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Why KU?

Gong Weng

Gong Weng, Class of 2020

"Humble intelligence". I read this descriptor almost 3 years ago on the KU webpage. Dr. Eck used this phrase to describe the quality of residents that KU recruits. During morning report on interview day, I got a glimpse of what this meant, and it resonated with me. After going on a few interviews, I appreciated how important this quality was as I contrasted KU to the atmosphere of other programs. I wanted a training program where I would be challenged without feeling disparaged, an environment conducive to open exchange of ideas, and KU embodied that ideal. I experienced a culture of collegiality during my brief interview day, unlike any other. Something else that struck me about KU was the incredibly thoughtful leadership team. This team truly advocated for the residents' well-being and a fair work environment for all. The interviewers were at no loss for example when asked how feedback had been incorporated into changes in the program - a very refreshing sight. I knew I would get exposure to diverse pathology at most of the places that I had visited, but I did not know whether any of those places would provide the same training atmosphere as the one I briefly experienced at KU.

I loved my time at UAMS as a medical student, but I was ready to experience a bigger city and grow further as an individual. The decision boiled down to where I would want to call home and which group of people would I want to call family. The choice was easy. Coming to Kansas City remains one of my best decisions. Talking about KU brings back the excitement of matchday every time.


Cory Gutovitz

Cory Gutovitz, Class of 2020

After having completed medical school at KU SOM in Kansas City, I was thrilled to be able to remain at this institution for my residency training in Internal Medicine. The program is superb on many fronts including social/camaraderie, educational opportunities, faculty/staff support, patient population, and overall preparation for a career in medicine. Being able to train at both the Kansas City VA and KU Medical Center allows for diverse clinical experiences and exposure to different electronic records and overall health systems. The veterans are gracious for our efforts to keep them healthy and always at the ready to share a story from their time in military service. KU Medical Center is a thriving tertiary care center, now providing some of the most sophisticated and advanced treatments to our patients. We diagnose and treat extremely rare medical conditions and are able to do so under the guidance and assistance of some of the world's most highly trained and skilled physicians. During my residency, KU performed it's first heart transplant, and I was able to care for many additional heart transplant patients and learn so much from their courageous journeys. I've been extremely fortunate to be part of this program and have no hesitation in encouraging and highly recommending future applicants join the fun!


Katie Lester

Katie Lester, Class of 2020

I grew up in Lincoln, NE and was born a Husker fan (Go Big Red!). I went to medical school at Creighton and was fortunate to match at KU for residency. When I interviewed at KU, I felt like part of a family. I wanted to be a member of a strong community, not only between the residents but also the patients, faculty, and staff. I have developed life long friendships with many of my fellow residents.  KU has a lot to offer, many educational opportunities, and the learning experience has been second to none.  Kansas City is a hidden gem in the Midwest with so much to explore (restaurants, concerts, sporting events, museums, parks, etc.) and I have enjoyed doing so in my free time.


Ralph Mohty

Ralph Mohty, Class of 2021

My name is Ralph Mohty and pictured with me is my better half Stephanie Amaya. We are both first-year residents in Internal Medicine and Obstetrics & Gynecology, respectively. As fourth-year medical students the interview season was an especially stressful one—couples matching, we worried about the balance between staying together and finding the perfect program.

We both are originally from the University of Arizona College of Medicine in Phoenix, and we remember being daunted and excited by the possibilities of a new home and a new stage in our lives. We set off on our many interviews with as much open-mindedness as we could. It is our belief, that of our former classmates, and I am sure of any applicant to want in a residency program a harmony between powerful academics, lovely and warm co-residents, attendings, and leadership, and a diverse patient population.

Stephanie interviewed at the University of Kansas first, returning home describing wonderful people and an incredible hospital system. I was excited, but cautiously so: we had experiences where one very much liked their program but the other not so much.

When it came time to interview, I was truly overjoyed. I had two of the best interviews on the entire trail with amazing faculty. I befriended a great Kansas-native fourth-year who is now my co-intern, and returned to Arizona where Stephanie and I celebrated over finding a great program for the both of us.

Match day was probably one of—if not the most—stressful days of our lives. We cared only about staying together, and when we ripped open our letters we cried tears of joy.

The richness, collegiality, and education that we were so impressed and hopeful for has stayed true. We remark to each other almost daily how lucky we are to have come to the University of Kansas.


John FritzlenJohn Fritzlen, Class of 2021

Hi, I am John and I grew up right here in Kansas City. I went to KU for undergrad and medical school and now residency so I guess you could say I am abit of a Jayhawk fan! When deciding on where to go for residency, I had the opportunity to look at a number of programs across the Midwest. I compared everyplace I visited to KU and none of them quite added up to the people, experiences, and support that I knew I had at KU. I went into residency planning on applying to Cardiology for fellowship and have been impressed by how approachable and supportive the staff are at helping with research, creating elective rotations, practicing procedures, and mentoring during residency. I also had a few other people helping me with my decision - my wife Julia and our son Jack. Staying at KU was the best decision for my professional development and for our growing family with number two coming in October!


Nikki Balmaceda

Nikki Balmaceda, Class of 2022

My name is Nikki Balmaceda. I am an intern at KU, and I hope to be an oncologist one day. I chose KU for my residency because the people here want you to reach your true potential and career goals. I have a special place in my heart for oncology and being able to work on research is important to me. Just a few months into residency, I was easily able to find coverage; I then had the opportunity to travel to Barcelona to present my research at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) conference. The chiefs even helped me rearrange my schedule so I could take a mini-vacation afterwards while I was in Europe. In my picture, I am in Istanbul, Turkey at the Hagia Sophia! By training at multiple sites (including the KU hospital system, VA, and KU Cancer Center), I get to enjoy working with a diverse patient population along with supportive, friendly residents and faculty. At KU, I am confident you will see "bread and butter" medicine along with the "zebras."


Luke FranklLuke Frankl, Class of 2022

There is a quote by Will Ferrell in Step Brothers where he says "I'm so scared right now. I'm just going to do what's sensible. I'm gonna file for unemployment and then I'm gonna try to get a job at Enterprise Rent-A-Car because they have a great corporate structure, and they give you the tools to be your own boss." In the winter of my fourth year of medical school, I was coming up with a rank list and I was scared. I'd just spent a small fortune travelling around the country staying in Comfort Inn's and hearing programs lay out their recipe for turning raw doughy doctors into crisp new clinicians. There was one program, however, that did not focus on what they would do to us but rather what they could do for us. It was clear that KU has a leadership group that believes that freshly graduated physicians are a group of intelligent, motivated and unique individuals that are dedicated to self-growth and providing the best care possible. Based on this premise, everything about this residency seemed focused on helping individuals to become the best version of themselves. This was clearly not a dogmatic, boot camp program that breaks each resident down in order to build them into their version of a physician. It is a place that has a great administrative structure that gives you the tools to be your own version of a great clinician, so I did what was sensible, I filed for a little more loan money and tried to get a job at KU.

Last modified: Nov 01, 2019
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