Why Choose UPMC's Internal Medicine Residency Program?

What's Unique About Our Program

 

Resident-Led Rounds

  • Second- and Third-year residents lead walk rounds on all medicine floor inpatient rotations. While Attendings are always immediately available, they join walk rounds just once a week, primarily to provide feedback on medical decision-making and teaching skills. Interns and medical students present to the resident, who makes all medical decisions on rounds and leads the bedside teaching. After rounds, the resident meets with the attending to discuss all patients. This format offers significant time with Attendings  as they do their daily afternoon attending rounds and staff all new admissions. This rounding structure is unique and invaluable in the development of residents’ autonomy and their expertise as educators.

 

Customized Courses – Tracks

Tracks: Generalist, Women’s Health, Global Health, Clinical Scientist, Research Pathway, Geriatrics

  • There is a weekly Noon Conference specific to each track. Also available are additional mentorship, track rotations, and career guidance specific to track members’ career goals. Residents who choose not to join a track still benefit: all residents can attend track lunches, take track rotations as electives, and avail themselves of the dedicated mentorship within the tracks.

 

Four + Four Schedule

  • Residents alternate call months (ICUs, Floors) with off-call months (Consult Electives, Ambulatory, Outpatient Electives). This provides more elective time during First Year while they are completing an optimal number of inpatient call months. This schedule enables Interns to gain additional exposure to different sub specialties that many residents may want to pursue for fellowship and that augment all residents’ education. This schedule also provides more time for self-directed learning during elective months, meaning  that Interns can pursue research opportunities earlier in their training than they would otherwise. Although our elective rotations do not have overnight call or weekend shifts, they are still intensive, offering a wide  breadth of clinical cases as well as the autonomy and teaching necessary to help build our residency’s strong internal medicine foundation.

 

Focus on Medical Education

  • Resident teaching retreats: All residents participate in regular teaching retreats throughout their training. Clinical coverage is provided, giving residents essential protected time so they can be trained to run ward teams effectively and to be skilled educators throughout their residency.
  • Resident teaching opportunities: Residents are mentored to effectively share evidence-based teaching points when they present morning report, EBM Journal Club, and other elective journal clubs, including Health Policy and Addiction Journal. Residents have numerous options for medical student teaching, in addition to the teaching they provide students rotating with them on various services.
  • Teaching to Teach Elective: Residents gain additional teaching training and experience on all aspects of clinical and didactic teaching, while receiving feedback from expert faculty educators. Teaching First- and Second-Year medical students is a component of this elective.
  • Medical Education Teaching Certificate: For those wanting teach throughout their careers, this certificate enables residents to gain additional training during Second and Third Year by completing of another Teaching Elective Rotation, “Residents as Teachers”.
  • Faculty Development: Many of our faculty members have master’s degrees in Medical Education, and all General Internal Medicine teaching faculty spend a half day each week in faculty development. In addition, clinician-educators have protected time to teach, which permits direct education across the spectrum and unique curricular innovations.

 

Bedside Multi-Disciplinary Rounds

  • Daily rounds occur in conjunction with case management and nursing staff facilitating coordinated team-based care and discharge planning.
  • The program’s rounding process is efficient and effective: it optimizes students’ and Interns’ presentations skills, preserves efficient rounding so it is completed in two hours or less, and provides ample opportunity for the resident’s team leadership and education.

 

In addition to these innovations, our program offers:

  • Daily Resident Morning Reports at all sites
  • Weekly Intern Reports
  • Daily Noon Conferences with Free Lunch
  • World-class case exposure:

○ Our hospital has a very wide patient catchment area and receives referrals from PA, OH, WV, and VA, including a very diverse case mix including rare pathology. We are also a huge transplant center which provides a unique and educationally outstanding opportunity, as all of our services admit patients who are pursuing and who have received transplants.

○ The ICUs have extremely high acuity patients and include the opportunity to develop procedural expertise

○ The experience at the VA traditionally offers more “bread and butter” Internal Medicine, which complements the exposure to the rare and/or very complicated case variety more often seen at the university hospital.

○ The experience at Shadyside provides world class oncology exposure and training including the opportunity to care for patients undergoing CAR-T cell therapy

Career Interest-Focused Activities

 

Specialized Training in Addiction Medicine

  • Specialized Addiction consult service
  • Monthly Addiction Journal Club
  • Numerous research opportunities related to diagnosis, treatment and prevention

 

Global Health and Underserved Populations

  • Intern rotation in Chinle, Arizona, with the Indian Health Service
  • Introduction to Global Health Rotation, which includes tropical medicine, global health policy, and ultrasonography training
  • Global Health Electives in Mozambique, Malawi, Guyana, Ghana
  • Birmingham Free Clinic as continuity clinic
  • Social Determinants of Health Curriculum
  • Home visit program
  • Weekly global health conferences
  • Monthly hands-on training in ultrasound

 

Women’s Health

  • Women’s Health track, which allows for specialized training in gender-specific care across a woman’s lifetime;  comprehensive contraception education, including placement of nexplanon/IUDs; and rotations in both primary and subspecialty care of women across the spectrum
  • Mentorship with focus on promoting leadership within medicine and career planning
  • Weekly lunch lectures reviewing the cutting-edge management of issues encountered in women’s health
  • VA Center of Excellence for Women’s Health

 

Clinical Reasoning Committee

  • Residents complete a validated training curriculum on Clinical Reasoning with reinforcement on all rotations throughout their three years of training
  • Opportunities to be involved in developing new and innovative ways to teach Clinical Reasoning
  • Structured reinforcement of Clinical Reasoning skills in Morning Reports
  • Ability to present Clinical Reasoning cases at local and national conferences
  • Significant research opportunities for projects related to Academic Education
  • Learn more HERE

 

Point-of-Care Ultrasound Training in Internal Medicine

  • Intern introduction to point-of-care ultrasound curriculum
  • Ultrasound Interest Group: Meetings at least once a month to review and practice common ultrasound findings and techniques
  • Central Line training: part of the MICU rotations, this includes work in the simulation center practicing central line placement, with teaching guidance from a number of Critical Care faculty members
  • Newly established ultrasound elective for two weeks of extended hands-on experience and feedback
  • Ultrasound track for incoming residents being established within next 1-2 years

 

ACTION – Health Policy Group

  • Resident-directed health policy and advocacy group that comprises residents of all experience levels.  We have monthly meetings to discuss current events that focus on health care. Our mission is to educate and advocate.
  • Residents have the opportunity to participate in health care debates held at different times during the year.
  • We participate in real-time advocacy, including rallies, writing op-eds, and contacting out local and state representatives.
  • We have attended the Society for General Internal Medicine Hill Day.

 

Clinical Skills Enhancement/Moonlighting opportunities:

All PGY2s and 3s may moonlight while on off-call rotations. This facilitates additionall development of clinical decision-making and autonomy, and offers a high hourly pay rate.

  • Intensive Care Units
  • Medicine Teaching Service
  • Hem/Onc inpatient service at Shadyside

Research Opportunities

See: LEAD Program (LEadership And Discovery Program)

 

Assigned Faculty Research Point People in Each Department

These faculty members know the details of their department’s research and help Interns/Residents find a mentor with similar interests to their own. Divisions also continually update a list of “shovel-ready projects,” i.e. projects with a principal investigator who is experienced in mentoring residents and projects on a timeline conducive to scholarly productivity.

 

Presentation and Publication Opportunities

Residents have access to coverage to present at national conferences during all three years of Residency. They also receive funding to help with travel and lodging expenses.

 

Research Track

The Internal Medicine Residency offers TWO research focused tracks (ABIM Research Pathway and Clinical Scientist Track) that provide additional focused training to help succeed in a career as a Physician-Scientist.

 

PICTOR StARR R38

Through an NIH R38 grant and in collaboration with the Departments of Pathology, Pediatrics, and Surgery, the Pittsburgh Innovation in Collaborative Training of Residents alliance, or PICTOR alliance program, provides residents with dedicated research time during residency to foster the next generation of physician scientists. Drawing upon the experience of established investigators focused on research along the continuum of the lifespan, from childhood to adulthood and from health to disease, residents may focus in either basic translational or clinical translational research in the cardiovascular, lung, sleep, and blood fields.

Resident Stories

Osei Boadu, MD
Medical School: University of Rochester School of Medicine and Dentistry 

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency?
I chose UPMC for the people. Feeling supported by co-residents and faculty is super important in a residency program, and I got a sense of that during my interview day. Luckily, I have seen that borne out in my time here. I figured residency would be difficult anywhere I ended up, but the right environment can make all the difference. I wanted to go to a place where I could get good training to be a well-rounded physician in a setting where I felt challenged without feeling unsupported. I think that balance of autonomy and supervision is so important and UPMC has a good formula. In that vein, there is an emphasis on teaching in a way that doesn’t feel overly forced or burdensome.

What do you like best about your residency so far?
I would say that my co-residents are the best part of the program for me. I think that collegiality is a trait that is selected for which makes coming to work more enjoyable. I haven’t felt a sense of competition and instead have found this to be an inclusive learning environment.

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh?
Pittsburgh has big city amenities but very much feels like a smaller community; you get the best of both worlds. There’s also plenty of green space/hiking both in the city or a short drive away. My favorite part of the city is my neighborhood Shadyside, where there’s plenty of good food.

What do you like to do in your free time?
In my free time, I love to watch television/movies (favorites include trashy reality TV shows), play video games (FIFA, anyone?), hang out with my sister (shoutout Dr. Owusu-Ansah at CHP) and my adorable nieces, and exploring new breweries.

What are your career plans?
My plan after I finish residency is to work as a hospitalist. For now, I am leaning toward academic medicine so that I can hopefully get to teach residents and medical students.

Brittany Bromfield, MD

Medical School: University of the West Indies Faculty of Medical Sciences, Jamaica 

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency?
It was an easy choice. UPMC stood out to me as being a large academic center with high-quality patient care. At UPMC, there is emphasis on diversity and inclusion, and an environment of advocacy for the underserved. There is a multitude of research, mentorship, and educational opportunities for any career path possible. Once I visited UPMC and experienced the camaraderie of the residents and faculty, I knew I wanted to pursue residency here. I wanted to be at a place that felt like home where I could envision myself settling long-term; Pitt was that place for me.

What do you like best about your residency so far?
My medical internship was during the peak of the viral pandemic. My co-residents became my close friends during what was a very tough, socially distanced year. We are all very friendly with one another and thankfully due to being vaccinated, we hang out very frequently outside of work. There are so many outstanding female physicians in leadership roles at UPMC that serve as my daily inspiration that it is possible to be happy and have brilliant, fulfilling careers in medicine. The 4+4 scheduling is so incredible for wellness that I can have an excellent work-life balance. The schedule also offers flexibility in that I can rotate through multiple subspecialties and clinics and have a well-rounded inpatient/outpatient experience.

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh?
Coming from Jamaica to Pittsburgh, I thought I would miss having summer all year round. Now I think that having the four seasons is such a special experience and I am grateful we have it here. Pittsburgh has the perfect balance of city and nature. It is a very beautiful, clean city that feels incredibly safe. There are so many neighborhoods with their own “unique flavor” and culture. I have the best time exploring all of them.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I love spending time outdoors in the beautiful parks, hiking and exploring followed by working my way through an incredible food and restaurant scene. You can usually find me at Sunday brunch or trying a new brewery with my colleagues.

What are your career plans?
I intend to pursue a career in gastroenterology & hepatology to become a transplant hepatologist. I would also like to pursue a Master’s in Medical Education.

Domi Dulak, MD

Medical School: Medical University of Gdansk 

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency? 
Amazing people, both faculty and residents, and great fellowship opportunities after residency.  

What do you like best about your residency so far? 
Outstanding co-residents and faculty that I had a chance to work with.  

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh? 
There are so many. But if I had to choose it would be Shadyside, Lawrenceville and Strip District. Each is very unique and has a different vibe.   

What do you like to do in your free time? 
Long and short distance travel. Cooking with friends.  

What are your career plans? 
Hematology/oncology. 

Dylan Fortman, MD

Medical School: The University of Toledo College of Medicine  

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency? 
I think the most important factor for my choice in UPMC for residency came down to the people within the program – residents and faculty alike – as well as the amazing opportunities for resident autonomy, including resident-led rounds and the medical education pathways that are available. Whether you are interested in research, mentorship, or education, UPMC provides you with ample avenues to pursue those interests all while being immersed in the diverse patient populations within the hospital and clinic settings. I think one of the greatest assets of UPMC is that the program truly aims to propel you to the next level of your career with all of the supportive faculty, residents, and opportunities that are available. 

What do you like best about your residency so far? 
One of the best things about residency thus far has definitely been my co-residents. While working in a new city during a pandemic was tough, we have all built a general sense of comradery and friendship together due to similar experiences of intern year. Additionally, I have a sense of pride for working in this residency department, one that is cognizant of the socioeconomic, racial, and LGBTQIA+ disparities that are ongoing not only in the world but also within the field of medicine. 

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh? 
I personally love exploring all of the different neighborhoods and the vibe each brings, whether it is the modern Strip District, quaint Shadyside, or “hipster” Lawrenceville. Additionally, the Phipps Conservatory, city museums, and parks are excellent for enjoyable days off from work. 

What are your career plans? 
I am still in the process of deciding, but currently I’m between becoming a Hospitalist with a medical education focus or pursuing a fellowship in Hematology/Oncology. 

Andrew Groff, MD

Medical School: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine 

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency?
On my interview day, Pitt immediately struck me as a place that was clinically rigorous, but also had a welcoming and collegial culture. Equally as important was that house staff were actually friends outside of the hospital. Pitt’s Residency Program struck an optimal balance between superb clinical care, research, and medical education. The program genuinely cares not just about my professional development and growth as a physician, but also my personal growth. Luckily, my initial impressions were met and even surpassed throughout my intern year!

What do you like best about your residency so far?
The people. There is a pervasive camaraderie within the program, from the residents to the program leadership, where we are all united to become better clinicians and educators. The residency program is incredibly supportive, which was well demonstrated throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Everyone is so welcoming and motivated, and my co-residents are always down to explore the city, go on a hike, or grab a bite/drink at a new restaurant.
Also, resident-led rounds are an absolute gem. Although I was skeptical at first, they make rounds fun and allow for early autonomy to enhance our clinical reasoning while being the primary physician for our patients. Plus, the 4+4 schedule really is a difference maker in promoting wellness!

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh?
I have quickly embraced the love and passion for this city that native Pittsburghers share. In just one year here, I feel like I am well on my way to becoming a Yinzer. I love that there are so many unique neighborhoods in the city, each with their own quirks; just to name a few: Lawrenceville, Bloomfield, Polish Hill, Point Breeze, and the Strip District. In my opinion, Lawrenceville is hands down the best neighborhood with an ever-expanding list of walkable coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, and bars on Butler Street. All the parks, museums, arts, and sporting events are accessible and affordable making it seamless to explore all the city has to offer in my free time.

What do you like to do in your free time?
Outside the hospital, I enjoy running, playing basketball, going to local Pittsburgh sports, exploring Frick and Schenley Park, and checking out new breweries (shout out to Two Frays).

What are your career plans?
I hope to pursue Gastroenterology fellowship after my Internal Medicine training. I love MedEd and plan to make this an emphasis in my career!

Pranav Jain, MD

Medical School: West Virginia University School of Medicine 

 

The most important factor for me in choosing Pitt for residency was the general sense of collegiality I felt amongst the residents both at the interview dinner and on interview day. I didn’t feel the same degree of stress and anxiety when compared to other interviews. I was more at home and thought that I would fit in nicely with all the people that I spoke to. All the staff made me feel very welcome and I had great conversations with my interviewers and residents. Pittsburgh is also a great city; I was quite familiar with the area given that I grew up about an hour and a half south near Morgantown, WV and visited frequently for Penguins games. I feel very lucky to have been given the opportunity to do my residency here as it’s been a wonderful experience so far! 

The best part of residency has been the people I’ve gotten to work with and gotten to become friends with. It’s been an odd year for everyone to say the least and COVID made an already big transition to intern year a bit more challenging. Through all the quarantines and isolation, the one thing that helped me the most was being able to go to the hospital and spend time with amazing people. My senior residents were all brilliant and so supportive, and attendings both on inpatient and consult months were always kind and respectful. The work life balance is also hard to beat with a true 4+4 schedule which makes planning weekends and trips during elective months much easier. The last couple of months of intern year were especially wonderful as I’ve had more opportunity to get to know my classmates and senior residents that much better outside of work with the vaccine.  

My favorite part of Pittsburgh is that it’s quite diverse in that you can get a big city feel with lots to do but also at a stone’s throw away get a very quaint and quiet neighborhood feel. There are a ton of great food spots, breweries, and bars. It’s a great sports town with the Steelers, Penguins, and Pirates with very passionate fans which makes going to games extra fun.  

My favorite things to do in my free time include hanging out with friends, watching sports, and playing tennis. I am a big New York Yankees fan and follow them religiously. I’m also a Pittsburgh Penguins fan. I’m a huge WVU sports fan as I did my undergrad and medical school there. I catch some flack from my friends in Morgantown for coming to Pitt and though I’m a mountaineer fan through and through, it is fun to experience both sides of the “Backyard Brawl” rivalry. I do my best to get out and play tennis as well. There are lots of great parks in Pittsburgh with tennis courts, and Frick Park even has clay courts! Many in our class play and it’s been a blast getting out on the courts with them. 

In terms of future career plans, I’m hopeful to do a fellowship in Cardiology and then maybe also pursue further training in critical care or cardiac imaging. I really like the culture of academic medicine and hope to find myself in a position where I can work with learners and perhaps do some clinical research at an academic institution. 

Valentina Jaramillo, MD

Medical School: Universidad CES Escuela de Medicina 

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency? 
The people I got to meet during my interview here and the academic opportunities offered. Among these opportunities, was the international scholars’ track (IST). 

I still remember how Sara Carter, our program coordinator, helped us and walked us through our interview day, with a smile on her face. That is how I felt with every person I met that day: Dr. Corbelli, Dr. Berlacher, and many more. It felt like they appreciated me for who I was, with all my different qualities but also my shortcomings. Additionally, the IST track felt like a unique opportunity that I couldn’t miss out on. Overall, this program felt like home. I felt welcomed, accepted, and wanted for exactly who I was. 

What do you like best about your residency so far? 
Again, one of my favorite things is the people I have met along the way. I think this program has a way of choosing not only phenomenal physicians but also beautiful human beings as well. The level of collegiality is extraordinary. I have always felt supported by everyone around me, our chiefs, our attendings, and my colleagues for sure. The environment here has allowed me to grow in ways I never thought possible. Lastly, as a future cardiologist, I have to say having a designated in-patient cardiology rotation is amazing. You get to learn so much, even if your future interest is not in cardiology. The exposure to complicated yet interesting pathologies and working alongside brilliant cardiologists and fellows helped me consolidate knowledge, learn thousands of new things, and made me feel comfortable and capable in difficult situations. 

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh? 
There is a park called Mellon Park that has a special sentimental place in my heart. It is the perfect place to make a little picnic, read a book, and do some yoga. It has a beautiful view of the city as well. 

What do you like to do in your free time? 
I love to do yoga! I also have found a couple of yoga studios here in Pittsburgh which are fantastic. Other than that, I spend most of my free time with my friends from residency, to be honest. We love to hang out, decompress, visit new breweries and eat a lot of food! 

What are your career plans? 
One thing I am very passionate about is cardiology. I want to become a fierce cardiologist, hopefully in an academic institution where I can continue to work with medical students, residents, and fellows. I enjoy teaching a lot, and I believe it is a wonderful way of pushing yourself to be better every day. 

Phoebe Lin, MD
Medical School: Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine 

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency? 
I wanted a program that values mentorship and provides abundant opportunities for clinical work and research. I also value having weekends off as I knew I would be in a long-distance relationship and the 4+4 schedule provides a lot of flexibility for travelling. Having a large residency program also makes it easier to find coverage and to get the vacation and days off that you need. I also like Pittsburgh as a city. It was important to me to be in a place where my life outside of work did not add extra stress or burden on an already stressful work life.

What do you like best about your residency so far? 
Overall UPMC has exceeded my expectations. The program provides excellent exposure to diverse areas within internal medicine, and I have been fortunate to have had guidance and mentorship from exceptional academician/researchers who have directly influenced my interest in hepatology. Also, there is a great sense of community and comradery among the residents. My colleagues are some of the smartest and hard-working yet humble people I have ever met. I genuinely love coming to work and hanging out with them outside of work, in large part because of all the fantastic people here.

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh?
I love Pittsburgh in the summertime! There are plenty of outdoorsy things to do – running through Frick and Schenley Park, going to a Pirates game, or even just sitting outdoors with friends enjoying the sunshine with a nice local beer and some delicious food. It’s also a very affordable place to live and full of young professionals.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I enjoy going for long runs, trying new restaurants/breweries, buying house plants, and spending time with my friends. Some of my favorite restaurants in Pittsburgh are Took Took 98, Gaucho, Prusadee’s Garden, and EGE Mediterranean.

What are your career plans? 
I am interested in an academic career in transplant hepatology.

Nicole Luche, MD

Medical School: Weill Cornell Medicine 

 

Welcome (virtually) to the UPMC community! My name is Nicole; I am originally from Seattle, WA, and studied medicine at Weill Cornell Medicine in NYC. I am an intermediate baker and a novice knitter in my free time, but one of my favorite things to do on my sunny days off is spend time walking and picnicking in the local parks. I am hoping to build a career as an academic hospitalist with a focus on social determinants of health research/advocacy and medical education. But enough about me – you’re here to find out why you should come to Pittsburgh! 

By far the most important aspect of my decision to come to UPMC was how apparent it was on my interview day that education is the program’s top priority, and every decision regarding the structure of the residency has been made with educational value in mind. Probably the most unique example of this is resident-led rounds, which promotes independent clinical decision-making very early in our training. I also believe that you cannot learn effectively if your mental and emotional health are not well-supported, and I was excited to see that the residency program addresses this directly. The 4+4 system is probably the most obvious example of promoting wellness through the structure of the program, but our residency leadership are also very individually supportive of resident wellness. And finally, I would be remiss if I did not mention the commitment of our program director, Dr. Corbelli, to being a phenomenal advocate for the residents. Even though we have a pretty big program, she knows all of us personally, and genuinely cares about ensuring that we have the guidance and support we need for our ongoing medical training. 

At this point, you may be thinking – the residency program sounds great, but why should I move to Pittsburgh? Being from Seattle and coming from NYC, I wondered the same thing before I interviewed! Personally, I find that the most fascinating thing about Pittsburgh is its neighborhoods. Pittsburgh has a LOT of distinct neighborhoods (Google tells me there are 90!!), and each of them has their own distinct flavor and character. So whether I feel like novelty shopping in the Strip District, visiting the bars of the North Side or the nightlife of Lawrenceville, strolling art festivals in Shadyside, going to the parks in Squirrel Hill, or browsing the winter markets of the bustling downtown, Pittsburgh has me covered. There is a ton of nature sitting just outside the city limits, so apple picking, farm touring, and skiing are all just a short drive away. And from someone who just moved from NYC, the affordable cost of living is a huge perk! 

In short, Pittsburgh is lovely, and UPMC is an excellent place to continue your medical training. Please don’t hesitate to reach out to the program if you have any questions – I know I would love to talk more with you! 

Harnoor Mann, MD

Medical School: Sidney Kimmel Medical College at Thomas Jefferson University

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency?
For me, it came down to the people and the environment of care/advocacy. UPMC is an immensely strong institution, and so is our residency program- whether you look at our clinical training, educational opportunities, research opportunities, mentorship and more. But what sets this program apart for me is how kind and generous the UPMC community is, making all the facets above that much more accessible. In my couple months of working here, everyone I have interacted with been welcoming and understanding. We have spent time in our training not only learning how to handle a viral pandemic, but also learning how to handle microaggressions in our daily interactions. There is a natural sense of advocacy built into the way people practice medicine here that was crucial for me in my decision-making.

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh?
Having grown up in a really small town in Massachusetts, and having spent the last 4 years in Philadelphia, I can confidently tell you that Pittsburgh strikes a special and unique balance between city and green. I absolute love Phipps Conservatory, running on the trails in Frick Park, picnicking in Schenley, and strolling around in Shadyside and Squirrel Hill.

What do you like best about your residency so far?
I really like my co-residents, and the sense of camaraderie that we’re building, even with social distancing in place. I also have to mention the focus on teaching at UPMC- there is a great deal of focus by attendings and the program to fit teaching into natural workflow that fosters an important environment of learning.

What do you like to do in your free time?
I recharge by spending time outside, staying active, cozying up with a good book, catching up with friends and family, and blasting R&B while trying new recipes (sometimes unsucessfully) in the kitchen.

What advice do you have for incoming residents?
Don’t rush yourself. Your growth will happen when it is supposed to and when it needs to- don’t get lost in the anticipation of future stress/change. Keep doing whatever makes you human. Your future patients won’t bond with you over medical facts, but they will bond with you over that book/sports team/song. Take care of yourself. In hindsight, there isn’t a single workout or baking session that I regret, even if I double-thought it in the moment. Keep your people updated with how you’re feeling. We don’t make it through our training in silos- we make it through as teams.

Monica Mehta, MD

Medical School: Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine 

 

I chose UPMC primarily because it was close to home for me. It was easy for me to choose UPMC though because of so many other attributes of the program. One of my favorite parts about our program is how large it is. With so many residents per class, it is extremely easy to find your community. I felt like I always heard that residents loved their program because of the people. And I think that’s one of the things I love the most about UPMC. What’s great about our program, though, is that with our 4+4 schedule, I know I will have 4 full weekends to spend time with my colleagues if I so choose. Additionally, the 4+4 schedule has not only been nice for “work/life harmony” but it has also given me the chance to get early experience in subspecialties. I feel like this gives me a better framework for asking consultants good questions as well as dedicating a month to learn how a subspecialty thinks about the common problems they see, which we then end up managing on general medicine floors.  Finally, there is so much learning built into our day. On wards, I learn practical skills about how the hospital works and how to think about certain problems from resident led rounds. At noon conference, which I attend ~85% of the time, I learn how a sub-specialist advises managing a certain diagnosis or common complaint. At afternoon teaching with the attending, I learn a tangible piece of evidence-based medicine that usually directly relates to the patients we are caring for. 

In my free time, I enjoy spending time outside and exploring Pittsburgh. There are great parks nearby with several tennis courts. I love going out to eat and getting some retail therapy on Walnut St and in Bakery Square. Pittsburgh has so many different neighborhoods to explore as well. I am more used to a flat terrain, but the hills have really improved my cardiovascular health (or at least I hope so). Although I am not a beer aficionado, I do enjoy visiting the local breweries and enjoying the ~vibes~. 

Kaylie Miller, MD
Medical School: University of Maryland School of Medicine

 

I’m a current PGY3 at UPMC in the Generalist Track. I’m originally from Frederick, Maryland where I grew up on an apple farm where we sell apples and hard cider. Fun fact: my brother Michael is also a current PGY3 resident in our program! I went to Northwestern for undergrad where I studied biology and spent a year after college living in Chicago doing basic science research at Lurie Children’s Research Center. I moved back to Maryland to attend the University of Maryland for medical school. I currently live in Squirrel Hill with my partner, which I love for its walkability, neighborhood-vibe, and many delicious food options!

In Pittsburgh, I love going to the many beautiful parks, trying new restaurants (most recently: Pusadee’s Garden), eating at my current favorite restaurants in Squirrel Hill (Aiello’s, Kiin Lao & Thai Eatery, Cafe 33, and Took Took 98). In my spare time, I love to read (there are a ton of libraries in PGH – I live 3 blocks from one- and independent bookstores – my favorite is White Whale) and hang out with my co-residents at parks/restaurants/our houses. I love that Pittsburgh feels like a city with plenty to do, but is easy to get around and affordable.

The things that drew me to UPMC while I was interviewing were: the focus on clinic as a central part of training, the 4+4 schedule, and the ability to do specific tracks within the programs. The things that have pleasantly surprised me since starting residency have been the ability for me to do an extra continuity experience at our outpatient HIV clinic, the wide range of electives (my favorites have been Addiction medicine, Renal consults, and a recent Endocarditis-focused ID rotation), and our wonderful group of co-residents who have become close friends.

In terms of future plans, I am planning to work as a hospitalist before applying for fellowship in Infectious Diseases. My specific interest is in working with patients living with HIV, both in the inpatient and primary care setting. I hope to work in academic medicine with the option to work with medical students and residents throughout my career.

Daiva Mitchell, MD
Medical School: The University of Toledo College of Medicine

 

Immediately after my interview at UPMC, I knew I would rank the program number one. I was so impressed with how comfortable I felt around the residents during my interview day. They were all so warm and welcoming. Also the program stood out because of the impressive female leadership, I knew I would be well supported here. Finally, I felt I would be well prepared as a future attending physician with the program’s resident led rounds and focus on resident clinical education.

Since going through residency, I have also realized how truly supported our residents are at UPMC. Every concern is addressed quickly and with compassion. I have always felt heard and supported throughout the journey of residency.

One of the BEST things about UPMC is living in Pittsburgh. The city is perfect for anyone. It has all the benefits of a big city like trendy restaurants, diverse neighborhoods, exciting festivals, sports teams and yet also has so many other benefits like easy access to outdoor activities, affordability and drivability. One of my favorite parts of Pittsburgh is my neighborhood Regent Square. I love walking down the tree lined street, running through Frick Park with my golden retriever Bruno and eating at Thai Cottage.

After internal medicine residency, I am planning on going into rheumatology for fellowship. With UPMC’s 4+4 schedule, I had the time early in residency to rotate on rheumatology and therefore have been able to develop strong relationships with my mentors and start research early. The program has been a perfect fit for my future career plans.

Laura Penny, MD
Medical School: Pennsylvania State University College of Medicine

 

I am one of the (new!) third year Med-Peds residents.  While I may have been looking at some extra factors (like the need for a wonderful Children’s Hospital) compared to the categorical residents when deciding where I wanted to complete my training, UPMC really fit the mold of where I could see myself spending these important years.  As someone who was not entirely sure what I wanted to do after residency when I started, I was really interested in finding a place that would allow me to practice different types of medicine in many different settings.  I loved the fact that I would have the opportunity to practice at a large academic institution, more community-based hospitals, the women’s hospital, the VA and multiple different outpatient settings.  I think having that opportunity has allowed me to shape the type of physician I want to be after graduation, and I think it’s my favorite part of residency so far.

After being able to practice in a lot of different settings over the past two years, I am most likely going to pursue a career in primary care – seeing both adults and children in the outpatient setting.  I would also love to be able to find a job that allows me to practice adult hospital medicine for several weeks a year to be able to solidify that skill set.  Our residency program has a generalist track which has helped me tailor my schedule with many different organized and self-driven electives which really helped me solidify my career choices.

While the clinical aspects of the UPMC residency program were, of course, such an important component of choosing a place to spend my four years of training, looking back I really feel like there are a few factors that have made an immeasurable impact on my overall happiness here, factors that I wasn’t necessarily placing that much emphasis on while interviewing.  I can’t express enough how much living in a place that I really love has impacted my overall happiness and well-being in a stressful time of training.  Pittsburgh is really my ideal city.  It’s not as large as New York or Boston, but it is still full of fantastic things to do with a very reasonable cost of living – so you can afford to do some of the things that you are itching to do.  As a transplant from the Philadelphia area, I also really appreciate the fact that my family is fairly close by after an easy drive.  I love the mountains and am never disappointed by the hiking available and outdoor places to explore that are so close to the city.  There are wonderful bike trails and plenty of green space in the city, which were nothing but positives for me.

The two things in Pittsburgh that I’d love to share with those considering moving to the area are 1) the best breweries and 2) the best ice cream (my opinions may be controversial, but I’ve done a lot of careful research).  The best breweries in Pittsburgh are Grist House and Hitchhiker Brewing.  The best ice cream in the city is at Klavon’s in the Strip District.  The best ice cream outside the city is at Churn in Glenshaw.  Give them a try.

Daniel “Tuck” Stapor, MD
Medical School: Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University 

 

My time at UPMC has been incredible as it has been full of opportunities to enhance my fund of knowledge and passion for medicine. The ability to run morning rounds as early as a second year resident really allows the team to take ownership of their patients and make medical decisions on their own.  Plus, the attendings on service are fully invested to educate the residents and medical students on complex medical diseases, work-ups, and treatments that are commonly used on the floors. In addition to the excellent rotations on medicine floors, the residents have access to a wide variety of different inpatient and elective rotations and can be creative with their overall schedule throughout the three years, including early access to rotate on specialty services within their intern year.

I choose UPMC for all of the above reasons, which have exceeded my expectations, but also was looking to work in a city environment with a wide diversity in patient population.  I additionally was thrilled to match here due to Pittsburgh being my hometown and was excited to live downtown in an evolving city.  Pittsburgh is constantly changing on a year by year basis, and it’s fun to explore the new developing neighborhoods.  I enjoy trying out the new restaurants, and Pittsburgh has become home to multiple local breweries that all have unique styles.  Compared to other major cities, Pittsburgh is a lot more green with plenty of parks, walking/running trails, and places to spend time outside. Of course, also the three major sports teams are a huge attraction as well.

Following residency, I’m planning on starting a fellowship within Hematology and Oncology. I’ve been fortunate that UPMC has plenty of rotations within this specialty that have allowed me to confirm my passion, learn specifics about various cancers and novel treatment regimens, and participate in clinical investigation with oncologists at the Hillman Cancer Center.

Nick Sumzin, MD
Medical School: Columbia University Vagelos College of Physicians and Surgeons

When choosing my residency, I looked for a few key factors. I wanted to train at a large academic medical center with clinical excellence across all specialties; emphasis on resident autonomy; and a supportive environment. I found all of that and more at Pitt. What stands out to me every day is the acuity of patients we take care of. Due to a catchment area that stretches across multiple state lines, we care for incredibly sick and complex patients.  As PGY2’s we lead our own rounds and take ownership over the whole team. Couple this with our patient population, and that creates a uniquely strong clinical training experience.

Another pro of being at UPMC is the fact that I get to enjoy Pittsburgh. Being a lifelong New Yorker, Pittsburgh has exceeded all of my expectations. Not only is the day-to-day quality of life here easy for a busy resident’s schedule, but on my days off there is always something exciting to do. I love how much rich character, history, and diversity there is in each neighborhood. There is a large young community here, a terrific food scene, the city is super dog friendly, and the opportunities to explore nature here are incredible. I think Pittsburgh is one of the few cities that really has it all for everyone, no matter if you are single, with a pet, or a family. The 4+4 schedule let’s you really take advantage of that.

Ultimately, I know I want to stay in academics, but for now, I am undecided about the exact subspecialty. My interests are all over the map, spanning from cardiology, oncology, to nephrology and critical care. Being at a large research powerhouse like UPMC makes it very easy to connect with leading experts in each field and get involved.

Roberto Tellez, MD

Medical School: West Virginia University School of Medicine 

 

What was the most important factor in your choice of Pitt for residency? 
When it came to choosing a place for residency, I focused on finding a place that balanced kind and passionate people with program caliber. Interviewing at different programs across the country allows for a small glimpse into the culture of an institution. I carefully reflected following each interview day whether I could see myself at that program. I remember leaving my interview day at UPMC feeling like this is the place where I want to spend the next phase of my training. I was amazed by the kindness of all the residents I met, by how knowledgeable everyone seemed at morning report, by the opportunities available to residents, and by the passion of our program director, Dr. Corbelli. One of the most striking examples is a story Dr. Corbelli shared in which a resident had been affected by the travel ban put in place by a prior presidential administration. UPMC went to extraordinary lengths to help this resident and that highlighted the degree our program is willing to go for us. To top it all off, Pitt Internal Medicine offers world class training and will open any career door you wish to pursue. 

What do you like best about your residency so far? 
Our schedule structure. In general, we have a “4+4” system which means you will have weekends off every other block. Residency will be grueling, taxing, and exhausting no matter where you go but knowing there are “golden weekends” to look forward to every other month is fantastic. 

What are your favorite parts of Pittsburgh?  
As someone who has spent most of their life in rural Appalachia, I enjoy how Pittsburgh offers lots of green spaces such as Frick and Schenley park while also giving you the city feel. Pittsburgh is comprised of many neighborhoods and they all are individually unique and most are filled with great eateries.

What do you like to do in your free time? 
I enjoy spending time outdoors (which has only increased since we recently got a hammock), exploring the city, throwing a frisbee, game nights, video games, and playing basketball. 

What are your career plans? 
I initially came into residency undifferentiated and have spent a considerable amount of time thinking about all the possibilities. Gastroenterology has always been at the top of the list of options and my current plan is to apply for GI fellowship. It might even be fitting as someone who (unfortunately) experienced a severe upper GI bleed fresh out of high school! 

UPMC Training Programs: Become a Part of Life Changing Medicine

Naudia Jonassaint, MD, MHS

Vice Chair, Diversity & Incusion
Department of Medicine

UPMC Training Programs: Become a Part of Life Changing Medicine

Naudia Jonassaint, MD, MHS

Vice Chair, Diversity & Incusion
Department of Medicine