Ohn Chow - PGY 1
Originally from New Hampshire, Ohn grew up for the most part in Rochester, NY. He went to college at Cornell where he was a biology major. After he graduated, he spent two years at the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard, where he realized that he loved research and wanted to study human disease. Ohn next went to graduate school at UCSD, where he was in the biomedical sciences PhD program. During his training, he explored many facets of research, which led him to co-found a biotechnology company and participate in many interesting academic endeavors. By far the most formative of these was his time in the HHMI Med-Into-Grad program, where his experience on medical wards allowed him to gain clinical insight to help guide his research. He ended up loving clinical medicine so much that he decided to redirect his career and become a physician-scientist. After graduating, he made his way back to the east coast to attend Duke for medical school where he discovered his passion for internal medicine. The humanism, complexity of patients and research made it an ideal fit for Ohn's personality and career goals.
Going into the residency application process, Ohn wanted to find a supportive program with great research opportunities. On top of that, he wanted to go somewhere he felt comfortable. When he visited BIDMC, there was something that really clicked. Most importantly, residents seemed genuinely happy. There was a collegial and friendly atmosphere not only between residents, but also with faculty as well. Secondly, the residents seemed very well-supported. Almost every senior resident he spoke to had stories about the faculty and program leadership helping them get the job or fellowship they wanted. Finally, he thought BIDMC had fantastic research opportunities. Not only did residents get to work with the amazing researchers at BIDMC, but they also had access to many of the other great research institutions in and around Boston.
Ohn has had an amazing time since coming to BIDMC. One of the things he loves most about the program is the amount of support he has received. He came to BIDMC with a plan to pursue an ABIM Research Track. Before he even started, the program leadership had helped him get in touch with fellowship directors and other physician-scientists to help guide his path. Up to this point, there has been no door at BIDMC that has ever been closed to him. From a clinical perspective, the training has also been fantastic. There are plenty of interesting clinical cases on the wards, and the program puts together great didactic sessions pretty much every day. One other thing that struck Ohn about BIDMC is the focus on humanism and compassion. This applies not only to interactions with patients, but also to interactions with nurses, fellow residents, attendings and other hospital staff. Not only does this make being in the hospital a lot more fun, but it translates into better patient care. One of the other perks of coming to BIDMC is that Ohn has gotten to come back to Boston - a young, vibrant and diverse city.
Susan McGirr - PGY 2
Susan grew up in Minnesota where she knew from a young age, probably due to an early Fisher Price stethoscope, that she wanted to go into medicine. Softball and a love for the mountains brought Susan to Middlebury College where she studied neuroscience with some time on the side for hiking, skydiving and most importantly, playing softball. During college, Susan spent a summer living and working in a township outside of Cape Town, South Africa. Learning how the South African clinics and hospitals with limited resources developed programs for education and innovation around HIV was eye opening. The experience solidified her interest in medicine. After college, Susan spent two years at the University of Minnesota doing schizophrenia research before moving back to the east coast for medical school at Harvard where she was a founding member of the Crimson Care Colloborative, Harvard's first student-run clinic .
Susan completed her 3rd year of medical school at Beth Israel Deaconess and was immediately struck by the incredible focus on teaching and quality within the internal medicine department. As a medical student at BIDMC, she was exposed to resident run quality improvement initiatives and had a chance to understand the role of housestaff in inciting change within the hospital. Moreover, she began to get a sense of the incredible camaraderie among the housestaff. The program felt like a family. Every resident that Susan came across had a unique blend of compassion, intelligence and humor that made each patient’s care special and helped ease the stresses of residency. As Susan’s clinical interests developed toward inpatient medicine and quality/systems improvement, it was clear that BIDMC was a perfect fit for residency.
Susan came to BIDMC because of the hospital's commitment to quality improvement, from the administrative to the medical student level, the amazing house staff, incredible faculty teachers and, last but not least, the internal medicine softball team. She plans to pursue a career in hospital medicine with a focus in quality and systems improvement. Since starting residency, Susan has joined the House staff quality improvement council (HSQIC) and been able to spend elective time working on independent quality improvement projects.
Susan now lives in Jamaica Plain with her husband, a native of Boston, who works as an investment officer for the Massachusetts state pension fund. When not at the hospital, Susan finds time for hiking, kayaking, spending time with family and friends and winning softball championships with the BIDMC softball team.
Sarah Lieber - PGY 3
Sarah was born and raised in Los Angeles before venturing east to study English literature at Yale. She soon discovered biological anthropology and shifted her focus to reproductive ecology and bioenergetics, inspiring what would become a lifelong commitment to women’s health. In addition to volunteering in a hospital pediatric unit and promoting local ethnographic efforts, she combined her love for reproductive ecology and women’s health in an interdisciplinary project on the role of ghrelin in fertility at the Yale School of Medicine. Following her graduation from college, she continued to explore her interest in women’s health, spending a year at the National Cancer Institute helping to describe prolactin receptor isoform expression in breast cancer.
She then attended Harvard Medical School, where she was introduced to rheumatology in her second year, marking the beginning of her growing fascination with systemic autoimmune disease. While in medical school, she studied the use of web-based intervention to improve physical activity and overall wellbeing in women and served as a premedical advisor to Harvard undergraduates and recent graduates and later as a preceptor to Harvard medical students in a year-long course on the physical exam.
Throughout medical school, Sarah spent significant time at BIDMC and knew that she would thrive as an internal medicine resident in the warm, supportive environment and culture of intellectual curiosity that she had come to love as a medical student, having identified numerous early role models among the house staff, fellows, and attendings at BIDMC. As a resident, Sarah has benefited from immersive internal medicine training and embraced her intended subspecialty of rheumatology, studying clinical characteristics and outcomes in synovial fluid culture-negative septic arthritis under the guidance of thoughtful mentors, remaining interested in women’s health and systemic autoimmune disease. She values helping to educate the next generation of medical students and has participated in quality improvement initiatives and served on the hospital-wide Ethics Advisory Committee as a house officer. As an honorary New Englander, she enjoys visiting local museums and historic sites and still appreciates season changes, which have not lost their luster.