Dear NMPRA,
Here are the candidates for the 2018-2019 NMPRA Executive Board! Below their names are their essays. Please read them and vote for who you think is best to represent you!

President-Elect Candidates

Alex Choi, Stony Brook University

Serving on the NMPRA Board as the Traditional Secretary for the past year, I enjoyed meeting med-peds residents from around the country. In return, I had the pleasure of designing the National Conference program celebrating 50 years of med-peds, and the joy of delivering the 50th anniversary T-shirts nationwide. Working with the NMPRA leadership made me realize the joy of “connecting,” which led to my decision to apply for the President-Elect position. During the three years of service there are several ways I would like to “connect.” First, and most importantly, I want to connect more with each other. I would like to work on top of the current geographical regions and establish infrastructure to promote inter-program communication. Examples would include a rotation list to host regional conferences and chief-resident leadership conferences. Second, I want to strengthen our connections with medical schools, especially those without a med-peds program. I would like to incorporate NMPRA regions mentioned above, possibly involving current chiefs/residents alongside program directors. At the Stony Brook residency program, one of the new relationships we’ve established is with the med-peds student interest group, which is now advised by the residents and has an annual curriculum. Last, I want to connect more with med-peds fellowships. In conjunction with the Med-Peds Program Director Association, I want to streamline the maintenance process and advertise the fellowship guide on the NMPRA website, which would foster research projects and mentoring across the country since finding a mentor for a combined fellowship is difficult.
I love being around med-peds people but during intern year it was hard to see beyond my world at the hospital. However, with my connections at NMPRA and my roles as Traditional Secretary, I realized the support and opportunities were not far away. Hopefully as the NMPRA president, I can help all med-peds residents feel the same.

Colby Dendy, East Carolina University

I first learned about NMPRA as a medical student in Houston who loved internal medicine and pediatrics so much that I couldn’t imagine life without them both. I remember pouring over NMPRA’s online resources and making that exciting final decision to pursue Med-Peds as my lifelong career. Exploring NMPRA’s program map, I planned out where I wanted to interview, and was excited to end up at East Carolina University where I then jumped on the chance to become my program’s NMPRA representative. I’ll never forget how excited I was to attend my very first NMPRA National Conference that same year where I had the opportunity to meet fellow Med-Peds fanatics from across the country—I had truly found “my people”! The following year, I had the immense privilege of serving NMPRA as the Director of Community Service and Outreach, helping my national Med-Peds family stay connected through the service of others, and learning more about what it takes to serve on the Executive Board. This year, it is my hope to be considered for the position of NMPRA’s President Elect—a position that will allow me to promote and shape this organization I hold so near and dear to my heart. NMPRA has been an integral part of my career development and as President Elect, I hope to build upon the amazing work that has been done thus far to ensure that it is an integral part of the lives of all Med-Peds physicians, physicians in training, and interested medical students. Thank you in advance for your consideration! #MP4L

John Mariano, University of Rochester

Over my intern year in Internal Medicine-Pediatrics I have been asked frequently what made me choose this field. I thought this question would reach its peak during interview season but I still find my categorical colleagues and medical students curious about my decision. I have come to realize this year that my answer to the question has changed. I still have a strong interest in the transitional population in oncology that drew me to this field but I have come to realize what I love most about being Med-Peds is what can make it so difficult at times; malleability. We are consistently adapting to new environments, relearning protocols and vital sign ranges, and integrating ourselves into different practice strategies. While the constant change comes with its challenges, I have come to value my developing malleability because with flexibility comes the ability to be a conduit from each categorical specialty through which practices and clinical models can pass. If elected, I hope to bring this sentiment to the national level working to continue to define the evolving transitional roles for Med-Peds trained physicians. My experience working for a national organization in the FDA and the multiple leadership roles I have held throughout medical school have prepared me for the logistical challenges of coordinating and executing large scale events as well as working with multiple parties at the national level. I feel I am uniquely suited to not only fulfill the responsibility of this role but to thrive in it.

Treasurer Candidates

Philip Chang, Ohio State University

I fell in love with med-peds shortly after I realized every one of my closest mentors in medical school was med-peds trained, and am even more excited about my choice of specialty after the last engaging, though tiring, 10 months as an intern caring for our diverse population of patients! I am a huge believer that the med-peds community is one of the most thoughtful, caring, and well-rounded groups in medicine. It is well suited for developing clinical acumen, driving medical education, and leadership of our profession; something I want to share with the medical community on a national level. I hope to be able to strengthen our community through supporting the NMPRA’s events and outreach. As a detail-oriented individual, I think I’d be well-suited to the task of treasurer, and would be grateful and excited to have the chance to help organize and plan for the national conference this upcoming year. I have been actively engaged in leading and planning events throughout high school, college, and medical school, and am confident in my ability to make things happen for our association while we stay within
budget. Regardless of the result, thank you for the consideration and I look forward to meeting and seeing you all at the conference!

Johnathan Kao, University of Tennessee Health Science Center

I am applying for the position of Treasurer for the National Med-Peds Residents’ Association. I am currently a second-year resident and I am looking for opportunities to get more involved with Med-Peds nationally. Med-Peds did not have a strong identity in my medical school. But as a resident in the second largest Med-Peds program, I have been able to see how much Med-Peds can add to both Internal Medicine and Pediatrics. To that end, I would like to see NMPRA be a part of creating more opportunities for developing the identity of Med-Peds such as creating or supporting an academic journal for Med-Peds or setting up web-streamed lectures or podcasts on Med-Peds issues. I look forward to an opportunity to work with other Med-Peds residents from around the country to discuss how we can best grow our specialty.

During medical school, I served as treasurer for the Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association (APAMSA) and the Friendship Clinic, an organization at the Michigan State University College of Human Medicine that partnered with a local free clinic to provide volunteer support. In those positions, I gained experience managing funds for the APAMSA chapter meeting in East Lansing, Michigan, budgeting for training and recruitment events, and keeping financial records. If I am selected to serve as Treasurer, I will bring my experiences and ideas to help further the mission of NMPRA.

Margaret Connolly, University of Rochester

As the current National Med-Peds Residents’ Association treasurer, I have had the opportunity to work with many outstanding leaders in internal medicine and pediatrics in celebrating and sharing our 50th anniversary. Through this process I have learned even more than I expected about our organization and our members from many excellent programs around the country. I hope to combine this experience with my background in economics including graduating with honors in economics from Boston College and serving as grants manager at The Sharewood Project, the student run clinic at Tufts University School of Medicine, to help expand exposure to med-peds through both our national and regional meetings and through facilitating funding smaller outreach projects throughout the year.

Traditional Secretary Candidates

Valien Kondos, Christiana Care

I would be honored to serve as your NMPRA secretary this year. I hope to bring my experiences in event planning, effective organizational management, and agenda execution to the NMPRA board. My goals are to facilitate a collaborative environment, to foster innovation, and promote
growth of our society to better serve our members. I have been very active in various organizations during medical school and in residency, including Care for the Caregiver, Wellness Committee, Residency Council liaison, as well as planning Med-Peds specific events/mixers. My involvement has refined my efficiency, attention to detail, time management and organizational skills, which I hope to bring to this position. With my passion for Med-Peds, I have not missed a national conference since medical school, and have been a resource for students, providing guidance and facilitating appropriate mentorship. I am eager to dedicate my time and creative energy, in conjunction with other board members to bring our goals to fruition. Thank you for considering me in your vote!

PR Secretary Candidates

Maximilian Cruz, University of Cincinnati

I would be honored to serve as NMPRAs PR Secretary for the next year. I’ve had extensive leadership experience as outlined in my CV, including 2 years spent elected to the Latino Medical Student Association (LMSA) Northeast regional board, serving as PR chair the year that our region hosted the LMSA National conference. I put together the program for that conference, and worked with our sponsors to secure advertisements and funding. I also increased our social media presence and was able to grow our twitter account from roughly 200 to over 500 followers.
Through newsletters and targeted Facebook ads we were able to attract over 250 conference attendees. I would love to play the same role for NMPRA; I love everything Med-Peds and I want to both strengthen the resident community, as well as work on materials to help continue to recruit more gifted med students to our amazing field! I envision working together with multiple positions to help provide handouts, create videos, and do what I can to increase the Med-Peds outreach! I would be more than willing to help other positions with tasks as well, especially if they involved creation of PR-esque materials (conference programs, conference flyers, med-student information flyers, etc.). I also believe that Twitter is a great place for discussion and disseminating information, and would work to grow our Twitter presence. Thank you for considering me for the position!

Ritika Walia, Baystate

A “small world story” is colloquially defined as an anecdote or incident that exemplifies just how socially and professionally interconnected we as humans are. I first heard this term used by Allen Friedland during a residency interview just over a year ago; since having become a Med Peds resident, I realize that the reason so many “small world stories” exist in our specialty is because of the culture of interprofessional and inter-institutional collaboration that defines us. My background in research has made me particularly attuned to and appreciative of such collaboration – in fact, all of my research projects have spanned different academic institutions as I progressed from college to medical school to, now, residency – and the culture in both medicine and research is one of sharing knowledge for the
greater good of our patients. Having had the opportunity to attend the NMPRA national conference last year, I understand how major of a role NMPRA plays in this culture, both through in-person gatherings and through the Perspective Newsletter. Serving as its public relations secretary would be an extremely fulfilling opportunity to acquire and disseminate information that transgresses the boundaries of distance, institution, and level of training to unite us as Med Peds physicians.