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Second-Year Residents

Shane Bealer, DO

Shane Bealer

Medical School: Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: LaSalle University, Philadelphia Pennsylvania

I chose Latrobe for my residency training because I felt like from the moment I met the residents for the pre-interview dinner to the rest of the interview process, everyone seemed happy. As I learned more about the program, I noticed what seemed like a great learning environment where residents were given the ability to learn in ways that make the most sense to them while at the same time being challenged to help grow not only as a physician but as a person. The program really cares about its resident’s well-being and it shows, from how dedicated the faculty are to the comradery that exists amongst the residents. Starting out as a new intern can be a scary time for any newly graduated medical student, but everyone that I came in contact with was so supportive and kind in getting us oriented and ready to start as interns. The program offers great flexibility and opportunities for multiple interests, and a huge selling point to myself were the opportunities in sports medicine. The area was also the type of place that my fiancé and I always spoke about moving to, a small town but not out in the middle of nowhere having to drive 30 minutes for milk. The housing was also a huge benefit especially graduating during COVID, not having to find a new apartment or house was a huge burden off of our backs. I couldn’t be happier with my choice of residency and am looking forward to see what the future brings.

Abigail Casey, DO

Abigail Casey

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Cedar Crest College, Allentown Pennsylvania

From the moment I started communicating with Melissa and the residency staff, I had a good feeling about the program’s attention to detail and intent to find residents with the right “fit.” The more I heard about Latrobe – from fellow medical students, residents at other programs, alumnae of the program, and even residency directors at other programs – the more I knew there had to be something special about it. By the time I came on interview day I was almost sold, but meeting the current residents sealed the deal. I was impressed with how cheerful, energized and engaged the residents were (even 5 months into the year and coming off night float), and how cohesive the program was as a whole. Mostly, I was attracted to the education structure, and the way each class teaches and mentors the year(s) below them; this creates a ripe environment for professional growth. From the care exhibited for the local community, to the effort with which the residency builds its own community, this is a program that puts an emphasis on the family part of family medicine, and I’m so excited to be a part of it.

Nancy Copeland, MD

Nancy Copeland

Medical School: Sideny Kimmel College at Thomas Jefferson University
Undergraduate: Lafayette College, Easton Pennsylvania

I chose Latrobe Family Medicine Residency because of the caring community that it fosters. Continuing to train in a nurturing environment with supportive co-residents was of the utmost importance to me, and I found it here at Latrobe. During my interview, I also had the opportunity to learn about how much the faculty were invested in continuously improving resident education, which gave me confidence in the curriculum and mentorship the program would afford me. As a bonus, living close to Pittsburgh meant that arts and cultural activities and events would be only a short drive away. All in all, Latrobe was an ideal springboard for advancing my career and growing our family.

Elliott Hirsch, DO

Nancy Copeland

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Gettysburg College, Gettysburg Pennsylvania

My first impression of Excela Health Latrobe Family Medicine Residency was one of excellence, kindness and teamwork. The emphasis on building a family within the program allows residents to work hard and efficiently, all while knowing their team is backing them up. I can honestly say I have never been to a hospital where the staff knew and treated each other this well. The program does so much to provide a nurturing, supportive atmosphere for the residents. This includes resident housing, competitive salaries, and balanced work schedules. Excela Health puts its people first, which benefits patients and staff alike. I see this program as a place where I can maintain my health and wellbeing while becoming the best doctor I can be.

Emily Kukura, MD

Emily Kukura

Medical School: St. George's University School of Medicine
Undergraduate: Saint Vincent College, Latrobe Pennsylvania

For me, choosing the Latrobe Family Medicine Residency was an easy decision. Growing up in nearby Black Lick, attending Blairsville High School and spending my undergraduate years at Saint Vincent College have made Southwestern Pennsylvania a part of my heart and my home. After college, I expanded my horizons by attending medical school at St. George’s University in Grenada, and then by living in 5 different states during my clinical rotations. New York and New Jersey offered many experiences, but I always enjoyed returning home. I did not want to sacrifice a quality program just for proximity to my home, but with the Latrobe Family Medicine Residency program, I didn’t have to. I first experienced the residency program in a professional setting, during my sophomore year at Saint Vincent, when I completed an internship program with Latrobe Hospital. The faculty and residents were extremely welcoming to me. I knew their hospitality and camaraderie were qualities I was looking for in a residency program. During interview season, I was even more certain this was the residency program I belonged in. The attendings were extremely friendly and professional. They showed an extreme interest in me, my education, and my experiences growing up in rural southwestern Pennsylvania. The upper year residents could not speak more highly of the program as a whole, and reinforced everything I was feeling about the program. Our residency program consists of people who truly care for us as residents, the patients they serve, and the community they live in. Having the opportunity to remain close to my family and my childhood home, serve the community I grew up in, while being a member of such a prestigious program, really is a dream come true. I could not be more excited to be a resident at Latrobe Hospital.

Katherine McGowan, DO

Katherine McGowan

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: James Madison University, Harrisonburg Virgina

When I started looking for residencies in family medicine, it was important to me that the residency be invested in the education, well-being, and growth of their residents. I wanted a program that was engaged in the community and the local area and who viewed each other as, and encouraged the feeling of, "family." When I went for my interview, I knew about the program statistics, their different opportunities, and had heard positive things from friends who had done rotations there while in medical school. Going into my interview, Latrobe Family Medicine was already at the top of my list, but after the interview, it became solidified as my absolute first choice. Everyone, from intern to attending to administrative staff were so warm, genuine and easy to talk to - everyone just seemed comfortable with each other, like everyone just "fit." I was struck by how engaged, supportive, and enthusiastic the residents were about their education and experiences, as well as the education and experiences of their fellow resident. This is truly an atmosphere that facilitates personal, educational, and professional growth, while also encouraging you to be active in your local community and creating a "family" within the residency; I am so proud and excited to be part of such a wonderful program!

Jessie Milliken, DO

Jessie Milliken

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Gannon University, Erie Pennsylvania

Latrobe was the perfect program for me for so many reasons. It is an unopposed program, which gives me the opportunity to be exposed to every aspect of medicine. The culture here is very supportive and it has an excellent learning environment. When I was given the opportunity to meet everyone in the program, the residents seemed to be more like family to each other instead of coworkers. Also, the community is fantastic and there is so much to do. During interview season I even went axe throwing with one of the residents. This is a program that really wants to see you personally succeed. This was exactly what I was looking for in a program. Combine all of that with being an hour away from Steeler and Penguins games, getting to live in a house right across the street from the hospital, and being close to family, this program was the best choice for me.

Alexander Porter, DO

Alexander Porter

Medical School: Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine
Undergraduate: Allegheny College, Meadville Pennsylvania

The residency program at Latrobe provides me the opportunity to further pursue my interests in family medicine: sports medicine, caring for a rural population, point of care ultrasound, medical assisted treatment, and osteopathic manipulation treatment.

During my rotation in the intensive care unit, I had a positive experience as a medical student. I enjoyed how the current residents and faculty greeted me throughout the month. In addition, the morning reports were organized and challenged me. The residents explained the anatomy and physiology behind each case which allowed me to better learn the material. Finally, the hospital staff made my rotation enjoyable: they fostered a teamwork atmosphere, gave respect to everyone, and achieved great patient care outcomes. Further, I wanted to choose an unopposed residency program that has a supportive learning environment. The Latrobe Family Medicine Residency provides that opportunity.

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