Zachary Ranta - PGY 1
Zac grew up in Hales Corners, WI, a suburb outside of Milwaukee, and made his way to Boston for undergraduate education at Harvard, where he was a member of the Men's Swimming and Diving Team. He majored in Molecular and Cellular Biology and was actively involved in hematopoietic stem cell and melanoma zebrafish research. He started his research work in Paris at the Pasteur Institute while studying abroad for a summer and then continued with his work back in Boston throughout the rest of college. His mentors in research, in addition to his mom who is a practicing Pediatrician, helped solidify his longstanding interest in a career in medicine.
After "retiring" from diving and putting basic science research on hold, he returned home to Wisconsin for medical school at the University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health. He had the opportunity to engage with public health projects across the state and develop his passion for internal medicine and preventive care through his experiences. Zac fell in love with the diverse culture of Boston during college and was eager to return for residency. He was told heading into the interview season that there would be a place that just fit and, after he interviewed at BIDMC, he knew it was the place for him. BIDMC was the perfect combination of East Coast opportunity and Midwest charm. The residents and program leadership were welcoming, supportive and above all, genuine. In just 24 hours on campus, he felt the strong sense of community everyone described, and since starting intern year, he has quickly become a part of the BIDMC family. Teamwork really defines the culture at BIDMC and everyone at BIDMC is committed to bringing the highest quality of care to patients by creating an enjoyable, supportive, non-hierarchical atmosphere in which to work. From specialty tracts in education, global health, and primary care to an abundance of research projects with distinguished, approachable faculty members, the opportunities for career advancement at BIDMC are exceptional. Zac now lives in the Back Bay with his partner, Joseph who works in equity research. He enjoys running along the Charles, rooftop dining with friends and frequent visits to the many incredible theatres/museums/historical sites around Boston.
Ohn Chow - PGY 2
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 3
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.