At first, Canadian citizen and Ross University School of Medicine (RUSM) graduate Prasanna Patel, MD, struggled being away from her parents during medical school. This first-generation physician couldn’t help but think of everything her parents sacrificed to move her and her family from India to Canada for an opportunity like this. But when Patel entered the National Resident Matching Program® (The MATCH ℠) process in March of this year and matched at her top choice — internal medicine (IM) program at St. Joseph Mercy Oakland Hospital in Pontiac, MI — the sacrifices were all worth it.
“I always dreamt about the St. Joe’s residency program,” Patel said of the teaching hospital where she completed most of her core rotations. “It just felt like I was home. I could walk down the halls and say hi to people because I’ve seen them so many times. The staff knows me, and I know them. It’s really nice to be in that type of setting.”
Making an Impact
Patel recalls her first interest in medicine when she was 11 years old, living in India, and witnessing her grandfather’s illness and subsequent death from bladder and prostate cancer. “Going through the journey with my grandpa, I figured that this is what I wanted to do. I couldn’t really help him, but I wanted to make sure — with whatever capacity I could — I’m going to do some good in the world.”
Now, as she enters her first position as a newly minted physician, Patel hopes to make an impact on patients across generations. Patel said, “I actually started rotations toward the path of family medicine. I’ve always been interested in doing primary care and seen myself as a family doctor — someone who can take care of your family as a whole over generations. But when I started my internal medicine rotation at St. Joe’s, I knew I had to reconsider my options.” She appreciated the rotation locations, collaboration with different teams, and the variety of outpatient clinics.
Patel believes in sharing knowledge and encourages students to do the same. “The MATCH process is stressful, but just remember it is an accomplishment on its own. You’ve made it this far, so be confident and believe in yourself.”
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