Memorial Sloan Kettering is a unique place to do internship, and many people have asked me why I would want to spend my intern year in an intense cancer hospital. While I don’t believe it is a program ideally suited to everyone, I had some compelling reasons for choosing the program that may be pertinent to you:
1. I enjoy interacting with intelligent, competent people. The oncologists are at the forefronts of their respective fields and have chosen to work here because they enjoy teaching.
2. The hospital is a smooth-running machine. You can track when labs were ordered, drawn, and returned on the computer. Same goes for radiology/path studies. The nurses and ancillary staff are well-trained and (importantly) not overstaffed-this means they do their job and you do yours. We also get fed twice a day.
3. Our chief residents and graduate medical education office advocate for the transitional interns’ interests.
4. My co-interns are really wonderful people. Camaraderie runs strong.
5. MSK is a great place to learn good, evidence-based medicine.
Like many people from the greater metropolitan area, I’ve had New York City envy for a long time. I grew up in Montville, New Jersey, and then went to Harvard College to study Chemistry. I thought there could be nothing better than living in California, so I applied to every medical school on the West Coast. But before going to Stanford, I deferred medical school for a year to live and work in New York, and since then I’ve found I’m not happy living anywhere else.
I’m really grateful to Memorial Sloan Kettering and NYU Radiology for letting me fulfill that aspiration. This year has so far been wonderful—I love New York. I love the intensity of the city environment, both at work and at leisure. Internship is certainly challenging—the demands are great and it is often saddening to take care of very sick patients. However, the support system is equally strong, and it is ultimately rewarding to be part of a team delivering the best care that modern medicine can offer.