pittsburgh sports teams – the Pirates, Steelers, and Penguins – are fantastic, and it's really a blast to be a part of their fanbase. Pittsburgh also has a thriving cultural scene with a city orchestra and off-Broadway theater productions. There are also so many good restaurants in the city, I'm still finding new ones to explore. And just outside the city (and even some spots within city limits), there is great hiking, biking, and running trails to enjoy. Pittsburgh has something for everyone.

What do you like best about your residency program?
The best part of this residency program is my co-residents. Kind, wise, amazingly accomplished, easy to work with, fun to be around. They are a constant source of encouragement and guidance in what is otherwise a difficult job. I am very thankful for them as coworkers and also as friends.

How do you relieve stress?
I enjoy being outside and staying active. Running, hiking, and biking are great ways to let my mind unwind and also get to know different parts of the city. Schenley Park has many great running trails, and the Three Rivers Heritage trail is a great place for a relaxing bike ride on the weekends. In the winter, I destress by hanging out with my friends. I also play the piano: staying creative and learning a new song is a great way to relax after a long day.

Any advice for incoming residents?
Keep up with your hobbies and interests. Residency is a very busy time, but being a doctor is only a part of who you are. Continuing the non-medical activities that you love helps give you perspective and helps you recharge your batteries at the end of the day. One other tip is to write down what you learn each day. Then look it up again when you get home, even if it's only for 15-30 minutes. You'll have a record of everything you learn each month (very gratifying), and you will keep you reading and learning day to day.

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Casey McQuade, MD
 Internal Medicine Resident