Future Residents Happy to Stay Home in Chicago

Future Residents Happy to Stay Home in Chicago

Three recent Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine graduates let out a collective sigh of relief during The Match a couple of months ago. Not only had they landed their top choices, but they were staying in Chicago to start training as diagnostic radiologists. 

Sophia Liu, MD
Sophia Liu, MD

New physicians Sophia Liu, Christina Shehata, and Michelle Wiese all matched at Northwestern for their residencies. The school’s main campus in Evanston is 14 miles from where they will be training in downtown Chicago. 

All three believe that familiar surroundings and knowing the culture will help them thrive.  

“Northwestern is such an amazing institution,” said Dr. Wiese, who grew up in Elmhurst, Illinois. “The people are there because they want to teach and they’re really good at what they do.” 

Just as important, all three will have no worries about packing and moving hundreds or thousands of miles for training. They won’t be uprooting their lives in an already tumultuous time. 

“Chicago just feels like home,” said Dr. Shehata, who’s from Orland Park, Illinois. “Every time I visit another city I always think, ‘Could I see myself living here?’ I’ve found that there are a lot of places in the country that I love to visit, but I’m always happy to come home to Chicago.” 

Dr. Liu had an elevated level of anxiety before matching. She and her partner, who’s training to become a surgeon, were looking to land in the same community. She was relieved when they both secured residencies in Chicago. 

“The great thing about Chicago is that there are a lot of opportunities everywhere in so many different hospitals,” said Dr. Liu, who grew up in Johnson City, Tennessee. “It works out really well, especially since his residency is a bit longer. I would love to stick around for fellowship and my career as well.” 

Christina Shehata, MD
Christina Shehata, MD

Drs. Liu and Shehata will spend all five years of their training together: they’re both doing their intern years at Ascension Resurrection hospital. Dr. Wiese will be at Ascension St. Joseph. 

When they get back together at Northwestern for training in July 2025, they will be part of a class of 10 residents that’s split evenly between men and women. 

“The Women in Radiology group at Northwestern is really strong, and the faculty are very interested in providing advice, resources, and support to female residents and female medical students who are interested in radiology,” Dr. Wiese said “It’s not a coincidence that there are so many women interested in radiology at Northwestern. It’s a really supportive place.” 

All three have an interest in giving back to Northwestern and sharing their love of radiology by working with medical school students as mentors. 

“It would be great if we could start a mentorship program, pairing residents and medical students interested in radiology and having a streamlined process for students who are applying (for residencies),” Dr. Liu said. “It’s such a great field; it would be nice to get students interested earlier on.” 

They found their medical school clinical work to be rewarding. In a metropolitan area of approximately 9.6 million people, they saw a variety of cases. 

“With the diversity of the population in Chicago, you get to work with a lot of different patients in the hospital and throughout community clinics,” Dr. Liu said. “Whatever interests you have and whatever patient population you would like to work with, the opportunity is there.” 

Michelle Wiese, MD
Michelle Wiese, MD

They were so interested in radiology throughout their time as medical students that they have already started considering subspecialties: Dr. Liu (either breast or body imaging), Dr. Shehata (body imaging), and Dr. Wiese (pediatrics). 

“I definitely want to take the time during residency to explore everything and choose a subspecialty because I like it and not because it’s the thing that’s the most comfortable,” Dr. Shehata said. 

Dr. Wiese said: “I think it would be cool to have a career where I can do a little bit of pediatric and a little bit of adult no matter what kind of body system I specialize in.” 

Dr. Liu said breast imaging fits her interest of having patient contact. 

“It’s more patient focused and you’re able to perform procedures and talk to people about their diagnoses,” she said. “That would be interesting to explore.” 

Whichever direction they choose, the three physicians know where they will be for the next five years and likely beyond. Dr. Shehata said there are many reasons why she enjoys living in Chicago, even after her parents moved away to Florida. 

It’s clear that she gives the city a positive Yelp review. 

“I’m a big foodie, so I like trying new restaurants and Chicago is a big hub for the James Beard Awards, people opening up Michelin star restaurants or just creative things,” she said. “That’s one of the things that keeps me here. This is my home and where I want to be in the long term. I could rave about Chicago all day.”

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