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Samantha Heller


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I grew up in Connecticut, but have been in New York City for so long that I have trouble imagining I could live anywhere else. I went to Harvard College and then took the long road to medicine by means of a PhD in English literature at Columbia University followed by a post-baccalaureate pre-med program.

I went to Cornell Medical School (right across the street from MSKCC), so I had some prior exposure to Memorial and to the Transitional Year Program.Based on what I had seen, I knew I wanted to do my internship here. In sum, I wanted to be surrounded by attendings who love to teach, nurses who exemplify compassion, and residents who care about their patients. I wanted to be in a hospital that runs so smoothly and boasts such top-notch ancillary services that your day is spent concentrating on medicine and on patient care rather than on blood draws. And, as a radiologist-to-be, I wanted exposure to MSKCC’s pathology and a chance to see a broad range of oncologic diagnostic imaging from a clinical perspective.

So far, MSKCC has been a wonderful place to be. This is not to say that life on the floor is easy-the patients are very sick, and the days can be long. However, the work makes sense; it is not mindless, and it is almost always interesting. From what I have heard, it is rare to find a hospital that offers interns both an academic environment and a model of superb patient care without exacting some degree of suffering in return, but happily Memorial is just such a place.

And as implied above, I am biased in favor of New York. If you are at all intrigued by city existence, this is a stimulating and exciting place to live, although now with a 2-year-old and a 4-week-old (as of the time of this bio), I admittedly see less of it than I used to!

If you have questions, please feel free to email me at