This is part of a series of interviews with current PGY1s, done during May and June 2020, asking their thoughts about residency application, interviewing and Match. We hope this is helpful to the current #Match2021 applicants, despite all the differences of applying during a pandemic.

What’s your elevator pitch?

I am Rabia Osman, a Somali American, incoming family medicine resident at UT Jackson FM Residency Program. I graduated from OSUCOM this year, and attended Vanderbilt University for my undergraduate degree in Molecular and Cellular Biology. I enjoy health advocacy and have a specific interest in under-served populations. I am also interested in increased representation in higher education, and mentoring youth. Aside from this, I enjoy drawing, hiking, Netflix, and reading.

You’re a First Generation physician, tell us more about that. Did it play a role in choosing FM?

I am a first generation doctor, meaning that I am the first in my family to graduate from a doctorate program, and in this case obtain a medical degree. My family immigrated from Kenya when I was very young to pursue a better life for us here, and this allowed me the opportunity to be where I am today. My choice of Family Medicine is definitely informed from the perspective of an immigrant and minority in medicine, as it gives me a unique lens to approach issues that affect the communities I identify with, and come from. 

Why Family Medicine?

Family Medicine was my last rotation of third year. However I had done it as a first year, and was told I would be a great FM physician. After doing third year rotations and revisiting Family Medicine, I felt very connected to the field. I enjoy preventative care, women’s health, and the wide range of patients that present. I also am interested in mental health and patients resistant to mental health services often present to the family medicine physician. Emergency medicine was a serious consideration once I completed my 4th year core EM rotation, and I was excited to learn about EM fellowships for family medicine physicians.

Were you advised against FM?

During many of my third and fourth year rotations, I remained enthusiastic about a variety of specialties, and often had mentors advise me towards their specialties, however, I did not have anyone try to steer me away from family medicine. 

What would you say to medical students still trying to choose between FM and another path?

I would advise students to consider what they hope their practice will look like, and what elements are most important to them in the long term. I would advise students to think about how the two specialties would fit into their future plans, and which one has more components that fit. It was helpful for me to break down specialties and evaluate each one in its components. I also advise students to further explore family medicine, and see to what degree the other specialty can be experienced through family medicine. 

How did you narrow down programs to apply to?

Geography was an important factor, as well as patient populations that I hoped to train amongst and learn about. The ultimate factor that helped decide on my top programs was the complete experience that I got from a program, from the statistics of the program, my anticipated training, and interactions with the program and residents. 

Did anything complicate your interview process?

My interview process was complicated by rotations during each of my interview months. Scheduling and communication with administrators was key in completing my interview cycle smoothly. Also, my interview choices were across the entire country, so my travels were in opposite sides of the country at times. 

How many programs did you apply to? Interviews? How many did you rank?

I applied to 27 family medicine programs, interviewed with 16, and ranked 11 programs. I had to cancel a few interviews due to scheduling issues.

Are you considering future training (beyond residency) or considering a fellowship?

I am considering either an OB or EM fellowship following residency training. 

Imagining your post-residency self are you considering academic, rural or urban practice? Full spectrum or multi-spectrum, tell us what professional life looks like in five years!

In 5 years, I hope to be a full spectrum Family Medicine physician serving an under-served area, and using community based research to advance medicine and address issues within these populations. I am still defining my scope of practice, but I am interested in comprehensive training.