Kristen Craig
  • Hometown: Bethel Park, Pa.
  • Undergraduate Degree: Molecular Biology from Ohio Northern University
  • Residency: Emergency Medicine

Why did you decide to study medicine?

My path to find medicine was sort of a weird one. I went to college for molecular biology because I love genetics. After my freshman year of college, I was looking for ideas of what to do after school and I kept coming across graduate programs that were through medical schools. So, from there, I just started looking into medical school and that’s when I decided that’s what I wanted to do. At first, I wanted to be pediatric geneticist but I needed some hands-on experience to get into medical school. As a result, I ended doing some EMS work. I got my certification as an EMT basic and I LOVED it so from there on out I decided emergency medicine was definitely the path for me.

Why did you choose WVU for your residency?

When I interviewed here there was just something about the feel of the program. It was the people. In my interviews, I talked to Erica (our program director) about baking, talked to another faculty member about sports, talked to another about getting a dog … it was just so relaxed, so friendly and really just a family-like feel. That feeling really drew me in. In addition to knowing I would get great training here, I wanted to be in an environment that I thought would be supportive and it has been—incredibly so.

What do you think sets WVU’s Emergency Medicine Residency Program apart?

I think, again, it’s the people. You’ll probably hear that time and time again from the other residents as well. We really are a family. We support each other through everything. Life happens outside of residency and it isn’t always good things that are happening. Having that support system I could go to was great. Dr. Shaver and Dr. Kiefer (our resident program directors) cared so much about our group. If there was an issue outside of work they didn’t just say, “Okay we will figure it out,” they said, “How can we help?”

Emergency medicine programs tend to have different personalities and some of them have great training but they are more of an intense feel. While we certainly have intense training here at WVU, we are also all friendly and support each other.

How do you feel the Emergency Medicine Program here at WVU has prepared you for the future?

The fact that we are the tertiary care center for the northern half of West Virginia, the western part of Maryland, and the southern part of Pennsylvania is a big deal– everything funnels to us. I think I’ve seen just about everything and some things that I wouldn’t have seen at other emergency departments. We also get a lot of patients coming from rural locations that haven’t seen a doctor in years so you see really rare things that otherwise would have been caught sooner.

What did you like most about living in Morgantown during your residency?

I think the outdoor activities that Morgantown has to offer are amazing. Cooper’s Rock and the Rail Trail are two great places to get some exercise and really take in the scenery the West Virginia has to offer. Also, since it is a college town there are always events, festivals and so many other things happening all the time. WVU sports are an obvious one, but we also have the Black Bears minor league baseball team, and more restaurants than you can imagine. I think you can get any kind of food you are looking for here in Morgantown.

Additionally, Pittsburgh isn’t far away at all. So, if you are looking to head up to a Pirates game or just check out the night life, we are only about an hour away.

Plans after graduation?

I am moving to Bowling Green Ohio which is near Toledo. I am going to be working in a smaller community hospital. The ED itself has about 20 beds and the volume is only about 20,000 per year. It’s going to be very different than what I am used to here at WVU but I am excited because it is more of a community feel. We get that type of training here specifically from UHC and St. Joe’s and it will be nice to test the skills I have learned over the last three years in a new place.

This program has prepared me for pretty much anything.