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Being First-Gen in Medicine: Paving the Path to Residency and Beyond

06/18/2020 @ 7:00 PM

Being First-Gen in Medicine: Paving the Path to Residency and Beyond

Applying to residency is a daunting task, let alone doing so during a pandemic.

Join us for a discussion created and moderated by Jenny Nguyen ‘16 during which you can hear from alumni about how to navigate the process, as well as residency and beyond.

Our distinguished group of panelists from different fields and stages within medicine will reflect upon their unique journeys and share their advice for first-gen trainees.

Learn about the opportunities and challenges ahead when developing your career in medicine. Questions are welcome – we encourage you to join the discussion and to share your experiences.

Thursday, June 18, 2020, 7pm EDT. All alumni, students, and friends are welcome to attend by completing this registration form. The event’s Zoom link will be sent to you closer to the event.

By registering for this event, you acknowledge that it could be recording and if so, you agree to be recorded and understand that it can be posted on Yale sites and other public sites. Thank you.


Moderator, Jenny Nguyen (JE ‘16) earned a Bachelor of Science in molecular biophysics and biochemistry in 2016 from Yale. Interested in the social determinants of health, she decided to pursue a MD/MA Urban Bioethics dual degree at the Lewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple University. She is now a rising fourth year medical student. During her free time, she has been involved in various organizations, the arts, and community health initiatives, as well as published and earned awards for advocacy work promoting increased access to healthcare, gun and substance use disorder policy reform, single-payer systems, and culturally compelling care for immigrant communities. A Questbridge Scholar, she continues to be involved in mentorship and is focusing her master’s thesis on first generation college graduates in medicine. After medical school, she intends to pursue a career in primary care, policy, and community health work for urban underserved communities.

Makunda Abdul-Mbacke, MD, (Morse ‘92) graduated from Yale Med, and did her residency training in Ob-Gyn at the University of Pittsburgh/Magee-Womens Hospital.

“I was born in 1970, to two hard working entrepreneurial parents. According to my parents I decided to become a doctor at the age of three, and although I don’t remember that decision I do remember numerous chemistry sets, toy stethoscopes, and reflex hammers given as gifts and the verbal encouragement showered on me from family, friends, and neighbors. No there were no doctors in my family, and at that point only a handful of my relatives had completed college, but my parents and this country encouraged me to dream. In the 1970’s doors that had been shut for centuries were finally opening. The country was talking about a War on Poverty, equal opportunities, and a level playing field and following those ideas up with actions. So it wasn’t so absurd that a little Black girl from Harlem would accomplish her dream of becoming a physician. Now some 20 years later, here I am. I am a fourth year medical student at Yale, applying in Obstetrics and Gynecology, and along the way I have taken detours to conduct research in West Africa and complete an MPH at the Harvard School of Public Health. My dreams still remain big, but I have learned an important lesson from my ancestors; I must lift as I climb. My future is interwoven with all the little children in the various Harlem’s of this country who wish to become physicians”

Nancy J. Brown, MD, (Trumbull ’81) is Jean and David W. Wallace Dean of Medicine and C.N.H Long Professor of Internal Medicine at Yale School of Medicine. She graduated from Yale College, where she majored in molecular biophysics and biochemistry. She earned her medical degree from Harvard University. She completed internship and residency programs in medicine at Vanderbilt University, where she also did a fellowship in clinical pharmacology. Dr. Brown joined the faculty of Vanderbilt in 1992. During her tenure there she held a number of leadership positions, serving as chief of the Division of Clinical Pharmacology, associate dean for clinical and translational scientist development, and Robert H. Williams professor before becoming the Hugh J. Morgan Chair of Medicine and physician-in-chief of Vanderbilt University Hospital in 2010.

Committed to medical education and mentorship, Dr. Brown established the Elliot Newman Society to support the development of physician-scientists and co-founded the Vanderbilt Master of Science in Clinical Investigation program. Her research has defined the molecular mechanisms through which commonly prescribed blood pressure and diabetes drugs affect the risk of cardiovascular and kidney disease. In her clinical practice, she has treated patients with resistant and secondary forms of hypertension. Dr. Brown has served as a member of the NIH National Advisory Research Resources Council and the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Advisory Council. She was president of the Association of Professors of Medicine Her numerous awards include election to the American Society for Clinical Investigation, the Association of American Physicians, and the National Academy of Medicine. In 2019, she was elected a Master of the American College of Physicians.

Robert Andre Faizon, MD, is a graduate of University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine and completed his residency in Obstetrics and Gynecology at the Yale School of Medicine Bridgeport Campus. He served four years as an active duty Major in the USAF and joined Lancaster General Health in 2004 as a Staff OB/GYN in the Family Practice Residency. Dr. Faizon has served on many hospital based committees including Institutional Review Board, Performance Improvement and OB Care Management. He helped implement important safety programs at WBH including responsive codes to postpartum hemorrhage, shoulder dystocia, ALCS training in Obstetrics. The progression to Quality and Safety was only natural since he firmly believes that a physician who is well trained with evidence-based practice guidelines will have the best patient care outcomes.

Catherine Ly, MD, (Hopper ’09) graduated from Yale College in 2009. She then returned home to attend medical school at the University of Hawai’i John A. Burns School of Medicine. After graduating, she started a categorical general surgery residency at New York University. During this time, she developed an interest in basic science, as well as reconstructive surgery, so she took two years off to do bench research in lymphedema at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. She then transferred to the plastic and reconstructive surgery residency program at Yale, where she is now a 5th year resident. After residency, she will be pursuing a microsurgery fellowship and plans to be an academic surgeon-scientist.

Joshua Steinberg, MD, (ES ‘91) is an old-fashioned do-everything family physician and faculty member at the UHS Wilson Family Medicine Residency in Binghamton, NY. He earned his bachelors from Yale in 1991, his MD from SUNY Upstate in Syracuse 1995, and completed family medicine residency at St. Joseph’s in Syracuse, NY, in 1998. Dr. Joshua Steinberg has more than 20 years experience in primary care medicine and education. At the UHS residency, he leads on obstetric care and education, quality improvement projects, scholarly activities, and evidence based medicine. He is faculty at the SUNY Upstate Syracuse medical school, having taught students over two decades. He speaks regionally and nationally on clinical care and medical education and has been published in major journals. He runs a nationwide collaborative curriculum project in obstetrics. And as a hobby for fun and service to physicians, he writes free point-of-care reference software for smartphones.

He is a husband and father of two energetic boys. You might bump into Dr. Steinberg running and biking with his kids, or making mediocre showings at triathlons. And he has vision. He believes that an army of well-trained family physicians armed with good information and good values can fix most of what ails American healthcare.


7:00 PM
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