Ask the Residents: What Are Your Goals for this Year?

Residents in the Department of Surgery at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis are part of an academic program with diverse surgical training, strong research opportunities and mentors who are national leaders in their fields.

With residency programs in General Surgery, Plastic Surgery, Urology and Vascular Surgery, residents in every specialty have access to world-class training. What makes each of these programs truly special is the community and camaraderie.

Choosing a residency program is an important decision—one that determines where a person will spend the next five or more years of their life training to become a surgeon. Residents at the School of Medicine are eager to help facilitate that decision by answering some of the most frequently asked questions about the residency programs in the Department of Surgery.

Katie Agamawi, MD

Urology PGY-3

Agamawi says, "Improve my surgical skills and increase medical knowledge while balancing family life as a new mom!"

Britta Han, MD

General Surgery Lab Resident

Han says, "Continue to learn more about becoming a safe surgeon (aka ABSITE studying), read a few more good books, and consistently meditate for 5 minutes every day...and try to remember that life is too short."

Rahul R. Handa, MD

General Surgery PGY-5

Handa says, "In my final year of residency, I'm hoping to focus heavily on fine-tuning my operative technique, and to solidify my understanding of the vast array of disease commonly seen in general surgery and its subspecialties. Additionally, I hope to have an opportunity for even more exposure to Cardiac Surgery prior to fellowship."

Andrew Linkugel, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery PGY-4

Linkugel says, "I want to narrow my focus in plastic surgery to a specialty for fellowship training (which is hard because I enjoy just about everything)."

Anna Rose Johnson, MD, MPH

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery PGY-1

Johnson says, "To continue developing my clinical skill set and be able to effectively manage patients in the perioperative, inpatient, and postoperative settings.   To adjust to living in St. Louis and achieve a healthy work-life balance!"

Connor McCormick, MD

Urology PGY-1

McCormick says, "Learn a lot, take good care of my patients, and build a community with my co-interns."

Andrew McLaughlin, MD

Urology PGY-2

McLaughlin says, "To become more involved in research opportunities and develop my skills in endoscopic surgery."

Carrie Ronstrom, MD

Urology PGY-4

Ronstrom says, "My academic goal for the year is to publish one (or two!) manuscripts. I'm also currently expecting, so my other goal is to have a healthy baby."

Jorge Zarate Rodriguez, MD

General Surgery PGY-3

Zarate Rodriguez says, "As I go into the lab, my goal for this year is to become more statistically-literate, so that I can read and critique papers more intelligently and can write some papers of my own."

Ema Zubovic, MD

Plastic and Reconstructive Surgery PGY-4

Zubovic says, "As I start the second half of my residency, my goals are to refine my surgical skills, become a successful mentor to students and younger residents, and plan for the next steps in my training."