Alumni Perspectives

Alumni Pursuing Fellowships

Dr. Chris Graves, Class of 2019, Current Pediatric Emergency Medicine Fellow

“I loved my residency experience in Greenville! The size of the program was perfect. It was small enough that I never felt swallowed up by the crowd but large enough that we had a diverse group of residents with different interests. The faculty are dedicated to teaching at the bedside and in the classroom, and their mentorship helped me build my confidence as an independent provider.  

I loved my first year PICU rotation, and it helped solidify my interest in a procedural specialty. Now, as a pediatric emergency medicine fellow, I can say with certainty that my residency in Greenville gave me a solid foundation in general pediatrics but also meaningful management of critically ill patients to prepare me for a future career in emergency medicine. I wouldn’t change anything about my residency choice or experiences!”

Dr. Britni Maple, Class of 2014, Completed NICU Fellowship at UTSW, current USCSOM Greenville faculty

“This residency program fully supported my desire to pursue a Neonatology fellowship. My mentors and our program director went above and beyond helping me to schedule pertinent elective rotations during my third and fourth years (Anesthesia for intubation practice, Palliative Care, extra time in the NICU) so that I would feel more prepared for my first year of fellowship. I was also fully supported in opportunities for clinical research, and was fortunate enough to work on a project with Dr. Jenny Hudson regarding breastfeeding and neonatal jaundice which ultimately led to a publication and laid the groundwork for the clinical research I would pursue as a fellow. “

Alumni in Private Practice

Dr. Michelle Sayles, Class of 2019, opened a new clinic site with her co-resident Dr. Natalie Vajta 

“As many of you are doing right now, when I was choosing a residency program, I came up with a list of things I thought were important in a program. I knew I wanted one that would prioritize education and allow exposure to a wide variety of patients and pathology.  What I didn’t realize, was how Greenville would become so much more than that.  

In terms of education, Greenville offered everything I wanted. It allowed me the ability to work closely with attendings. Because there are essentially no fellows, as a resident you really function as a fellow would in many of the specialty rotations. I was able to interact and manage patients on my own, with the reassurance that an attending was always available if needed. Not only was I exposed to diverse pathologies, but I also learned how to sharpen my clinical decision-making skills. This helped me feel prepared not only for boards, but even more so for my first year as a general pediatrician. “ 

Alumni in Academic Medicine

Dr. Kindal Dankovich, Class of 2019, Chief Resident 2019-20, current Assistant Professor of Pediatrics 

“Our pediatric residency program allows us to truly have an individualized curriculum in order to help us work toward our career goals. I was able to have the unique opportunity to teach the USC SOMG M4 students, who recently matched into pediatrics, in both didactic and sim sessions. This opportunity has allowed me to gain teaching experience and even further solidify my own medical knowledge. This residency is truly invested in my future. Here you will, quite literally, ‘see, do, teach.’”

Dr. Cady Williams, Class of 2014, Director of Ferlauto Center for Complex Pediatric Care

“I am forever grateful to this residency program. It was truly the perfect program, and, if I could do it all over, I would choose it again every time. The program is small enough that I felt encouraged and supported by my co-residents as well as faculty and staff. The program is large enough with a good-sized catchment area that I was able to manage complex and interesting cases with sufficient autonomy. It is my experience in the children’s hospital that led me to work as a hospitalist and outpatient pediatrician with a focus in complex care. Life after residency is good! I owe that to my amazing teachers and mentors.” 

Alumni in Global Medicine and Underserved Areas

Dr. Jennifer Harling, Class of 2015, Pediatric Hospitalist in Kibuye Hope Hospital in Kibuye, Burundi 

During my pediatric training at GHS (now Prisma), I think one of the most important things I learned was how to be a lifelong learner.  Whether on rounds on the wards, rounding in the NICU, working in the clinic, or doing rotations through the subspecialty clinics, none of my attending would just “give me the answer.”  I was always encouraged to form clinical questions, search for answers form reliable sources, and ask attending only when I was truly confused or could not find a specific answer after doing my own due diligence.  This is not a skill easily taught, because a lot of times it is just easier for the attending to do the work, to give the answers, rather than wait for the intern to figure it out for themselves.  This type of education has been VITAL to my work overseas, as I am working in an underdeveloped, underserved location.  There are also so many disease that we treat here that are obsolete in the US (Malaria, typhoid fever, tuberculosis) and while I briefly learned about all of these in my State-side medical career, it’s a whole new ballgame when you are managing hypoglycemia in a malnourished child with malaria.  Thanks to my training, I feel confident in looking for answers and being able to give the best care that I can to the children here in Burundi.” (Photo: Teaching local health care workers in the “Helping Babies Breathe” initiative)