“As I finish my intern year at the University of Illinois at Chicago, I find myself reflecting at how fast it’s gone by. Finishing intern year feels like a huge accomplishment since it has a reputation for being such a big hurdle. I think any residency program consists of the residents and faculty in it. It’s hard to believe how many friends I’ve made here and how close we’ve gotten. Amazing program statistics aside, it’s hard to make it through 4 years of hard work if you aren’t surrounded by great people. Here, you have everything – daily didactics, outstanding board success rates, professional and personal support, as well as great friends.
As much fun as our residents have, we work hard, too. The learning curve for interns is steep, but it’s remarkable how far we’ve come. Our intern year consists of diverse rotations. After this year, I feel prepared to continue my anesthesia training, but I also feel like I’ve become a better, more well-rounded physician. We are exposed to OR anesthesia rotations in our intern year, as well as medicine, surgery, ER, neonatal ICU, and cardiology consults. Because of our off-service rotations, I feel like I can better understand different perspectives of patient care. These rotations have also given me the opportunity to meet residents from other departments. It’s nice to know that, as I continue residency, I will see a lot of friendly faces around the hospital.
Another great quality of our department is that residents’ voices are heard. Our department continually makes improvements to the program. Every year, rotations are added or dropped or tweaked to ensure we learn and benefit from the time we spend on those rotations. Several exciting rotations have been added to further residents’ exposure to trauma and hearts. We also have elective time, especially in our CA-3 year. Additionally, graduates from our residency program have lots of success finding fellowships in every anesthesia specialty all over the country. And who can top living in Chicago? Being from a small town, living in downtown Chicago is especially exciting. The University of Illinois at Chicago is centrally located, so there are many different options for resident living. Whether you buy or rent, there are plenty of great places. Some residents choose to live downtown, in the heart of it all, and some choose a quiet neighborhood. Chicago offers so much diversity! Residents often get together for beach volleyball in the summer, go to Cubs games, or just meet for dinner.
Having finished intern year, I feel like my time here is going by so quickly! I’m so happy to be learning in such an amazing place and so grateful to have met so many wonderful people. The University of Illinois at Chicago is truly like a family now.”
Jennifer Mendoza, M.D.
CA-1, 2011-2012 (class of 2014)