When Melissa Egert began applying for medical schools, Indiana University School of Medicine was an easy pick. After completing her undergraduate degree at IU in Bloomington, she knew she wanted to stay with the university for the next phase of her education. And after four years of medical school, when it came time to pursue a urology residency, staying at IU School of Medicine was again her No. 1 choice.
“The educational opportunities are endless—from the research possibilities to the fact that there is such a high volume of cases that come through here,” Egert said. “There’s a lot of opportunity to learn in the operating room and in the clinic.”
Egert, who is originally from Schererville, Indiana, will join the IU School of Medicine Department of Urology as a first-year resident in the fall of 2020. Below, she talks about what drives her love for IU and what she’s most excited for when starting her residency.
Why did you want to go to IU School of Medicine for your medical degree and now residency?
Right after college I applied to medical school and I got into IU and I wanted to go here because I really enjoyed my undergrad experience at IU and wanted to just continue on here. Then during medical school, from all the time that I spent doing rotations here on the urology service, everyone was so welcoming and excited to teach. I just felt that it was going to make me a strong surgeon and a passionate physician while also preparing me for any future career opportunity I would want.
What made you want to go to medical school and then specialize in urology?
I had always been interested in medicine, ever since I was in fifth or sixth grade. I always remember having an interest in it. As time went on, I really liked my science classes. I was more of a math and science-type of person, so I knew I wanted to do something in a scientific field, but also something where I could be personable and talk to people. Medicine was the right choice for that.
I knew I wanted to do a specialty where I could do surgery, but I didn't want to lose the opportunity to form long-term relationships with patients. Urology is kind of one of those specialties that gives me the opportunity to do both—to have surgery time and then have clinic time with patients where I can follow patients for years to come, especially people with cancer or more complicated diagnoses. It’s also a high-reward specialty where many of the malignancies and things we encounter are treatable, and having good patient outcomes is important to me.
What was the match process like?
It was great. It was a new experience, but visiting other places just made me really grateful for the department here at IU and the way they do things. I was keeping an open mind and I think I would've been happy at a lot of other places, but this just came down to being my number one choice because of the people who are here and the educational opportunities. And the faculty are super passionate about teaching and educating residents and everyone cares about each other and everybody else's wellbeing. That makes for great teamwork and it shows in the way the department functions.
What are you most excited for in your residency?
I am excited to be in a role where I have more responsibility and a more opportunity to learn. I'm excited to just be a part of the team and get to work with the residents and the faculty. And I'm also really excited to meet new people. I know some of the other interns coming in because they're also IU students, but I’m excited to get to spend time with the other residents and meet new people as well.