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  Housestaff and Alumni Testimonials

Wilson Quezada, MD
"Growing up in Washington Heights a few blocks from Columbia, I consider it a great privilege to be part of the Columbia Housetaff and a member of the LTS. The program stands out for its supportive and distinguished faculty, a unique two-faculty system, and a great group of intelligent and compassionate co-residents. These aspects, combined with our diverse patient population create a learning environment that is simultaneously challenging and nurturing. The LTS provides additional support and serves an important function in our professional development through mentoring and advising. Through the LTS, I have identified great faculty and residents that are great role models as I begin to shape my own career in medicine."

  . Aluko Hope, PGY3
"I applied to Internal Medicine programs across the country and I chose Columbia ultimately because I felt most at home with the residents here. It was the one place where the academic reputation was excellent but the housestaff seemed well rounded, fun and to be relishing their autonomy. I was a spanish major in college with an interest in latin american culture so it has really been a joy to be of service to the marginalized patients of Washington Heights who are mostly spanish speaking immigrants from the Dominican Republic. To be able to live in the greatest city on earth isn't so bad either."

  . Alana Cohen, PGY2
"Coming out of medical school, choosing Columbia Presbyterian for residency represented myriad opportunities. Not only did it provide the opportunity to move back my native NYC, it also provided the opportunity to work in the most highly regarded medical center in the region. Here, I've seen an incredible variety of cases, and I've been able to participate in research with leaders in their fields. In addition to all of that, Columbia provides the opportunity to work with some of the best-trained residents I've ever encountered. Columbia is the perfect place to start your career in medicine".

  . Adrienne Phillips, MD Heme/Onc fellow, CUMC.
“I grew up in the NY area and knew after spending 9 years in school in New England that I had to return. I chose Columbia for 3 main reasons, it has an excellent academic reputation, a commitment to serving an ethnically diverse patient population in their community, and a fun and supportive house staff. During the application process many advised me that I would know when I found the right program for me, and with Columbia it was so true, I felt like I belonged here and that I would grow tremendously. I have been so satisfied with my Columbia experience that I will stay on to pursue fellowship training!”

  . Sophie Balzora, PGY1
"When applying for residency, I knew I wanted to be in New York City. But of course, there are so many programs to choose from. What is so attractive about Columbia is that the opportunities at this residency program are limitless; it was easy to see that the faculty, program directors, and housestaff have an invested interest in creating an atmosphere in which residents are given the support necessary to succeed. And the diversity of the housestaff undoubtedly complements Columbia's patient population, which is something that I have definitely appreciated during my time here. And I believe that this only helps to encourage the trust that our patients entitle to us, because they too appreciate Columbia's effort to generate a great group of residents who are diverse in race, interests, goals, and perspectives."

  . Estela Rodriguez, MD, Heme/Onc, U Penn.
“As a Latina training in medicine, it was important to me that I got the best possible training while not compromising my ideals of serving my own community. At Columbia I have been able to do just that by being exposed to the very best that a large academic center can offer while keeping in mind the needs of the underserved inner city community that surrounds our campus. All in all I have found balance at Columbia because the people here keep you balanced. The residents are smart, yet relaxed, the faculty is demanding yet supportive and and the program is tough yet reasonable in terms of time commitment. If I had to do it all over again, I would definitely match at Columbia again.”

  . Alex Montero, MD, MPH, Attending.
“Being Hispanic adds a uniquely fulfilling aspect to training at Columbia . You are afforded the chance to work with patients from your own background while operating in a world-class medical center. It is not an experience easily replicated elsewhere.”

  . Eyiuche Okeke, MD, Endocrine Fellow, Joslin Diabetes
“So far, I have found this program to be intellectually stimulating and emotionally rewarding. What I cherish the most is the opportunity to work with and learn from fellow members of the housestaff. The residents here are outstanding.”
  . Tatiana Artega, PGY3
"As far as why I chose our program: After doing an away Sub-I rotation at Columbia, I felt a true and honest camaraderie as well as a true friendship between the residents. The caliber of residents and attendings as well as the didactics sessions offered were unlike others I experienced while interviewing. As a third year resident I can say that our program has been very tough at times but, having good people to work with has made it a lot easier."

  . Malia Jackson, MD, Attending, CUMC.
“I applied to Columbia because of its reputation as the best medicine program in New York, but my ultimate decision to come here was made after meeting the residents. My co-interns are some of the most down-to-earth, personable people you could hope to work with. As demanding as residency is it really makes a difference having a wonderful group of residents by your side. In the end, more than anything else, they are what make your residency experience.”

  . Aaron Horne, Jr., PGY1
"When I was deciding on where I ideally wanted to train, I was diligent in identifying a program that provided the academic rigor necessary to obtain a strong evidence based foundation in medicine, and had the infrastructure for individualized career development mentorship while celebrating the diversity of its patient population, faculty, and house staff. Columbia has proved to be the optimal training environment where I feel constantly challenged, supported and fulfilled in working with an incredible group of people committed to the overall health of our community. The LTS is a special entrée into the rich tradition of service and excellence promoted here at Columbia and I am excited about the role that we will have in continuing to shape the face of healthcare moving forward."

  . Rhondalyn McLean, MD, Cardiology Fellow, Johns Hopkins.
“I grew up in Harlem wishing that one day I would work at Columbia Presbyterian Hospital. When I graduated from UCSF and matched in Emergency Medicine in the Bronx I chose to do my preliminary year here at CPMC. Even though I worked harder than I could have ever imagined, I loved every minute of my internship here. I decided early in my first year to remain at Columbia. This place is special. It has been a blessing to be a part of a community that is committed to a mission of caring for all, irrespective of and in celebration of our differences.”

  . Kayode Olowe, MD, GI Fellow, Cleveland Clinic.
"The clinical training and education at Columbia are excellent. Columbia is one of the few institutions that offerstruly world class care to a predominantly underserved patient population. Another perk is the opportunity to learn from and work with so many reknowned experts and leaders in medicine. Since Columbia is a major tertiary (and even quaternary) care center, our patients and their illness are quite diverse. You see it all! I also found the administration to be extremely receptive to housestaff concerns. The program is continuously improving upon excellence based on the experiences of the housestaff. My colleagues were actually one of the aspects of the program that I enjoyed most. Columbia does well in attracting conscientious team-players."