Winnie Tsao, MD ’13

Family medicine ’16
Winnie Tsao.

Winnie Tsao’s UB training has helped her easily adapt to different medical environments.

You’re from Manhattan, but you’re a big fan of Western New York. What’s most appealing about this area?

People are very accepting here. There’s so much variety, and it’s a place where you can be yourself, no matter what your background is. I love the hiking here, too!

What has been the most rewarding aspect of your residency training in family medicine?

The relationships I developed with patients. I saw a patient I’d met during my second month of residency. At the time, he’d had chronic kidney disease for 10 years, a very high uric acid level, recurring gout and out-of-control blood pressure. We tackled each condition one at a time, and it was a lot of work. Now he’s healthy. It’s so rewarding to see how far he’s come — an absolute joy.

How does UB distinguish itself from other medical schools?

Unlike a school such as Syracuse University, which has one university hospital, UB is affiliated with many. I have rotated through all of them, which helped me adapt to different environments. During residency, I began moonlighting at an urgent care center. Thanks to my UB training, it only took me half of my first shift to really get used to the new environment, including its EMR.

How would you characterize the faculty who’ve mentored you?

I’ve felt like I could talk to my teachers about anything, and everyone is very supportive. That was a big part of the reason I decided to stay here for residency.

Have any of your teachers been particularly influential in your training?

Dr. [David] Thomas, in family medicine, had a huge role in developing me as a person and as a doctor. From the time I met him during my third year of medical school, he taught me the human side of medicine: how to shake a patient’s hand properly, how to make a patient comfortable, how to read a patient’s emotions on their face. I emulate so much of what he does. I owe a lot of what I know and who I am to him.