A half-hour after learning that she’d been matched to the University at Buffalo’s fellowship in infectious diseases, Lauren Ibrahim received a call that left her nearly speechless.
It was program director Charles Berenson, MD, extending his congratulations.
“That would never happen in other places,” Ibrahim says. “It wouldn’t be a priority. But Dr. Berenson took the time to make me feel comfortable coming to Buffalo, and I could tell he was genuine about it.”
Such thoughtfulness typifies not only the program director’s rapport with fellows, Ibrahim says, but extends across the division.
“During my fellowship I always had an opportunity to ask the attendings questions, and I knew that their best interest was my learning,” recalls Ibrahim, a physician at Cancer Treatment Centers in Philadelphia.
“They really cared. I felt that from the beginning.”
Ibrahim, who completed her residency at a bustling New York City hospital, says that she discovered a refreshingly manageable change of pace at UB.
“I wanted to train in a university program because that’s where you learn the most. And I found that I excelled in UB’s smaller, friendly environment, where I got more on-on-one time with the attendings.”
In large part, Ibrahim chose to subspecialize in infectious diseases because it would allow her to see a wide array of pathology and care for a broad patient base.
She values her UB training for the same reasons.
“I liked that we rotated through four different hospitals, which are diverse in and of themselves,” she says.
“At the VA we cared for primarily older men, whereas ECMC gives you experience working in a county hospital. At Roswell Park, you see conditions you won’t see anywhere else because cancer patients are so immunocompromised. And at Buffalo General—the busiest hospital for us—we saw a lot of general infectious diseases. ”
Another plus to rotating through four clinical sites?
“You get to see many different approaches to care,” Ibrahim says. “That’s so important in infectious diseases, where there is lot of variability in treatment options.”