Letter from Current Resident | Allison Martin, MD

Dear Applicant,

Allison MartinVanderbiltIt’s my pleasure to welcome you to the University of Virginia Department of Surgery. Congratulations on making it to the final stages of medical school when it is finally time to apply for residency! This is such an exciting time, but it can also be daunting as the process of choosing residency programs and embarking on the interview trail can be intimidating. Fortunately, at the end of your journey you will finally begin the challenging, yet rewarding task of training in general surgery.

When I visiting different residency programs during interview season, UVA felt like a place where I could find fellow residents and faculty members who could serve as my “second family”—residency involves long hours in the hospital and I wanted a program where I would have not only fantastic clinical and research opportunities, but also a supportive and uplifting workplace. I have certainly found that here at UVA. One of the aspects of surgery residency that I worried about the most was whether or not I would get a chance to see the inside of the operating room as a junior resident—I was lucky to find that even early in your training at UVA, opportunities to scrub in both the main operating rooms and the brand-new outpatient Battle building ORs were ample.

Before I started residency, one of the aspects of general surgery training that intimidated me was the huge body of knowledge that a general surgeon must master.  When I was interviewing for residency programs, I was so impressed by the teaching conference that I attended at UVA, which was run by residents. UVA is very focused on resident education and developing residents as teachers, which gives us the opportunity to teach each other, guide medical students during their surgery clerkships, and interact with visiting professors.

At UVA, we are lucky to have senior surgeon scientists who are dedicated to helping us grow our careers as young physician-researchers. Whether you’re interested in pursuing basic science or translational research, there is a mentor for you at UVA. I am lucky enough to pursue my interests in cancer clinical outcomes research and14global health. I feel very supported by multiple faculty mentors and upper level residents who mentored me and helped me obtain an NIH Fogarty Global Health Fellowship that will allow me to spend a year in Rwanda examining gastric cancer epidemiology.

I hope I have the chance to discuss any questions you may have about UVA during your upcoming interview. Welcome to Charlottesville!