Nora Hassan, MD

Hometown: Haymarket, VA
Medical school: Ross University School of Medicine
Area of interest/future practice plans: Faculty at a Residency Program

Why did you choose St. Joseph’s?
I did an AI here during my fourth year of medical school and fell in love with the program. At the time, I did the AI in inpatient medicine with the second-year residents (about a month before they started their third year of residency). I was amazed by their confidence in managing the entire floor by themselves, their confidence running the rapid responses and codes, and their charisma during rounds as they discussed with the attendings their plan for their patients. I appreciated the relationship between the Attendings and the Residents as I felt as though they were more colleagues discussing the patients and bouncing off ideas rather than an intimidating encounter. I thought to myself, I definitely can grow and flourish in such a supportive and friendly environment. I also was very impressed by the fact that the program was unopposed, providing you with more hands-on experience on all rotations (including OB). We are a very OB heavy program, which may sound intimidating, however, a lot of the residents who went through this program have pleasantly been surprised by how much they have loved the experience and all the knowledge they have gained.

Any advice for prospective candidates?
Go someplace where you can develop the skills that will ultimately help you become the type of family physician you’d like to be. For example, I knew I wanted be in a program that had every aspect of family medicine, including OB, inpatient, and Peds as I have a passion for teaching and hope to join a residency program someday as a faculty. I knew that by coming to St. Joes that I would be taught all of the skills necessary to provide a great education to future residents! If you have a passion for inpatient medicine, our program is very heavy with inpatient – so much so, that a lot of our graduates go on to continue practicing inpatient medicine. We also are very OB heavy, which allows family doctors to continue to deliver babies at their practices after residency. We even have an OB fellowship where you can learn to perform cesarean sections, if this is something you desire. You may this that it may be too premature to think about attending life, but keep in mind that residency is going to teach you all the necessary skills required for life as an attending. The beautiful thing about Family Medicine is that life as an attending is so different from physician to physician. Think about where you see yourself practicing, what areas you really like and choose a program that will help you get there.