"I knew I'd fit in and be able to pursue my dreams here."
Second-year Medical Scientist Training Program (MSTP) student Sai-Suma (Suma) Samudrala is completely committed to receiving both her MD and PhD so she can help patients from multiple angles.
“I want to be comfortable and confident in my ability to treat any patient who comes through the door or help them find an answer,” said Suma.
Suma’s path through the MSTP program will include two years in medical school (she begins her second year this month), then four years in the MCW Graduate School to earn her PhD, and then two more years in medical school to finish her MD. She expects to complete the program in 2024.
Suma has been working in Dr. Aoy Mitchell’s lab since she came to MCW, helping with pediatric cardiology research, and worked in several research labs while earning her undergraduate degree at the University of Wisconsin- Madison, and this work helped her to realize her dream was to pursue the dual degree.
Sai-Suma Samudrala “In a clinic setting, you get to treat the patient and treat the disease, but I also want to be involved in improving the care we can provide patients,” Suma said.
Suma, who is from Brookfield, WI, said she is happy to be at MCW.
“Everyone at MCW is so caring, and I knew I’d fit in and be able to pursue my dreams here,” she said. “People make themselves available to guide you the entire way.”
In addition to her class work and research, Suma also manages to serve as a student manager for the Saturday Clinic for the Uninsured, volunteers at Children’s Hospital of Wisconsin in its Art on the Plaza program for patients, and writes a student-perspective column for MCW Magazine, MCW’s donor and alumni publication.