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New Resident Dr. Anna Clarke Chose Baystate for Two Good Reasons

August 01, 2016
Internal Medicine Intern Anna Clarke MD with her sister, pediatrics resident Rachel Clarke, and Dr. Rosenblum

First-year resident Anna Clarke, MD chose to complete her internal medicine residency at Baystate Medical Center for two good reasons—it had everything she wanted in a residency, and she wanted to be near her sister who is also a resident at Baystate.

Clarke, 26, who grew up in Charleston WV, applied to a number of hospitals, mostly in the New England area. “But Baystate was my number one choice for a number of reasons, including the fact that I have links here,” said Clark. “Our parents used to take us up North for vacation, and my mom had family in New York.”
(Photo left to right: Drs. Michael Rosenblum, Rachel Clarke, Anna Clarke)

Her Sister Put Baystate on Her Radar

Clarke’s sister, Rachel, is in the pediatrics residency at Baystate. “I visited her at the hospital near the end of my third year of medical school in April 2015. That was even before my formal residency interview, and I was able to informally meet some of the internal medicine residents,” said Clarke.

“I was very impressed by what I saw and heard. I saw residents who were happy with the work they were doing, and who cared for one another,” she said. “By this point, I had invested so much time and hard work in a medical career that I wanted to train at a hospital that would foster my growth as a physician and not allow me to burn out along the way. I felt Baystate was doing a good job at that with its residents.”

She’s Now Part of the Baystate Family

Dr. Monique Abrams
Meet Dr. Monique Abrams

Now a first-year resident at Baystate Children’s Hospital, she detoured into the culinary arts on the road to her pediatrics training at Baystate.

According to Dr. Michael Rosenblum, Program Director, Internal Medicine Residency, Clarke is part of a team of 18 new internal medicine residents at the hospital.

“As soon as they arrived at the hospital at the end of June, they began bonding over paint night, a two-day camping trip, an ice cream social and a unique month-long orientation that has introduced them to the Baystate culture of caring, education and teamwork,” said Rosenblum. “These residents are now part of an extraordinary family that will support them through their development as people, teachers and caregivers.”

Everything She Wanted in a Residency

“The hospital has really strong academic ties, including its new partnership with the University of Massachusetts Medical School. There are plenty of opportunities for me to conduct research,” said Clarke.

“Residents can also opt to complete an international experience, which was very appealing to me because I would like to see how different cultures affect how medicine is practiced.”

“And, Baystate has a number of clinics in the community and the Internal Medicine Residency Program offers a Community Medicine track which was also very appealing to me. Residents in this track work at Baystate Brightwood Health Center, which provides care for a more underserved population, and which offers many opportunities for outreach in the community,” continued Clarke.

Coming Back to Her Interest in Community Medicine

Clarke’s interest in community medicine was born early in life.

“Both of my parents were very involved in the Charleston community. In fact, my dad spent many hours working as a physician at a free health clinic. He would take me and my sister along in the summer to volunteer at the clinic, and I really enjoyed going there and working with the nurses and other medical staff,” she said.

Still, she didn’t settle on a career in medicine right away. Before applying to medical school, she explored the liberal arts as an undergraduate student at Brandeis University. “I wanted to explore a little bit of everything, but medical school was always in the back of my mind,” said Clarke.

But, while at Brandeis, she found her science classes and the accompanying labs to be “very interactive and collaborative.” And, it was those classes, she said, and working as a volunteer EMT, that helped to cement her desire to earn a medical degree, which she pursued at Marshall University in West Virginia.

Clarke is one of 84 residents and 24 fellows—49 women and 59 men—from medical schools throughout the country and beyond who began their graduate medical training at Baystate this summer.

Baystate Medical Center: Training Doctors for 100+ Years

A recognized leader in educational innovation, Baystate Medical Center, has been training doctors since 1914.

As the regional campus of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, Baystate Health is the site of the Population-based Urban and Rural Community Health program—a new pathway toward a medical degree for students wishing to focus on rural and urban primary care, and population health.