Meet Elizabeth Ferzacca, from Beverly, MA. She attended University of Massachusetts Medical School, and is a PGY-3 in the Primary Care Residency Program HIV Training Track.
What led you to pursue a career in medicine?
Like many young people, I started thinking about medicine after reading Tracy Kidder's "Mountains Beyond Mountains" about the work of Dr. Paul Farmer. I too wanted to heal the world! I mentioned my interest in medicine to a trusted high school physics teacher. He said he thought I could be a doctor; my decision was made! Teachers and mentors can have such a profound influence on the younger generation. I try to always keep this in mind.
What are your goals after you complete residency? Where do you see yourself?
After residency I will be Assistant Professor of Medicine at University of Massachusetts Medical School. I will be building an HIV curriculum for the primary care residents there, and practicing primary care and HIV medicine. I can't wait!
Why did you choose Yale IMed for your residency?
During my interview day, I immediately fell in love with the Primary Care/HIV Training Track leadership (Dr. Lydia Barakat! Dr. John Moriarty!), its mission (rigorous primary care education! social justice!), artiness (Medicine in the Arts!), and close-knit family feel. Throughout my time here, I continue to feel endlessly lucky to be a part of this program and community. It has been truly life-changing.
Describe your experience at Yale IMed in 3 words.
Challenging, rewarding, joyful.
What is your fondest memory at Yale thus far?
Sitting in the charting room at Nathan Smith Clinic, hanging out with co-residents and our amazing faculty preceptors, and talking about HIV-related things, primary care stuff, politics, our families, movies, music—you name it. These are truly the best of times.
Who has had the greatest influence on you, and why?
My mother. She is so strong and wise. I always wish to be like her.
If you could say anything to your younger self, what would you say?
Life keeps changing. This we can always expect. If right now is not the best, know that the circumstances of right now will change.
What's a fun fact about you?
I love to play the violin and make music with friends and my fiancé, Kyle!
What is one piece of advice you'd give someone who is applying for residency?
Think about what makes you happy, and try to find a program where you will be able to incorporate some of this into your life.
What have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments since the beginning of the pandemic?
There has been so much suffering during the past year. I am so grateful for my work and community.
The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale is among the nation's premier departments, bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators and educators in one of the world's top medical schools. To learn more, visit Internal Medicine.