Philip Schmidt, MD
- Excellence in Teaching Award winner in first block from junior medical students
- Planned to go into orthopedic surgery until third year medicine clerkship
“I have been amazed at the supportive environment here at Northwestern. My fellow residents were always available to help out with the workload, and the administration was always looking out for me. I feel lucky to be a resident here”
What has been the highlight so far of your intern year?
My highlight this year was winning an Excellence in Teaching Award from the junior medical students during my first month on the medicine wards. While a medical student at NU, I had a great experience working with the medicine residents, and they were a major part of why I decided to go into medicine. As a resident, it’s gratifying to be able to teach students who are in the same situation I was in a couple of years ago and to help foster an interest in them in medicine.
Why did you decide to pursue a career in internal medicine?
Through most of medical school, I was planning on going into orthopedic surgery. However, I found that I loved my medicine rotation, especially the challenge of being responsible for managing a number of different disease processes from head-to-toe as well as the ability to form life-long relationships with patients. While internal medicine can be challenging, I take pride in the fact that the medicine service is always there to take care of a patient, regardless of the patient’s condition or economic status.
Where can we find you after hours?
At the start of residency, I decided to start a saltwater aquarium stocked with fish and coral. During my time off, you can frequently find me at Old Town Aquarium checking out the latest stock or buying supplies to take care of my tank. I also love to attend live sporting events (Cubs, Bulls, Bears), and wish I could go more often! My girlfriend is a resident at another program here in Chicago, so it’s tough to find time to hang out together. Luckily, both of our residency programs have been very understanding and have allowed us to have time off together. We make an effort to set aside time for hanging out, watching a movie or exploring something new around the city.
Do you have any advice for medicine applicants?
Relax and enjoy the interview season! It’s a great opportunity to see other programs and explore other parts of the U.S. I found my internal medicine interviews to be very laid back and fun—much better than my medical school interviews. When interviewing at a program, make sure that you get a good vibe from the current residents in the program. These are the people you will be in the trenches with for the next three years. Finally, make sure you explore the area around the hospital. That is where you will be spending most of your free time, so make sure you like the area.
"Phil is the type of intern that a senior resident prays for: hardworking, consistently upbeat and positive, constantly striving to be better and improve, and delivering outstanding patient care.” - John Cluley, MD, PGY3