Chief Medical Residents
Drs. Matthew Nitzberg, David Vermylen, Rachel Issaka, and Sangeetha Reddy come from different backgrounds, have different clinical and research interests, but share a common role for this upcoming year: they will serve as liaisons between the residents and the Internal Medicine Residency Program leadership team. Let's get to know them!
Left to right: Rachel Issaka, David Vermylen, Sangeetha Reddy, Matthew Nitzberg
Hometown: Boston suburbs
Medical School: Tufts
Chief role: Curriculum development and hospital committees
Plans after chief year: Pulmonary/Critical Care medicine fellowship
Hometown: Born in Chicago, raised in Ghana and Minneapolis
Undergraduate: University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire
Medical School: University of Michigan
Chief role: VA
Plans after chief year: Gastroenterology fellowship
Hometown: San Francisco and Chicago suburbs
Medical School: Northwestern University
Chief role: Medical Grand Rounds
Plans after chief year: General Internal Medicine
Hometown: Orange County, CA
Medical School: UCLA
Chief role: Scheduling
Plans after chief year: Hematology/Oncology fellowship
Why did you want to be a Chief Medical Resident?
Matt: Residency is exciting but sometimes stressful and challenging, as we transition from students to independently functioning physicians. I’ve benefited so much from the outstanding learning environments fostered by former chief residents. I’m very much looking forward to perpetuating this supportive learning atmosphere and giving the next group of residents an educational, engaging transition.
David: Some of my greatest role models in medicine have been chief residents at this program, and the opportunity to take on the role myself, as a mentor and teacher to all levels of housestaff, is a huge honor. I’m most looking forward to honing my educational skills at morning report and working with the residents and program administration to continue the spirit of adaptability and responsiveness that defines the Northwestern Residency.
After three years at Northwestern, how would you describe the program?
Rachel: From residents to faculty and staff, everyone is interested in the success of the graduates of the program and go above and beyond to this end. The most enjoyable part has been the relationships I have built with various people throughout the hospital. Additionally, my co-residents are an incredible group of people, and it has been a pleasure to train with them.
Matt: The motto that was preached to me on day one of intern year was that at Northwestern, we are nice, hardworking, and smart - in that order of priority. After two years here, I’ve seen how that culture pervades through everyone. We work very hard, but I’ve always felt so supported by the great people working around me - faculty, nurses, ancillary staff, and most importantly my coresidents. I’ve learned more about how to care for patients from my co-residents than from anyone else. The people I work with are my favorite part of the program. The fact that Northwestern is located in such a great area of Chicago is just an added bonus.
Sangeetha: There are two great things about the Northwestern training program. The first is that the curriculum is well thought out and designed to have a perfect balance of hard work and efficiency. Second, and most important, is the warm, friendly atmosphere. All the residents help each other out and truly work together with a team mentality. The administration is very supportive and fosters an environment where we can all thrive.
David: My favorite thing about Northwestern is the amazing collegiality and respect that exists between interns, residents, faculty, and staff. The program is responsive, progressive, and nurturing; it fosters a strong sense of community and mentorship, while giving housestaff the confidence and independence they need to make important decisions as clinicians.
What advice do you have for internal medicine applicants?
Rachel: Trust your intuition on the interview trail; try to find a program that has a great balance of clinical experiences and research opportunities. Do not discount the importance of qualities such as livability, program personality, and overall fit. These are the factors that will have an immediate implication on your happiness throughout residency.
Matt: There are so many great programs that provide you with excellent training in internal medicine. With that in mind, take advantage of the application process and explore! I thought I was going to be an East Coaster for life, but I loved my first visit here during interview season - and that was in the winter! Take a chance and visit some new places during your interviews. Residency is a perfect three year opportunity to live in a new place. I will warn you though, it’s hard to not fall in love with Chicago!
Sangeetha: You will get great training at most of the programs that you are applying to. The day-to-day lifestyle may be very different. On your interview days, pay attention to how happy the current residents are at each program you are applying to and how supportive the administration seems to be.