"They don't have what IU has."
Christina Griffiths Mar 09, 2020
Future urology resident celebrating match with IU School of Medicine
After completing medical school at Indiana University School of Medicine, incoming urology resident Ruben Vasquez knew he wanted to stay at IU School of Medicine for his residency. Despite visiting 16 different schools during the match process, he says he always thought the same thing at each interview: ‘They don’t have what IU has.’
“There was just always something missing,” Vasquez said. “I liked the programs at the schools I visited, but I just always liked IU more.”
After growing up in San Diego, California and obtaining an undergraduate degree from Point Loma Nazarene University, Vasquez spent some time living in Boston before applying to medical school. He will graduate from IU School of Medicine in May 2020, and he learned in January that he matched with IU School of Medicine Department of Urology for his residency.
Below, Vasquez answers questions about what he loves about IU, the urology specialty and what he’s most excited for when he starts his training in the summer of 2020.
Why did you want to go to IU School of Medicine for your medical degree?
When I was applying to medical schools, IU really stood out. I spent two years at the medical school campus in Fort Wayne, which was a great experience because it was a smaller campus and you really get close to the people you’re with. Then I spent two years in Indy, which is so big, I got to see everything. Anyone who gets really sick comes to Indiana University Health in Indianapolis, so I got to be a part of the team that took care of these patients.
What made you want to specialize in urology?
During my surgery rotation, I knew I wanted to do something surgery-related. Then I spent a month in urology, and I loved it because it includes everything—open surgery, laparoscopic, robotic—there is such a large breadth of the type of surgery. I also enjoyed clinic. Patients will come in with a complaint and there’s usually something we can do, sometimes surgery sometimes medical treatment, and that stood out to me. If they end up with you, you’re able to help in some way. You’re not just a surgeon, you’re the medical doctor and the surgeon.
Why did you want to complete your urology residency at IU School of Medicine?
We get a lot of complex cases here at IU. They are more challenging, and in a way it’s more rewarding when you know ‘yeah, there’s something we can do for them,’ and that’s something you don’t get elsewhere. I also really like all the staff, faculty and residents. They are very well-known and I really look up to them. What was the match process like? I visited 16 places, but by my third year I had already realized I wanted to stay at IU. I still looked up other places and read about different programs and what they offer, but in doing so it became evident that IU is unique in the surgical cases they treat and staff are well-known in their subspecialties. When I went to other interviews, I liked the programs, but always felt like something was missing that IU had.
What are you most excited for in your residency?
I’m excited to be a part of the urology team and learn alongside the residents and attendings that have helped me get to this point.