I love the passion for discovery and innovation at Mass General, and the fact that diversity and a welcoming environment are expressed missions and an open and important topic.
I was born in Liberia, grew up in North Carolina, and attended Harvard College and Harvard Medical School. My Harvard experiences made Mass General a top candidate when I was considering where to do my residency. Its prestige and reputation were immediately appealing, but my experience at Mass General has been everything I wanted and more.
From year to year, there have been marked differences in the amount of responsibility given to me, and I have welcomed and felt ready for it. There is a very strong support system here, no matter the time of day. There is always someone to talk to, someone with whom you can have a dialogue about the best ways to help a patient. Those I work with–residents, attendees and others–value my opinion and trust my judgment. I had Harvard classmates who did not pick Mass General because there was a perception that this is a “sink or swim” environment. Time and time again, my experience has proven this untrue.
My first impression of the Center for Diversity and Inclusion was during the interview process. I was invited to attend the CDI Gala, an annual event attended by both applicants and CDI alumni–underrepresented in medicine (URM) doctors who have spent time at the hospital as students, residents or faculty. The event was fantastic and a lot of people came back for it, which I think says something about the importance that CDI holds for people. It was also well attended by chairs and department heads, and it really wrapped me in the feeling that Mass General is a place that celebrates multiculturalism.
I didn’t become actively involved with CDI until my second year as resident. However, even during my first year, CDI gave me the feeling that there was a constant and ongoing dialogue about issues of diversity and inclusion that are relevant to all who work here – not just URMs. Getting involved was a gradual process, but once I saw how much excellent work was being done, I really wanted to be part of it and advance it. As every year goes by, it’s easy to see yourself in the students and more junior residents and you want to be able to share your experiences and give the guidance you received.
Interviewees are often concerned about the resident quality of life. There are certainly periods of time when it's challenging, and you are busy and in the trenches, but the year is broken up in to on- and off-periods, so you can catch up and take a deep breath. That facilitates balance. There are rigorous and time sensitive sessions, but they are coupled with others that allow you to have a day or a weekend. My wife and I had a baby during my residency and through my department, I was always able to find coverage when I needed it.
I love the passion for discovery and innovation at Mass General; the way that everyone here takes such personal responsibility for the excellence of our patient care; the small scale and the energy of Boston; and the fact that diversity and a welcoming environment are expressed missions and an open and important topic.