Lauren Heaberlin, MD
Hometown: Milwaukee, WI
Undergrad: Rice University, Houston, TX
Medical School: University of Texas Health Science Center, San Antonio, TX
Career Plans: Academic Pediatrics/Hospital Based Medicine
Born and raised in the Midwest, I ventured south to Texas for both undergraduate and medical school. When the time came to apply for residency programs, I found myself once again ready and willing to relocate nearly anywhere within the country. Upon the culmination of my visit to Ann & Robert H. Lurie Children’s Hospital of Chicago, I felt my search had ended. The program offerings exceeded all of my expectations with its strong academic culture, invested faculty and, above all, an overwhelming sense of solidarity among residents. Ecstatic with my match day result, I anxiously awaited the start of training and the opportunity to get reacquainted with my Midwestern roots.
Medical education training here at Lurie Children's is held as a priority by both residents and faculty alike. I knew that training here would expose me to a vast world of rare subspecialty diagnoses, which would fulfill my intellectual curiosity without compromising an essential general pediatrics education. My favorite part of the day is Morning Report, where residents, fellows and attendings from across multiple subspecialties come together to discuss interesting patient presentations. Cases cover all aspects of pediatric care from the rare “zebras” to bread-and-butter pediatrics. Discussions are spontaneous, supportive, lively and unlike anything else I witnessed on the interview trail. The attendings, who insist emphatically on being addressed by their first names, routinely go out of their way to make themselves available at conference purely out of a sense of dedication to our education. Additionally, the broad range of research opportunities supported by our program and faculty seemingly knows no bounds. During my three-year residency tenure, I have been involved in case reports, continuity clinic QI projects, translational subspecialty research and a general pediatrics research project. This exposure has been invaluable for my professional development and future career aspirations.
Without question, the most enjoyable aspect of my experience at Lurie Children's has been my amazing co-residents. We began as co-workers but graduated as family. The program makes it a priority to help foster these relationships through weekly summer barbeques, interview happy hours, class retreats, an annual holiday party and a robust and constantly expanding wellness curriculum. And just in case the program-sponsored events aren’t enough, Chicago is an incredible city with endless experiences to be had. Whether you enjoy restaurants, music, theater, sports or outdoor activities, there is something here for everyone. I can’t imagine having trained anywhere else and would do it all over again in a heartbeat.
Ashley Selley, MD
Growing up in a small town in the upper peninsula of Michigan, I had always dreamed of living in a big city. I arrived at my interview day on a particularly cold winter day, but was immediately warmed by the people at Lurie Children’s. From that moment on, all other programs seemed to fall short in comparison. Drawn by a friendly atmosphere, the program’s emphasis on education and its efforts to expose residents to a variety of clinical experiences while also providing a myriad of potential leadership opportunities, I felt my choice was clear.
Every day as a resident, and now as a chief resident, I look forward to our educational conferences where we have an opportunity to spend time with both residents and attendings to discuss interesting and challenging cases. The conversation is always lively and inspiring. Conference sets the stage for the rest the day, where we continue learning on rounds and at patients’ bedsides. Our faculty are extremely supportive of resident education and career development; the fact that so many of our residents stay for fellowship is a testimony to that. By the end of my residency training, I felt ready to take on any challenge.
Above all, what I love most about our program are the people. My co-residents are so much more than those I work with; they are my best friends and the people I enjoy spending time with, both inside and outside of work. Our program fosters a sense of family by hosting weekly summer barbecue, supporting wellness activities such as group exercise classes, cultural activities and speakers and celebrating the residents throughout the year with a holiday soiree and Resident Appreciation Week.
From a personal standpoint, I have enjoyed the city lifestyle, the seemingly limitless restaurant scene and, most of all, the beautiful lakefront for running and spending time with my family. I am so grateful for the opportunities I have had at this program and I look forward to not only supporting our residents in this coming year, but also recruiting new members to our Lurie community.
Kathryn Smythe, MD
After spending 25 years in Ohio, I was ready to step outside my comfort zone and interview all across the country in search of the best pediatric residency program for me…and boy did I find it.
During my interview day, I witnessed an apparent and telling degree of resident camaraderie at Lurie Children's, which both left a lasting impression and felt unmatched when compared to other large pediatric academic centers. Now, having been here just over three years, I can unequivocally confirm the people here (residents, faculty and patients) are second to none. Our residents are motivated, compassionate, smart and just flat-out fun individuals. There is a clear dedication to medical education among faculty, which is highlighted in my favorite part of the day, Morning Report. Five to ten attendings are regularly found in the audience sparking discussions and engaging in friendly banter with residents (all the while on a first-name basis). Additionally, their didactic lectures and bedside teachings have laid the foundation of my knowledge of pediatric medicine. More than this, we have the opportunity to serve patients of many cultures and socioeconomic backgrounds who present with a multitude of disease processes. All in all, the program provides a learning environment and patient population capable of preparing trainees for any career in pediatrics.
During my residency training, I was fortunate to be able to take part in extraordinary educational opportunities, including completing an elective Global Health Certificate Program and traveling to Mwanza, Tanzania, as part of a bidirectional resident exchange program. While there, we spent one month teaching their medical students via low-tech simulations and participated in their educational conferences and rounds.
On top of this program prioritizing resident education and career goals, the hospital is located in Chicago, which is filled with world-renowned restaurants, lakefront paths, professional sports teams, museums and an awesome nightlife. This environment plus social co-residents has meant that I haven’t been bored for a minute that I’ve lived here. I really can’t think of a better place to have done my residency training.