3rd Year Residents

Alex Yu, MD

Medical School: East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen
College of Medicine
Undergrad: Rhodes College

How has your level of autonomy and responsibility progressed in your training?
During my intern year, I always felt like I was given ample opportunities for autonomy and having personal responsibility of my patients. I felt that my upper level residents always did an excellent job of asking me what I wanted to do and then providing guidance and education to steer me in the right direction. I feel the same applies to our attending physicians. As I’ve progressed, I feel that this has grown, and I have also felt my own personal confidence grow, which is something I’ve always struggled with. I feel like our program has a culture of fostering/nurturing the development of medical decision making from day one, and I’m confident this will serve me well as I move forward beyond residency.
What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
After my PGY3 year, I will be staying on as one of the chiefs for the 2021-2022 academic year. During this year, I am looking forward to gaining even more experience in the outpatient and inpatient setting, as well as working in the field of medical education. I plan to practice in primary care/newborn nursery after my chief year, and may consider a fellowship in child abuse/endocrinology/hematology-oncology at a later date. I definitely feel confident that my time during residency here in Greenville has prepared me for this career path due to the volume and complexity of patients that we see, as well as the guidance and mentorship I’ve received from an excellent group of faculty.

Aubrey Fleming, MD

Medical School: Joan C. Edwards School of Medicine at Marshall University
Undergrad: Marshall University

How did the city of Greenville factor into your decision-making?
When deciding on residency, I felt that location was of paramount importance. Greenville has been an excellent place to live. The area has been reasonably affordable and offers easy access to entertainment to fit most interests. There are beautiful hiking trails within 15-20 minutes from downtown that are convenient enough to enjoy even after work if you need a minute to wind down. There are plenty of community events to keep you engaged and don’t forget the waterfall right in the middle of downtown. Growing up in West Virginia, I didn’t want to completely abandon my rural roots, so Greenville gave me some of the active “city living” with easy access to areas where I could feel like I was in the middle of nowhere.
What will you remember most about your time here?
I will definitely remember most fondly my relationships with co-residents and attendings. Everyone has been great to work with and most are ready to help in any situation. The flexibility and support that everyone offers in our program has been inspiring and I hope to carry those sentiments forward with me for the rest of my career.

Becky Roland, MD

Medical School: East Tennessee State University James H. Quillen College of Medicine
Undergrad: Lipscomb University / Sanford University

How has your level of autonomy and responsibility progressed in your training?
As an intern I was expected to form a plan for my patient and then discuss with my upper level or an attending, and learn from the feedback I received. As a second year, I was expected to form and execute a plan for my patient, plus give feedback and teaching to the interns, plus discuss my plan with the attending and learn from feedback. During third year, I will still be teaching and still be learning. But I have a little more experience & knowledge, and I have developed more confidence in my decisions. Though I can still reach out to my attending any time I am unsure, the expectation is that I will be able to handle many decisions and situations on my own.
What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
I will be a general outpatient pediatrician. This program consists of about 50% outpatient rotations, which will prepare me well. In some programs, the pediatric specialty rotations are all done in the hospital, caring for the sickest of the sick who need specialist care. At Prisma Health Upstate, I am seeing children in cardiology clinic or nephrology clinic who have not been diagnosed yet–they are presenting due to concerns their pediatricians have. So I can see the early signs/symptoms of a condition, the diagnosis by the specialist, and the plan of care from the beginning. Because of this, I hope to be able to recognize conditions early that may need specialist care.

Brittiany Gray, MD

Medical School: Mercer University School of Medicine
Undergrad: Georgia Institute of Technology

What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
After residency, I plan to practice as a general pediatrician. I knew I wanted to train somewhere that was large enough for exposure to a diverse patient population with a wide range of presentations, yet small enough to form close-knit and supportive relationships. Greenville gave me both. Because of our size and the fact that we do not have fellows, we communicate, learn from and develop plans directly with our attendings and subspecialists. Our program operates by allowing “progressive autonomy” as you move through your three years. My experience has allowed me to lead a wards team of interns and medical students, be head of the bed in the DR while on NICU, have continuity with the families I see in our rural resident clinic, and have countless opportunities for procedures during wards and ICU months. With the exposure I’ve had to rare and interesting diagnoses plus a great deal of “bread and butter” peds cases, I know I will be well prepared to care for the children in my community as a general pediatrician.
In your time here, what has surprised you or inspired you along the way?
During my time in residency, I have been most inspired by the people that I work with. When I think of the physician I hope to be during and after training, I think of the qualities I see in many of my attendings and co-residents. I have found a group of physicians that values teamwork, goes above and beyond to lend a hand, and puts patient care above all else. Watching those around me communicate with families, teach our students, and care for patients, I am amazed every day that I get to work with and learn from them! The people here are second-to-none and are what make this program truly special.

Ella Payne, MD

Medical School: U of SC School of Medicine Greenville
Undergrad: Bob Jones University

What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
I hope to work at an outpatient office as a General Pediatrician. I feel that this residency has done a great job at preparing me for this! I have had a lot of inpatient exposure which will allow me to be able to recognize a sick patient and know when to admit them. I have also had the chance to work in the continuity clinic where I had the opportunity to develop some continuity which is something that I am looking forward having as a General Pediatrician.
What will you remember most about your time here?
The people are fantastic! Everyone really does a great job supporting and encouraging each other through the tough times and celebrating the happy moments! Our attendings are great to work with and are always so patient with us. I will remember the kindness, patience, and support that I received here throughout the last few years of training.

Grace Williams, MD

Medical School: University of Alabama School of Medicine
Undergrad: University of Alabama at Birmingham

What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
I plan to move back to Alabama to practice pediatrics in a medically underserved area. This program has really prepared me for my future goals with our extra time in outpatient pediatrics as well as our diverse inpatient months on wards. I have also enjoyed my time in newborn nursery and the ability to do circumcisions. Our neonatologist in the NICU also spend extra time making sure you know how to take care of deliveries if you will be in a hospital that requires it.
How did the city of Greenville factor into your decision- making? When I first came to interview in Greenville the first thing I did was go to Falls Park. I immediately fell in love with the town and the fact that such a gorgeous setting was only minutes from a possible home and work. I loved the atmosphere of downtown and immediately told my husband I found my happy place.

Jennifer Raffaele, MD

Medical School: Albany College of Medicine
Undergrad: James Madison University

What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
I plan to be a pediatric hospitalist. This was not the path I thought I would take when I first started residency. I thought that I was going to pursue a subspecialty and was searching for a program that had great fellowship match rates as well as opportunities to work directly with subspecialty attendings as a resident without first going through a fellow. This program was exactly that, and I was so fortunate to have matched here. After starting, I quickly realized that I wanted to be a hospitalist. After my second wards month as an intern, I could see myself in that role in the future. I let our program leadership know that was the path I was hoping to take, and so many opportunities were already there for me to pursue as a resident. I was able to get a case report accepted to a national hospitalist conference with the help of amazing inpatient faculty and am currently working on publishing about a second case with a subspecialist. Both of these cases are rarely documented in pediatrics but were seen in the first half of my residency. Our breadth of cases is much more expansive than I knew before coming to Greenville. I feel extremely well prepared to be a hospitalist because of the great training I have received. We also have the opportunity to do a “wards teaching month” as an elective to gain more experience, which I hope to do towards the end of my third year! No matter which path I wanted to take–outpatient, subspecialty, or inpatient– our residency has the patient cases and opportunities to prepare us for it. Everyone that wants to pursue a fellowship matches because of how well trained we are, and how hard our faculty works to help us reach our goals.
What is life like a as a resident?
I came into residency newly pregnant and had my son in the second half of intern year. I am still sometimes shocked with how much time I get to spend with my family outside of work. I find our work-life balance to be great. Yes there are months where we work longer hours, but it is balanced by an outpatient rotation or an elective where you have more time to spend at home. Our PTO can be broken up in increments of our choosing which has allowed me to take multiple three day weekends in addition to weeks off spread throughout the year. This flexibility has given me opportunities to unwind and relax and feel refreshed coming back to work. Residency is tough, but our leadership has created a program that gives us the best of work and home life that we can have. Our residents are like a family and always look out for each other. We have a backup system in place for when people get sick and we use it! We want what’s best for each other and all of us are happy to cover so that a co-resident can rest and get healthy. I am from upstate New York and have no relatives in the area. I constantly have people offering to watch my son–including medical students– and my co-residents will watch each other’s pets and help each other move. We get together for holiday dinners and game nights, and though it’s hard to be so far away from home, I have never felt alone.

Jessica Groot, MD

Medical School: Texas Tech University Health Science Center School of Medicine
Undergrad: Baylor University

What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
I plan to do general pediatrics here in Greenville. Before I came here I had never heard of Greenville, SC, but it only took one day downtown to know this was where I wanted to stay here as long as I can. We have a lot of exposure to outpatient and subspecialty outpatient clinic compared to most pediatric programs and I feel that I will be very well prepared to function by myself. We have great attendings and a great network of friends and attendings who are always available for questions even after you graduate.
What will you remember most about your time here?
The people. While a bit cliché, the people here are truly what makes this program. The attendings are more than just attendings, they are mentors to ask the hard life questions to and friends to joke around with. The overall personality here is so easy going and friendly. My co-residents are like family and we are always together on our time off. We celebrate the good times and we help each other up during the hard times. I couldn’t ask for a better group people to spend every day with.

Paige Thompson, MD

Medical School: Oklahoma State University Center for Health Sciences
Undergrad: Oklahoma State University

What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
I would like to do outpatient peds or newborn hospitalist. We do a lot of clinic time here, including continuity clinic while on inpatient rotations (usually about once per week.) We do one month of nursery our intern and 3rd year and are also responsible for covering the nursery at night while on wards.
What will you remember most about your time here?
I liked the relationships formed with attendings. Since there are no fellows it really gives us the opportunity to have a more personal relationship with attendings. Our attendings are very approachable and never make it feel like a bother if you have to text or call them.

Shane Sundlie, MD

Medical School: U of SC School of Medicine Greenville
Undergrad: North Greenville University

How has your level of autonomy and responsibility progressed in your training?
Starting out as an intern I was always encouraged and expected to evaluate patients, make my own diagnoses, and plans. These were then discussed with the upper levels and then attendings, allowing for lots of teaching and learning. This also pushed me to make my own decisions and take responsibility for my patients. As a second year I had even more autonomy and responsibility. Doing overnight wards admissions really pushed me to commit to my medical decision making. I also developed more comfort with sicker children. At the same time the on call attending was always just a phone call away and there are other residents in the hospital to run ideas past. Now that I am a third year, I will be doing PICU nights. No matter which clinical setting I am in, the attendings and other residents are always happy to answer questions and help out. Patient safety comes first, always. We are always encouraged to call or ask for help if we ever have concerns or are uncertain about a patient.
How did the city of Greenville factor into your decision- making? I grew up in Columbia, SC, then came to the Greenville area for college, and I’ve just never wanted to leave. I stayed in Greenville for medical school and now residency. The city is great! Not too big, but not too small. Great restaurants and an adorable downtown. Lots of parks and very dog friendly. There are also lots of hiking areas in easy driving distance.

Trey Suhrstedt, MD

Medical School: U of SC School of Medicine Columbia
Undergrad: University of South Carolina

What are your future plans? How has this residency prepared you for that career path?
I am planning to do a sports medicine fellowship after residency, and then hopefully go on to become a team physician/faculty member for a D1 program. This residency has prepared me for this path by providing elective opportunities to spend more time in the sports medicine area. I have never felt pressured or discouraged from pursuing this path. I have only received support and encouragement for my decision. Everyone in this program is committed and dedicated to helping me achieve my goals.
What is life like a as a resident?
The quality of life here has been fantastic. I went into residency expecting to be busy all of the time and potentially quickly burnt out. That has not happened and I don’t think that it will. There will certainly be hard and trying days, and you will work hard for long hours, but you have support through that. It takes effort and planning on your part, but you’re still able to do many things you want to and don’t feel like you’re missing out on too much. There have been very few occasions where I wasn’t able to do something I really wanted to do.