Residency is No Trip to the Beach - SBH Health System
Illustration of the demands of residency

Residency is a grind, a torturous path that any physician can attest to.

It’s a three-, four- or five-year odyssey marked by backbreaking hours, little sleep and the need to make life-and-death decisions often without the prerequisite experience or knowledge. The goal is the same –to provide young doctors with the hands-on, intensive training that will allow them to become the best medical professionals they can be. SBH is proud to have a diverse group of residents, who come from different countries, who speak different languages and bring with them varied backgrounds. Here is a look at several from the graduating class of 2017.

Select Profiles of the Class of 2017

Dr. Jimmy Truong, a recent graduate of SBH’s five-year combined emergency medicine/family medicine residency program, credits hard work and what he learned at Starbucks for his success. Jimmy was on the fast track at Starbucks, advancing from barista to shift supervisor to manager of its Rockefeller Center store, while simultaneously earning a Master’s degree in chemistry and later working as an EMT. In addition to the highlight of once serving mocha to Jimmy Fallon and reaping the many benefits Starbucks provides its employees, he says the experience made him more confident and outgoing, and a better communicator and team player. It ultimately convinced him to pursue his dream of attending medical school and becoming a doctor.

During his residency at SBH, Jimmy scored a number of both personal and group achievements. He participated as part of a team that brought SBH victory in the maiden Bronx Sim Wars (see page) and finished in the top 16 in this year’s SonoGames (a national ultrasound competition). He published in an emergency medicine journal, wrote grant applications, and won a national competition run by EMRA (Emergency Medicine Resident Association) and HippoEM for an entry he submitted for resident appreciation day on “why my residency program is the best program.”

He is one of a number of outstanding residents – from as far away as India and as nearby as Brooklyn, in Jimmy’s case – who comprise SBH’s 2017 graduating classes. Some like Desai Dhaval, chief resident, Medicine, was admittedly “a little scared” coming to the Bronx. He quickly got over his fears, eventually starting a cricket club that includes hospital residents and attendings and plays throughout the metropolitan area. This year, after accepting a job at SBH, he even bought a house here. Meanwhile, his co-chief, Muralidhar Idamakanti, liked the experience so much that in July his wife started at SBH as a 1st year PGY. Here is a look at several of this year’s graduating residents:

Lacey Beth Elwyn, DO
Chief Resident, Dermatology
Chester, Illinois
Next step: Dermatopathology fellowship, Larkin Community Hospital, Miami, FL
Long-term plan: Private practice (splitting time between reading slides and general dermatology patient care)
“It was a well-rounded education and I really enjoyed it. New York City is at the heart of dermatology, the population is very challenging. The pathology you see here you won’t see anywhere else. And the patients are so grateful for your care. SBH is like a family.”

Albert Pavalonis, DO
Chief Resident, Surgery
Powhatan, VA
Next step: Vascular surgery fellowship, NYU Lutheran Hospital, Brooklyn, NY
Long-term plan: Return to Virginia as a vascular surgeon
“It was full of challenges, good challenges, that I think have helped make me a better surgeon in the long run. It’s taught me to be able to think outside the box, to be able to deliver effective and safe patient care.”

Michael Smith, DO
Chief Resident, Surgery
Scranton, PA
Next step: Surgical Critical Care, Westchester Medical Center, Valhalla, NY
Long-term plan: Don’t have any
“I had been in the Bronx for rotations [during medical school) and the chiefs and third and fourth years I saw were just so smart and talented and I said I wanted to one day be those guys. It’s helped me develop a tool chest for good patient care.”

Desai Dhaval, MD
Chief Resident, Medicine
Surat, India
Next step: Critical Care Hospitalist, SBH Health System, Bronx, NY
Long-term plan: Possibly do a critical care fellowship
“All my fears [of the Bronx] were gone within a few months. It’s been a very good experience where you see many different kinds of patients. I made a lot of friends here and feel well prepared to take the next step.”

Muralidhar Idamakanti, MD
Chief Resident, Medicine
Yallur, India
Next step: Hospitalist, SBH Health System, Bronx, NY
Long-term plan: Continue in an academic program
“Was here multiple times [having done several clinical rotations here] and was very eager to join [following his cousin, Dr. Sharatkumar R. Rokkam, who works as an attending after completing a residency program here].It’s been a very good experience.”

Jimmy Truong, MD
Chief Resident, Emergency Medicine/Family Planning
Brooklyn, NY
Next step: Emergency medicine attending, New York-Presbyterian Hospital, New York, NY
Long-term plan: Teaching and working with residents
“The training was very intense here. I loved it. It was a great experience working as part of a team in the ED and in the family medicine clinic, to work in both an acute and chronic setting. The teamwork and camaraderie have been memorable. When someone needs help, everyone pitches in. The training has provided me with so many opportunities.”

Aparna Yadatore, MD
Chief Resident, Pediatrics
Bangalore, India
Next step: Pediatrician, federally-qualified health center
Long-term plan: Interested in working in private practice in areas of asthma and preventive care, and teaching
“Small and beautiful. You get to know everyone and the faculty is very supportive. From the beginning, it felt like a perfect fit.”