Words to live by?
Megan: “For me, I am driven by two main philosophies: know more today about the world than I knew yesterday and lessen the suffering of others. You’d be surprised how far that gets you.” -Neil deGrasse Tyson
Mitra: The person on the operating room table is someone in your own family.
Biggest change/challenge you experienced over your MDPhD?
Noa: Constantly feeling like I wasn’t sure what was expected of me and how to compare myself to others around me (both in research and back in the clinical years). This was 99% in my head so be smarter than me and try to avoid making yourself miserable if you can!
Rachel: I definitely felt left behind – especially these past few years – as my classmates from the beginning of med school or college breezed through residency while I still had so much training to do. But it’s important to enjoy each step of the process and not just focus on the end.
What was the coolest thing you learned in your PhD?
David: That the general approaches I was using in the tiny, specialized segment of academia I was occupying were actually useful for studying almost anything in the realm of fact. The Practical Analysis of Your Personal Genome and Q.E.D. classes were really great (extra-curricular?) experiences too.
What did you come in thinking of specializing in and how did it evolve?
Tim: I started thinking I would be interested in internal medicine, which ended up continuing throughout the 8 years. I had done cardiology research prior to starting at Sinai, so was interested in cardiology but hadn’t fully committed to it yet. However, my PhD was cardiology (I learned to make artificial hearts in a dish!) and I fell in love with cardiovascular physiology, so my initial interests ended up carrying all the way through!
Harish: I initially wanted to do Peds, but as I spent time on the wards, I realized how limited my clinical experiences were, which was in stark comparison to how diverse my scientific experiences had been. I learned that I liked outpatient flow, working with cancer patients, and incorporating an anatomical approach to disease, which led me to radiation oncology. Plus, rad onc is a field with so many MD/PhDs who are receptive to doing good science.