Sarah Radis
  • Undergraduate Degree: Economics with a minor in Management Information Systems from Miami University of Ohio
  • Residency: General Surgery, UPMC Mercy
  • Special Honors: Member of AOA Honor Medical Society

1. What made you want to get your MD degree at WVU?

I know you hear it a lot, but it is very true "once a mountaineer, always a mountaineer". The school spirit got to me. I got into two different in-state schools and picked WVU because they care about you. It is a great atmosphere. The professors here care about their students.

2. What made the program so appealing?

I find the sense of community here to be one of the greatest aspects of the program. It is a collaborative school where students help each other in class and look out for each other outside of class. In a competitive field like medicine such a friendly atmosphere can be hard to come by. The professors come from all over the world and I am very impressed with the diversity and quality of teaching. Professors are always willing to help students outside of class.

3. What is your favorite part of the program?

I enjoy getting clinical experience as early as we do. During the first year students shadow physicians across all specialties and during the second year students get to work two on one with a preceptor. The program makes sure you are going to be a well-rounded physician.

4. What made you want to become a doctor?

It was always in the back of my mind. Going into the medical field requires a love for learning and a love for people. I tend to gravitate towards learning and towards people so becoming a physician was a great fit for me. The time commitment required is daunting but it is absolutely worthwhile. My mom is a nurse and my grandfather planned on becoming a doctor before he contracted tuberculosis; I feel like I am following in wonderful footsteps.

5. How do you balance home, school, and a social life?

Make an effort to do what makes you yourself. I love phone calls with my mom and my sister. After the block exams I still get to visit my friends from college and high school. My classmates have become some of my best friends and we have such camaraderie with each other. It's important to keep up with hobbies which for me are playing the keyboard in my apartment, jogging and journaling.

6. The program had a week long orientation before classes started. What did you think of that?

I loved it! It was a perfect way to get to know classmates in a relaxed setting. The outdoor activities were unique. I went on the bike ride to Cooper's Rock and I will never forget the feeling standing on top of the mountain looking over the huge beautiful valley. I knew at that point it was going to be a great four years at WVU.

7. What are your goals after graduating?

It is still early, but right now I'm considering obstetrics and gynecology. Obviously my goal is to be the best physician I can be and this program is getting me there. I want to be a physician that my patients can trust; both clinically and personally.

8. Do you have any advice for anyone thinking about medical school?

Both your heart and your mind have to be in it. You have to be willing to put in the time and effort but if you love what you are doing it will all work out. Don't stress about the small stuff.

9. You recently received your white coat. How was that ceremony?

I was lucky to have fifteen family members come in for the ceremony including both of my grandmothers who are now 86 and 89 years old. Looking out into the audience and seeing the people who got me here was humbling, I would not have been on that stage without them. Putting on the white coat for the first time was an exhilarating feeling. It was an intersection in time of where I come from and where I am going.

- Interviewed spring of 2013 (during the MS1 curriculum)