With emotions high, Loyola medical students take next step in medical career

News Archive March 21, 2014

With emotions high, Loyola medical students take next step in medical career

MAYWOOD, Ill. — The atrium at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine was abuzz  with excitement as fourth medical students learned where they will do their hospital residencies and take their next step in their careers.

“You are amazing students and we know that wherever you go today you will elevate the level of care to men, women and children across America,” said Linda Brubaker, MD, MS, FACS, FACOG, dean and chief diversity officer at Loyola University Chicago Stritch School of Medicine.

Fifty-nine percent of the Stritch class will be staying in the Midwest, 36 percent are staying in Illinois and 16 percent are remaining at Loyola University Health System. Thirty-four percent of the class will be in primary care residencies while the remaining 66 percent will pursue specialty training, including 15 percent going into emergency medicine. 

The students even broke out into a flash mob dance to celebrate the occasion. Then at the stroke of 11 a.m., screams, kisses, hugs, joyful shouts and tears from the students, their families and loved ones permeated the room as students opened their envelopes revealing where they matched. 

Vanessa Alonso, a first-generation permanent U.S. resident, who is pursuing a career in primary care, adult internal medicine, rejoiced with her mother when she saw she had received her first choice, matching at the University of  Chicago.

“I’m so excited. All the hard work over these last few years are represented on this paper. I am extremely grateful and overwhelmed. U of C is bringing care to many who are underserved and that’s what I want to do,” said Alonso.

Born in Colombia, she moved here with her mom when she was 12 and has dual citizenships. For most of her life she has dreamed of becoming a doctor. Her experience at Stritch has fueled her desire to serve those most in need, especially those in the Hispanic community.

 “We came to this country with nothing, but I am where I am because of the hard work, love and dedication of my mother. She taught me to follow my dreams and thanks to her and Stritch that’s what I’m doing,” says Alonso. “As a Hispanic woman, I am very aware of the disparities my people encounter in our health system. It is my goal to help close that gap.”

George Hoganson had a different road to medical school than most. The son of a physician and a nurse, he felt drawn to a career in the health field, but not medicine. He started working on Alzheimer’s research and was moved by the patient’s stories.

“Working with the older adults in my research, I realized what an honor it was to help someone as they progressed through their illness. Health is so much more than just a physical disease or ailment, it is multidimensional and I knew that I wanted to be a part of that,” says Hoganson. 

With support of his wife, this dad of three – ages 6, 4 and 2 – is taking the next step in his second career matching in pediatric neurology at his first choice, Washington University in St. Louis.

“We can’t wait for this next step. Wash U is one of the best programs for pediatric neurology and I just can’t wait to get started. I didn’t want to get my hopes up, but when I opened that envelope it was amazing. This is just such a wonderful feeling,” said Hoganson.

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The Loyola University Chicago Health Sciences Division (HSD) advances interprofessional, multidisciplinary, and transformative education and research while promoting service to others through stewardship of scientific knowledge and preparation of tomorrow's leaders. The HSD is located on the Health Sciences Campus in Maywood, Illinois. It includes the Marcella Niehoff School of Nursing, the Stritch School of Medicine, the biomedical research programs of the Graduate School, and several other institutes and centers encouraging new research and interprofessional education opportunities across all of Loyola University Chicago. The faculty and staff of the HSD bring a wealth of knowledge, experience, and a strong commitment to seeing that Loyola's health sciences continue to excel and exceed the standard for academic and research excellence. For more on the HSD, visit LUC.edu/hsd.
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