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Student Stories: Matthew Abbott

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Student Stories

Matthew Abbott

Matthew Abbott

What are your future plans?

In June, my family and I will be moving to Durham, NC as I start residency in internal medicine at Duke University. Though I’m training in internal medicine, I’m largely undecided on whether I’ll pursue fellowship training or practice as a hospitalist or a primary care physician after residency.

Share an experience you had at the OU-TU School of Community Medicine that helped you determine your career goals.

The patient care experiences I had during my third year of medical school really solidified my desire to pursue internal medicine as a career. I had already appreciated the breadth of internal medicine through our preclinical coursework, but the patient encounters I experienced in both inpatient and outpatient internal medicine really made the difference. Specifically, the Bedlam Longitudinal Clinic experience, which places third-year medical students in the position of a primary care physician for an entire year, allowed me to see the value of the patient-physician relationship over time.

What were some of your favorite moments as a Tulsa Sooner?

Three things really come to mind: First, celebrating match day with my fellow classmates as we all opened our envelopes simultaneously to find out where we would pursue residency training was an incredible experience - one that I will never forget! Second, all of the formal and informal get-togethers with my classmates! My classmates have become some of my greatest friends and I will truly miss spending time with them. Lastly and personally, was the birth of my first son, Connor, this past February. He’s such a joy!

Tell us about some of your favorite classes at the School of Community Medicine.

From our preclinical curriculum, I’d say the clinical medicine course. This course is where we first learn to take a patient history and perform physical exams. It provides the opportunity from day one to begin practicing “how to be a doctor.” It’s also one of the more fun courses, which was always a much needed break from the other rigorous preclinical coursework. From the clinical curriculum, I’d say the surgery clerkship. The opportunity to see the human body open and on display as diseased tissue was removed or joints were replaced was amazing! Not many other professions afford such an experience.

What would you tell someone thinking about going to the School of Community Medicine?

The School of Community Medicine is a great place full of great people. The curriculum really prepares you to think and act as a physician. In addition to learning the core principles of medicine, you get the opportunity to see how the social determinants of health impact patients first hand and apply those principles in a variety of opportunities, whether through the Bedlam clinic or research projects on campus, to name a few. The people are really wonderful, too. The student services, faculty, and students really make this place worthwhile.

Tell us about anything else that made your time at the School of Community Medicine meaningful.

Being a part of the inaugural class has been great. At the beginning, I think there was a lot of angst over how this could play out as it was all new, but it has been more than worth it! The School of Community Medicine has done a great job at creating this opportunity and I’m excited to see how they continue to impact medical education moving forward.