Understanding patient needs specific to the Midwest is part of the learning process for the first Carle Illinois College of Medicine residents who grew up in other regions of the U.S. and are the first matched to Carle Foundation of Hospital.
“I have seen people from walks of life unfamiliar to me. One patient was a farmer who did not want a treatment because he had to harvest his crop,” Phani Gaddipati, MD, said.
Dr. Gaddipati grew up in Colorado and moved to the Champaign area from Maryland while resident Andrew Chang, MD, grew up in California. They started their residencies in internal medicine last July and in June Dr. Gaddipati will move to the University of Washington to focus for four years on his passion for diagnostic radiology and the technical aspects of medicine. Dr. Chang plans to stay at Carle Foundation Hospital for the rest of his residency before becoming a hospitalist or intensive care physician and then moving into a specialist fellowship.
“Central Illinois’ diverse patient population creates opportunities for interns to treat unusual or complex patient problems. I see cases I would expect only to see in a Chicago academic hospital,” Dr. Chang said.
A typical day for him means starting at 6 or 6:30 a.m. to review patient charts and then doing patient rounds with a medical team to check on patient progress and document reasoning behind each type of care recommended, he said. Afternoons are usually spent documenting patient needs and responding to any issues, Dr. Chang said.
“Overall, my experience has been fantastic. The nurses are amazing as are my colleagues,” Dr. Chang said.Created in 2015 as a joint effort by the University of Illinois and Carle Health, Carle Illinois College of Medicine is the first engineering-based medical school. Unlike traditional medical education, Carle Illinois’ curriculum immerses students early in clinical, case-driven, problem-based, active learning intended to instill passion and creativity for discovering innovative solutions to the world’s most difficult healthcare challenges.
“It is so rewarding to see the fruits of Carle’s collaborative effort as our students matriculate and become practice partners. Carle’s Internal Medicine Residency Program provides an excellent platform for our students to serve our community as internists,” James Kumar, MD, Carle Foundation Hospital, said.
With an undergraduate degree in engineering, Dr. Chang knew he wanted a career in medicine since his first work study job at Washington University where he dissected cadavers. Dr. Gaddipati has a master’s degree in bioengineering and worked a year as a biotech specialist at The Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore before applying to the Carle Illinois College of Medicine.
Careers such as medicine can be a shared interest among family members and that holds true for Dr. Gaddipati whose sister is currently completing a fellowship in oncology while his twin brother, Ravi, is finishing his first year of internal medicine residency.
Dr. Chang is the first in his family to study medicine and he hopes to innovate at Carle Health by advancing a project to bring chronic kidney disease screening to the area. “You have to be a problem solver,” he said.
Learn more at Carle Illinois College of Medicine.