Patricia Gilligan, MD
• Raised in Cincinnati, OH; attended Marquette University in Milwaukee and Ohio State University Medical School
• Presented at the American Transplant Congress in Boston
• Planning a career in infectious diseases with an interest in global health
Why did you decide on internal medicine?
Throughout my first few years of medical school, I wanted to go into dermatology. However, after my third year clerkships, I realized that most of the interesting rashes and skin findings were, in fact, due to internal medicine issues. I really enjoy the process of forming a differential diagnosis, deciding on an appropriate workup, and then putting all the data together to come up with the most likely diagnosis, which is something we get to do much more frequently in internal medicine than in most other specialties.
Why did you want to come to Northwestern? What’s your favorite thing about the program?
Northwestern’s residency program really stood out to me during my interview because of how supportive the culture seemed. I remember hearing how Northwestern residents are “nice, hard-working, and smart - in that order”, and thinking that those were the types of people I wanted to be working alongside. They hype turned out to be true, and throughout my years here, my co-housestaff and attendings have been extremely available and willing to help out whenever I had a question or needed a hand. I feel like Northwestern has definitely challenged me to become a confident, autonomous physician, but it’s great to know that there is help and support there for me when I need it.
Tell us about your research.
I have been working on two projects within the Division of Infectious Diseases. I spent my research blocks during PGY2 year working with Dr. Michael Ison on a retrospective analysis of ganciclovir-resistant CMV infections among solid organ transplant recipients. I knew very little about transplant medicine when I started this project, and it has been an incredibly rewarding learning experience. We presented a poster this summer at the American Transplant Congress in Boston, and I am currently finalizing a manuscript to submit to transplant journals. I also recently began working on an antibiotics stewardship project with Dr. Sarah Sutton. We are hoping to utilize a team of near-peer leaders to encourage the utilization of practices like antibiotic time-outs, effective specimen collection, and quicker antibiotic de-escalation.
Where can we find you after hours?
I am a runner - I ran the Chicago marathon last year, and am hoping to do a couple of half-marathons later this year - so I log a lot of hours on the Lakefront Trail, which is definitely one of Chicago’s most beautiful resources. I also really enjoy the Chicago comedy scene. My boyfriend does improv, and we love going to shows at iO and Second City (though he has yet to convince me to get on stage and try it myself).