Name: Carolyn Chan, MD
Hometown: Ypsilanti, MI
Medical School: Wayne State School of Medicine
Professional Interest: Primary care
RESIDENCY PROGRAM EXPERIENCE
What trait do you most admire in talented physicians? I admire clinicians who build their career by choosing to create, whether it is in the form of redesigning health care systems, or developing clinical experiments. I admire those who continue to push boundaries to improve the world we live in.
What is the biggest sacrifice you have made in your medical training so far? Moving away from home was more difficult than I anticipated, the small things you miss start to add. Not being home for holidays, and an inability to be present for the people you care about takes a toll.
What was the most difficult thing during your intern year? Becoming an expert at multi-tasking. There are a lot of demands and interruptions to your daily workflow. Learning how to triage problems and yet, not forgetting the non-urgent details crucial to patient care from earlier in the day is challenging.
One thing I wish I knew before starting the Residency Program is it goes by fast! Plan accordingly.
At work I always remember to have my ID badge on me.
At work I never remember my chapstick.
What is the key to making the best of this Residency Program? Finding mentors, this program has great, supportive faculty, and finding them early will help guide your career. In addition, if you have an idea, or a unique project you want to work on, do it, the program will be supportive/flexible to help you accomplish your goals. I have yet to be told “No” by Dr. Armitage.
What is the one item somebody starting residency should absolutely invest into? Fine tip pens, my pen of choice are the black-G2-0.38 tip, followed by a pocket protector, because these pens do leak. And black-out curtains. You’ll thank me later.
What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Deciding a career path can be stressful, and it’s OK to not know what you want to do. One of my mentors gave a gentle reminder that most people don’t end up where they expected, despite the most detailed planning. That sometimes the best approach to building a career is to continue working on projects that excite you. You’ll do better work on projects you are excited about, this in itself will lead to more opportunities, and rewarding careers can also be built by accepting one exciting project at a time. We all have own paths, your career can sort itself out on its own if you continue to pursue what you enjoy doing.
A FEW WORDS ABOUT THE AREA
How would you describe Cleveland to somebody who has never been here? A snowier version of southeastern Michigan.
What neighborhood do you live in? Cleveland Heights
What are some of the spots to go to fall in love with Cleveland? The area has a great creative community, there’s a diverse group of people, collaborating on very cool things around town. You can find a good show almost any night of the week between, improv, stand-up, theater, and story-telling show. I recommend checking out Cleveland Public Theater, Crooked River Comedy, Story Club Cleveland, and Keep Talking. It’s easy to fall in love with the community here!
Best kept secret about Cleveland is there is an artist, Tim Willis, who builds these incredible robots (monster truck size). My favorite one is this three-headed dragon that moves! It’s incredible! A site to be seen! Currently he is building a robot, to ride his three-headed dragon robot, and I am very excited for its debut!
Your favorite spot for a quick bite around the hospital: Pacific East – good, quick, sushi!
A good shawarma: Ferris Deli in Lakewood. Delish.
Dinner with friends: Batuqui or Empress Taytu
Great patio: Luxe
Shop: Big Fun on Coventry
A night on the town: Tina’s, best dive-bar karaoke around town!
Cope with sleep deprivation: Go to bed at a decent hour the night before a call, and drink a lot of coffee.
Get to conferences on time: hmmm.. if you figure it out, let me know.
Avoid burnout: Have local friends who aren’t in the medical field, the space away from the hospital reminds you that you’re still a normal person.
East Side or West Side: West Side
Staying in or going out: Going out
UH or VA: VA
CICU or MICU: MICU
Sushi or tacos: Tacos
Lease or buy a car in Cleveland: Buy
Own or rent a house in Cleveland: Lease
On my bucket list: running with the bulls.
I can’t live without my co-residents
Bad habit: I eat way too much ice cream.
If you were given three additional hours a day, what would you do with them? 1. Sleep. 2. Work-Out. 3. More Improv Comedy – performing and watching shows.
Fun fact most people don’t know about me is I volunteered at an even called “Station Hope” at Cleveland Public Theater with the “Guerilla Haiku Mistress.” I hold the individual record for having "written the most Haiku’s about Cleveland", ever, in the history of time (this is a self-declared record)
When I’m not on call you will find me at a local comedy show, experimenting with hot dog toppings at Happy Dog