IN OUR WORDS
CLASS OF 2025
SAMANTHA VALENCIA, MD
“As a UM medical student, I was fortunate that I got to work with the FM residents and faculty here during my clerkship and again as a Sub-I on the FM inpatient team. My decision to rank Jackson/UM at the top of my list became an easy one after seeing how well everyone worked together, the positive and fun culture they’ve created, and how much they care for their patients both in the clinic and in the hospital.
Being that Jackson is a large public safety net hospital, we serve a diverse patient population from all over South Florida, Central/South America, and the Caribbean. We get to see a wide variety of pathologies ranging from early to late stage. It’s been rewarding to serve the community I grew up in and work for a patient population that is often underserved.
Being part of an “opposed” and academic-based program has offered strong primary care training as evidenced by our graduates. In addition to learning from our incredible FM faculty, we work hand in hand with the 100+ specialty and sub-specialty programs here to connect our patients to the care they deserve. We treat patients admitted to our FM service and are also valued members of the teams we rotate through such as pediatrics, OBGYN, EM, etc. As I rotate through other services, I often hear the comment “Oh you’re Family Medicine?! Great because we have a patient with XYZ, and they could really benefit from a PCP who can manage that”. It’s been a great opportunity to challenge myself with complex cases and tailor my training to match my interests.
Outside of work, I get to enjoy all that Miami has to offer including great weather, fun activities, and innumerable food options. After just a few months of my first year in residency, I can say confidently that I’m happy with my decision!”
CLASS OF 2024
NICHOLE RAMIREZ, MD
“Interview season is already one of the most stressful times for medical students. In addition to the known stressor, my class was faced with being the first to interview virtually. It became difficult to ask for advice because everyone's experience was based on interviewing in person. The most common piece of advice I received was "go where your gut tells you." By this, they are referring to some visceral sensation that they felt when attending an interview at the place they knew was "the one." This worried me early on in interview season, because it was hard to believe that I could experience this same emotion while learning about a place and its people through a computer screen. As interview season progressed, I started losing hope in finding a place that I just "knew" was the one. I began making pros and cons lists using information I picked up during my virtual meet and greets and interviews. All the places were starting to blur together, and truly I had no idea how I was going to create a rank list with little to no background on this programs.
I remember my interview with University Miami was on a Wednesday. I had already completed an interview on Monday of that week and had another one scheduled on Friday. I was starting to get burnt out by the interview process. The night before most interviews there is a casual meeting where you get to ask residents about the programs prior to your actual interview day. In theory it sounds effortless, but the truth of the matter is that it was always awkward and the residents would just ramble on about random topics until the hour was up. So, the night before my UM interview, there was a meet and greet with some residents. I logged into the virtual call and was greeted by a "room" of people listening to music and laughing together. The entire night instead blurting out facts about the program, we played a game. I got to know the people on the call and they got to know me. We talked about the program, but somehow they made it fun. I finished that night and I knew - this is the one.
Fast forward to now! I am about 1 month into residency and 2 months since moving to Miami, and I cannot imagine being anywhere else. The people are fantastic, the city is full of culture, and the patients are extraordinary. I feel so grateful to be training at Jackson Memorial Hospital and am honored to be learning in such an incredible community!"
MATTHEW WEBER, MD
“As a rising M4 I was split on academic vs community family medicine programs. During the application and interview process I realized I was more attracted to large academic systems for their endless resources, urban setting, rich history and more diverse pathology and patient-population. As my academic programs filtered to the top of my list, Jackson quickly rose to the top of my list.
In the first week of orientation, I knew I was in the right place. The gratitude, joy, and closeness of the residents was contagious since the "meet and greet" before my interview. The day we were "long white-coated" by the outgoing third years I knew I found the right place for me. The physicians leaving the program were wise, experienced, and inspiring. They were genuine humans ready and prepared for their careers ahead. Jackson is the 3rd largest teaching hospital in the United States and a magnet for those in need of medical care from all over the Caribbean, Central and South America. Yet, as a humble family medicine intern 2 months in I have already felt like a crucial part of every medical team I have worked with. I have had the opportunity to impact families and patients who look up to physicians for education and hope.
Our Jackson Family Medicine program has a great reputation amongst the other residency programs. Our program has incredible faculty such as Dr. Nery who is one the most amazing and joyful teachers I've met, Dr. Djahed who is walking encyclopedia, and Dr. Gervais who every UM Miller school of medicine graduate mentions as being "the best physician to learn under from clinicals -- she even gives hugs!" True story. Our faculty and staff not mentioned are equally amazing, our Jefferson Reaves Clinic family is inviting, our campus is central with rail access and just across from Miami Beach. I bike to work many days and get to feel the warm sun on my face almost every day and have access to a variety of culturally rich communities and the food they make at any hour of the day. What else could you want from the oldest academic family medicine program in the country?"
MARC-EDWIN SAINT-LOUIS, MD, MPH
“When choosing a family medicine program, I wanted to match into a program whose objectives, values, and priorities align with mine. The University of Miami/Jackson Memorial Hospital (UM/JMH) family medicine program is one such program. Not only is UM/JMH the first Family Medicine program in the US, it is also located in one of the most diverse areas of the US. I am confident that our training at UM/JMH will enhance my understanding of the healthcare needs of multicultural and underserved communities. Additionally, I am Haitian-born and raised, and aspire to effectively take care of our growing Caribbean and Latino communities residing in the Miami area. I feel privileged to be able to train under distinguished experts and specialists in their respective fields here at UM/JMH which is one of the largest teaching medical centers in the U.S. Lastly, the support that our UM/JMH Family Medicine Residency Program provides is truly unmatched. Our faculty, residents, and staff are evidently and fully invested in your success, and it truly feels like a family. Ranking this program #1 was one the best decisions I have made in life thus far and I cannot wait to see all I will be able to accomplish in my future career as a family medicine physician because of our robust training here at UM/JMH."
NATHAN RODRICKS, DO
“I was always told to look for a program that had a great vibe. I didn't really understand what that meant until my interview at UM/JMH. The residents at the program felt like old friends and the faculty were easy to talk to. I ranked the program number one and after being here for a few months, I know I made the right decision. Outside of medicine our residents are amazing and interesting people. Coming from Canada, I didn't have any friends or family in the area and my co-interns have become my family. We love to go out or relax by the pool, and enjoy each others company. Our faculty have also been very supportive. They are approachable and teach in a style that makes everything easy to understand and remember. As someone on the sports medicine track, I have already been able to do game sideline coverage and be in sports medicine clinic. Reach out to any of the residents and I am sure you'll hear great things!"
Dr. Rodricks is originally from Toronto, Canada and enjoys being active. He enjoys swimming, basketball, and volleyball. He is pursuing a career in sports medicine and would like to complete a fellowship in sports medicine after residency.
CLASS OF 2023
BRITTANY AJEGBA, MD, MPH
“People would always say, when you know a program is for you, you'll know. It's a gut feeling." And I used to get nervous like I don't know how people can just know that a program is for them based off of seemingly not much information. And then I came to Jackson and I truly understood what people meant. I loved it. The residents, the faculty, the learning opportunities. The good yet sometimes daunting thing about the field of family medicine is that there are so many programs to choose from that all will provide great training. So how do you choose? For me, it was the combination of people and purpose. I would like to pursue policy work in marrying public health and medicine that aim to decrease health disparities and I know that Jackson will provide me that opportunity as the majority of patients we serve are underrepresented and underserved. The beauty of Jackson is not only do you get to work with that wonderful patient population, but the residents and faculty mirror their patient population and diversity is very valued here and that was very important to me when I began my residency program search. Being from Michigan, I was a little nervous to come to Miami (even though I won't miss the Michigan winters), but I truly think that Jackson is the supportive and nurturing environment that I was always looking for and I am grateful to be here."
PASCALE DUVALSAINT, MD
“While applying for residency, I ultimately decided that the three most important factors I sought were robust training, a supportive environment, and the opportunity to care for an underserved patient population. After interviewing at UM/JMH, I felt like I truly struck gold. Not only did this program exceed all of my expectations for ‘must haves,’ but it also checked all of my additional boxes, and simply felt right emotionally. Our program boasts so many unique attributes that I have come to cherish. As the third largest teaching hospital in the country, positioned in an extremely diverse community, we learn a plethora of pathologies alongside a vast array of healthcare providers. Yet, despite being in such a large academic institution, our Family Med department feels like a supportive, and close-knit home away from home. I sensed this on the day of my interview, and it has held true each and every day since. Some of my personal favorite parts of our program include the truly protected academic time, regularly scheduled wellness days, opportunities to sharpen language skills, and the unparalleled diversity amongst patients, residents, and faculty. While working, I feel absolutely blessed to train at UM/JMH. Outside of work, I remain blessed to enjoy the wonderful food, sights, activities and weather in Miami. "
DANIELE MION-BET, MD
“Choosing the right residency program is a challenge in itself, many factors come into play when making this decision. Fortunately, choosing UM/JMH was one of the easiest decisions I’ve made in my medical career. I grew up in Miami and was part of many public service organizations here, continuing to serve the Miami community was the opportunity to complete my vow of service to the city that raised me. I was fortunate enough to do my clinical rotations at Jackson Memorial hospital, which gave me insight to the patient population and social issues they deal with on a daily basis. During this time, I was able to interact with many residents and attendings who welcomed me and allowed me to become part of the team. The interview day was no different from that, and I was truly shown that resident wellness is a high priority for this program. Miami is a beautiful place to learn medicine due to its population diversity, which adds to the variety of cases and pathology encountered. This residency allows there to be a good work and life balance. When not working, I am still able to enjoy many of my hobbies, which include diving/spearfishing, drifting and hanging out with friends in the outdoors year round."