Women in Medicine Month
Bonnie Choy, MD
Bonnie Choy, MD is an Assistant Professor of Pathology and Associate Residency Program Director as well as an ASCP Top 40 Under 40 Award Recipient.
Where did you grow up? Born in Hong Kong and grew up in Pittsford, NY. So despite growing up in the suburbs, I’m a city girl at heart.
What is your favorite food? Tough question for this self-proclaimed foodie.
What do you enjoy most about Chicago; Northwestern? I love Chicago. The ability to explore the food scene, museums, architecture, diverse neighborhoods, and more right at your doorstep. Northwestern being in the heart of the city makes it that much easier to enjoy all there is to do.
What do you enjoy most about our pathology department? Getting to go to work with great colleagues who are also your friends, as well as amazing trainees and staff. And getting the support to pursue my academic interests – cytopathology and genitourinary pathology.
What’s the greatest piece of advice your mentor ever gave you? No specific piece of advice, but I try to observe the qualities that make a great pathologist in my mentors and do my best to embody these traits as I continue to learn and grow as a pathologist myself.
What advice do you have for new pathology trainees? Immerse yourself in each rotation. Learn as much as you can. And don’t be afraid to ask questions.
Samantha Schroth is an MD/PhD candidate in the Medical Scientist Training Program working in the Thorp Lab and a recent winner of the prestigious Presidential Fellowship at Northwestern University.
Where did you grow up? I’m originally from Greenville, WI which is a small (but growing) town about 40 minutes south of Green Bay.
What is your favorite food? If coffee or espresso counts, definitely that - I’m a bit of a caffeine snob. Otherwise, I’m going to have to say popcorn.
What do you enjoy most about Chicago? Northwestern? As someone who never wanted to (or thought I would) live in Chicago, I’ve come to love how vibrant and unique all the neighborhoods are that makeup downtown. Each area has its own feel and local spots for the best food, coffee, or to just get work done. There’s always something or somewhere new to explore to suit your mood and that’s pretty cool. When it comes to Northwestern, I love the commitment and drive to do better and to be better. Whether that involves advancing science and medicine with new discoveries thanks to cutting edge technology or working to improve the culture and inclusivity of the school, room for growth is acknowledged and pursued.
What do you enjoy most about our pathology department? I love how much of a community the Pathology Department is. I’m very grateful to be learning and training in an environment where there are so many experts doing remarkable science just around the corner of whom I can ask questions and learn from.
What’s the greatest piece of advice your mentor ever gave you? As I’ve progressed in my training I’ve come to learn (thanks to a LOT of conversations with my mentor) that in science, one needs to have a balance in viewing both the forest and the trees. It’s easy to get distracted with the minutia, a single leaf that is indeed a part of the tree but is a far cry from the tree’s roots or the greater forest in which it exists. I think one of the most important (and frequent) questions Dr. Thorp asks me is “What’s the next BEST experiment?” That question forces me to pause and consider both the bigger picture and the leaves within it and which ones I should focus my energy on next.
What advice do you have for new pathology trainees? Some advice I was given when I was just starting my training that I’ve found especially meaningful recently is to remember to pause every so often and remind yourself what brought you to this field and this work in the first place. Enjoy this process and journey of learning, occasional uncertainty, and definite growth.
Megan Kinn, DO
Megan Kinn, DO, is a fourth year resident on the AP/CP track and former Chief Resident.
Where did you grow up? I was born in Houston, Texas. I lived there until I was 10, and then moved to Pittsburgh, PA, where my parents still live. I went to college and medical school in Philadelphia, so I lived there for almost 10 years before finally landing in Chicago!
What is your favorite food? I love sushi and seafood of any kind. Although, tacos and margs are a close second!
What do you enjoy most about Chicago; Northwestern? Chicago is an amazing city. One of my absolute favorite things is being so close to the lake. I love being able to see the water every day, and it's super convenient for a quick run or a long walk on a sunny weekend day! Having such diverse and incredible restaurant options is another big plus. My favorite thing about Northwestern in particular is the location!
What do you enjoy most about our pathology department? I think our department is unique. We have a great team of trainees, attendings, and staff. I have the most amazing co-residents! Everyone works so well together and is always willing to help each other out, which makes for a great work environment. Our attendings are dedicated to resident education, are very approachable, and want to see us succeed. We also have dedicated, hard-working staff who support us everyday.
What’s the greatest piece of advice your mentor ever gave you? There isn't one correct path to reaching your goals. Don't be discouraged when you encounter obstacles along the way. It's just part of the journey! Keep working hard and you'll achieve your goals.
What advice do you have for new pathology trainees? Don't get overwhelmed by the amount of information you have to learn! First year can be a lot, but know that we have excellent training here and you're sure to succeed. Trust the process!
Raven Rodriguez is the Senior Education Program Administrator for the Department of Pathology.
Where did you grow up? It’s more accurate to say I survived Humboldt Park, here in Chicago. During my formative years it’s the place that educated me in the art of endurance, assimilation, social scrimmages and the naturalness of life and death. I learned more from that than I ever could in a classroom. The application of these lessons has been far more valuable as well.
What is your favorite food? I will never say no to steak tacos, slathered in jalapeño sauce. Unless you dangle a well-seasoned bone-in ribeye right off the grill and I could only choose one or the other.
What do you enjoy most about Chicago; Northwestern? It is the heterogeneity in both for me. Like this city, Northwestern embraces the uniqueness that comes from a mixed bag of talent. Diversity is not only embraced at Northwestern but celebrated in a way that doesn’t feel perfunctory. As someone born and raised in Chicago, my soul is tethered to the music, art, food, summer and yes, even the cold.
What do you enjoy most about our pathology department? The people. Don’t get me wrong I love what I do but having genuine, fun-loving, caring and just downright nice people around you is key to not losing your mind on those hard days when the work threatens to swallow you whole.
What’s the greatest piece of advice your mentor ever gave you? “You’re no good to anyone else if you’re not good.” The short way of saying you need to take care of yourself in order to take care of anything or anyone else. It’s not selfish, it’s selfcare. I don’t know if this counts because this is what I tell myself when I need a reminder. I have never had a mentor.
What advice do you have for new pathology trainees? Make success a habit. I don’t mean the state of “being” socially or financial successful but rather the practice of actualizing goals successfully. For example, proofing and submitting all of your reports on time, or going to the literature on cases. Not just doing the bare minimum like scarcely meeting the 75% conference attendance. Succeeding at these core character building principles is what ultimately contributes to the state of not just financial or social success, but mental and spiritual as well.