Yana Zemkova, MD
University of New Mexico
My medical school personal statement told a true story of a young child racing with an encyclopedia into a closed screen door, as a way to demonstrate my youthful excitement for learning. This same eagerness paved my way through an undergraduate degree in Biology and Spanish, with a side of managerial work at a gymnastics school, with the ultimate goal of medicine.
My medical school experience at the University of New Mexico initially claimed an interest in Emergency Medicine. Apparently, my closest friends always knew that I was bound for internal medicine instead, but I pushed back. The first week of my IM rotation however, I stayed until 7:30pm on an inpatient VA service and was convinced – I never looked back from the special sort of hours-long rounds, complex decision-making, and diagnostic dilemmas. From the very beginning of my love of inpatient internal medicine, I also developed an interest in medical education. In my fourth year of med school, I completed a student adaptation of the Stanford Course in Clinical Teaching and then served as a student coordinator organizing and creating sessions for a month-long rotation for students transitioning from pre-clinical to clinical years.
If you had asked me four years ago where I would go for residency, I would have never believed that Iowa would be the answer. Allow me to provide some cliches that serve perfectly to describe my interview experience: “when you know, you know,” “it just felt right,” and “it was a good fit.” What I left my interview with was a sense of belonging, accomplishment, and encouragement, and my training here has lived up to every expectation with which I entered. The University of Iowa has provided me with a multitude of mentors, an unparalleled foundation with a focus on clinical reasoning, a blossoming skillset with ultrasound, an involvement with program development, physicians to emulate, and countless memories – all in part during a pandemic, yet without sacrificing any patient care. From the original Land of Enchantment with mountains and green chile, to this slightly flatter and colder one, I have been captivated. I look forward to participating in the recruitment process to showcase the program’s accomplishments as well as the meaning behind being a member of the Hawkeye family. Following this, I will pursue a fellowship in Pulmonary and Critical Care, with an ongoing focus in medical education. But what’s in my life besides medicine? I am expanding my wine palate, I enjoy all and any desserts, I can quote New Girl for any situation, and I have a love of miniature schnauzers (although I do not yet personally have one – chief goal perhaps!).