Karolina Zareba, MD and John Scherer, MD
- AOA award recipients
- PGY3s, matched in Cardiology (Karolina) and GI (John), University of Pittsburgh
- Happily married since 2008
- Student Teaching Awards recipients
Karolina and I chose Northwestern for multiple reasons. First and foremost, Diane Wayne sets a great tone for the program as she is a huge resident advocate and fosters a friendly, cooperative atmosphere with an emphasis on great patient care and rigorous academics. Second, our co-residents are as smart as they are fun-loving. We had a great time with them in and outside of the hospital. Lastly, the training is truly top-notch. There are innumerable clinical and research opportunities available in addition to strong mentorship which is invaluable in defining a career pathway. We had a fantastic experience at Northwestern and would choose to come here again without hesitation.
What are your clinical interests?
Karolina: My love for cardiology and research started at home and it has continued throughout my life. Through the support and nurturing attitude of my parents I was able to travel and discover cardiology research at various universities in Europe aside from that in medical school. My desire to become an academic cardiologist has been further confirmed by my clinical and research experiences during residency at Northwestern. I have been fortunate enough to work with Drs. Vera Rigolin and Robert Bonow on a project evaluating gender based outcomes of mitral valve surgery, during which I have also been learning to analyze echos. Aside from valvular disease I am also very interested in the various imaging modalities in cardiology and hope to further my knowledge during fellowship.
John: My interest in gastroenterology began during medical school but my desire to be an academic gastroenterologist was cemented by my research experience during residency at Northwestern. Under the guidance of Drs. John Pandolfino and Peter Kahrilas, I worked on multiple projects studying esophageal dysmotility using high-resolution manometry and described the novel entity of functional esophagogastric junction obstruction. Also, working with a co-resident under the direction of Drs. Colin Howden and Steven Flamm, we found that patients with cirrhosis and ascites on proton-pump inhibitors had a significantly elevated risk of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis. In addition to teaching me how to conduct rigorous clinical research they have provided excellent examples of what it means to be a leading academic clinician. I plan to pursue clinical research in either inflammatory bowel disease or Barrett’s esophagus and am excited to begin gastroenterology fellowship at the University of Pittsburgh.
Where did you grow up?
John: I grew up in the small town of Cedarville, MI. As a harbor town within the Les Cheneaux Islands, a network of 36 islands in Lake Huron, it was impossible not to fall in love with all that nature and the outdoors have to offer. While my family’s main trade dates back multiple generations in dentistry, I was fascinated by the broader aspects of medicine. Karolina and I have really enjoyed our life in Chicago, where we wed a little over a year ago, and our training at Northwestern University has exceeded all expectations.
Karolina: I was born in Lodz, Poland-a very lively and cultural city. As an only child I grew up being very close with my parents and I have many great memories from Poland - one of the reasons we often visit. At age 11 we moved to Rochester, NY. I attended the University of Rochester where majored in Biomedical Engineering. I decided to stay at UofR for medical school which was a great decision because this is where I met John!
“John and I have just completed our second couples match - this time for fellowships at the University of Pittsburgh. I will be starting cardiology fellowship while John will be specializing in gastroenterology. We will greatly miss everyone at Northwestern and Chicago, but we are very excited to start our specialty training and discover a new city. ”