Vanessa Rooney, MDResident – Family Medicine University of Illinois College of MedicineFamily Medicine Residency
University of Massachusetts
University of Rochester
Women’s health (obstetrics and family planning)
Care of refugees/asylum seekers,
Though I was born in San Francisco, I grew up in beautiful Boston, Massachusetts. I went to the University of Rochester for undergrad and studied Public Health and International Conflict Resolution. After college, I moved back to Boston to start work at Physicians for Human Rights. At PHR, I was part of their ‘mass atrocities team’ researching violations of medical neutrality until I decided to try my hand in the field and move to Malta. In Malta, I really found my passion for family medicine and care of refugees and asylum seekers. There, I worked with a family doctor in refugee camps and immigration detention centers where we provided basic care and performed a needs assessment that led to the development of an interpreter training program. I loved that we could see everyone who came through the door and take care of whole families who had traveled together. When I returned to the US, I worked at Planned Parenthood as a research assistant and a birth control counselor before going to
medical school. At UMass, I continued to pursue these interests (and found a few more after rotating through the Massachusetts prison system) and even went back to Malta!
I chose UIC because I felt like I was amongst people with similar interests and passions but who could also push me to do and explore more. It was clear even from my interview day that everyone here loves what they do, cares deeply about their patients, and strives to improve the wellbeing of their communities. Opportunities are abundant and I can’t wait to get to know Chicago.
Outside of medicine, I love travel, photography, painting, my new pug Pound Cake, volleyball, really trashy television, and salsa dancing.