Let's begin with a bit about yourself. How would you introduce yourself to the people reading this? We'd also love to hear about your hobbies and interests
I graduated from Alfaisal in 2017 and I'm currently doing my residency in Internal Medicine at The Brooklyn Hospital Center, a clinical and academic affiliate of the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine.
My interests are getting more refined during residency. I used to be into film (classic cinema, foreign film) and other time-consuming hobbies. That's harder to do now. You'll find the most valuable thing in residency is time.
Instead of binging through tome-sized fantasy novels, I'm now casually reading comic books. I still enjoy brewing a good cup of specialty coffee, though. It's the one expensive hobby I can afford to have. For exercise, I picked up skateboarding and continue to train powerlifting.
How do you recall your experience of giving the Steps and then applying for the Match?
A blur! And an unbelievably stressful period in my life. It was a difficult time where I chose uncertainty and the pursuit of knowledge over comfort and familiarity. I'm glad it's over.
Please tell us more about what it is like to be at Brooklyn Hospital Center.
Rent is in NY expensive. Like, really expensive. It's the price you pay when you live here. Many of my colleagues live with roommates or their significant others.
Thankfully, my hospital offers great benefits - a food stipend and insurances that cover health, dental, life/disability, and vision. Our salaries are also higher than the national resident's average because of the high cost of living in the city. Public transportation is 24hrs and is easily accessible. Something a lot of people don't consider in other places is the costs related to transportation - purchasing a care, paying for gas and car insurance (a hidden cost most don't consider). I live a comfortable life.
How is your Internal Medicine residency coming along?
It's great! TBHC is a resident-run hospital. You get a lot of hands on training and opportunity that you wouldn't get anywhere else. It's the perfect balance of resident autonomy and attending support. In Brooklyn, you get to experience a wide variety of pathology and a higher volume of patients. Downtown Brooklyn is an economically divisive neighborhood where there's extremes of wealth and poverty. Working here offers me exposure to a safety-net population and understanding the importance of practicing high-value care.
The IM department has some of the friendliest faculty - they're always available and kind. They continuously motivate me to always do better. They regularly go out of their way to fund events for residents in the name of physician wellness - a hot topic in medicine these days.
The best part of the hospital has to be my co-residents. We're quite a large, diverse group of friends. Some of the bonds I've formed are going to last a lifetime.
I'm still unsure what I want to be doing for fellowship. I'm leaning towards nephrology. It's a very cerebral field where you deal with a broad patient population in a variety of clinical environments (dialysis, inpatient, outpatient clinic ICU setting) - the same reasons I was interested in Internal "Medicine.
Is there something you wish you knew earlier regarding Steps and/or Match that would like to mention? For ambitious medical students reading this (juniors and seniors), what advice would you share with them? This could be related to Steps, US residency, electives or even medical school.
In no particular order of importance or sense: Be in the US when you apply. Try to get as much USCE exposure as possible. Work hard and always strive to do better. Get a credit card and build credit. You cannot survive on "just pizza."