For today’s meeting, we invited Dr. Nina Loghmanieh to talk about
her experiences as an internal medical resident. She is a former NYCOM
student who is now currently a resident at Coney Island hospital. She
explains in detail that internal medicine is a broad field and allows
for her to have a nice balance between her career and lifestyle,
without having to sacrifice either one. It also allows for her to get
involved with citywide politics in regards to healthcare and hospitals
within the New York metropolitan area and to pursue other avenues of
medicine. For example she is the regional vice president of the
Resident Union in New York, in which she plans events and visits
different hospitals throughout New York and try to promote harmonious,
symbiotic relationships amongst residents.
In describing a typical day for her at Coney Island hospital, she
appreciates that she has a pretty high caseload and describes it as an
intense learning experience. On average, between the intern and
resident, they would share 10 patients between the two of them.
Although it is a community hospital, it offers her a high volume of
patients, pushing her to quickly pick up skills during her first year
as an intern. When comparing to university internal medicine programs,
she does see the benefits, as there are more opportunities for
didactic learning, lectures and opportunities to get involved in
research but ultimately, she would not trade that for the high
caseload she gets at Coney Island hospital.
She also expressed that in order to get accepted into a competitive
residency, it is important to get yourself acquainted with the right
people, such as the medical director and influential attendings, in
order to get your foot in the door and be noticed. She recommends
rotating through the hospital in which you are highly interested in
doing your residency in. Excelling and getting a good score on your
Step 1 is also another huge contributing factor in getting the
residency you want. As an example, she revealed that the medical
director for her program at Coney Island hospital normally would
accept students who score at the 90th percentile on their Step 1 and
has a cutoff score that determines who he will grant interviews to.
When talking about many of her deciding factors on why she ultimately
decided to pursue internal medicine, she expressed that it was a
decision that literally changed for her overnight. When explaining in
detail, she had prematurely made her decision to pursue surgery all
throughout medical school. She had devoted rotations and electives
during her preclinical years on excelling her surgical skills.
Ultimately, she decided that surgery was not right for her. She wanted
a healthy balance between life in the hospital and life outside of it
and being a surgeon was not something that will allow her to have that
Currently she is completing her last year as a resident. Having gone
through different electives and subspecialties of internal medicine,
she found herself being very drawn to working at the ICU and had
contemplated pursuing a critical care fellowship. Because being a
critical care fellow is very demanding and would entail her to run the
floor for the next subsequent three years, she ultimately decided to,
once again, find a balance between lifestyle and career and will
instead pursue a pain and palliative care fellowship. It is an
intensive, one year hospital-based training. in which she will be
trained to reduce suffering and pain for patients in a critical care
setting and to ultimately, allow them to die peacefully when all
measures have been explored and nothing else more can be done for the
patient to cure them from their ailment. More importantly, it will
help her build skills in how to effectively communicate with patients,
and their family members to discuss when palliation is the next and
final step in order to provide for a graceful and comfortable death.
Without sacrificing her lifestyle for her career, Nina once again is
able to get the best of both worlds.
Before ending the meeting, she leaves us with some pearls of wisdom
she has picked up along the way. Having been through it all, at the
frontline trenches, she reminds us to not sweat the small stuff, to
allow time to decompress from time to time and most importantly, that
there is light at the end of the tunnel.