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Resident Reflections

From left: Jerry Silber, March of Dimes New York State Chapter Volunteer Board Chairman;
Dr. Yogangi Malhotra, award recipient; and Steve Carmina, March of Dimes New York State Chapter Volunteer Board Vice-Chairman.

Congratulations to Dr. Yogangi Malhotra

Congratulations to former resident; Dr. Yogangi Malhotra for receiving the March of Dimes New York Volunteer of the Year Award for Advocacy and Government Affairs.

"I also wanted to take this moment to thank all of you for the mentorship and especially for the 'required' advocacy rotation. The residency training at Rochester definitely laid the foundation for the work I have been doing. U of R is definitely the best kept secret in New York."

~Dr. Yogangi Malhotra

PLC Resident Reflections bookPLC Resident Reflections

Participants in PLC (Peds 662 elective) are asked to submit reflections on what they experienced while connecting with and advocating for patients in our communities.

Emily N Now I know that it is truly hard to put into words how this rotation made me feel. Visiting places like School #5 made me feel hopeful. There I got to see friendly, beautifully wonderful children in their element of learning and using their imaginations. I think my favorite part of the rotation was just being able to interact with people who utilize these resources. At Bethany house I met a wonderful woman who was there to pick up food for herself and her seven grandchildren that live with her. Two of her grand-daughters were with her that day and I spent some time reading with them and making pirate hats. This rotation came at a pivotal time for me during my intern year. I was getting burnt out and I had just come off a hard/ stressful floor rotation. PLC made me remember why I wanted to become a pediatrician in the first place. I love kids and I want to help them, whether that help is in the form of antibiotics or giving their mom an address to which she could bring her children to for shelter, food, and safety.

~Emily Nebzydoski, Pediatrics Resident


Katrina Cork photo

She comes in an hour before the free lunch is served, her grandson on her hip
And begins cleaning, wiping off tables, cleaning chairs
Sometimes compulsive in her efforts, wiping every plate and cup and crevice
She is grateful for the care she has been shown
She has the courage to help
She reaches in over the side of the bin excitedly, scraping her fingers through kernels of dried corn
Happily scooping them into buckets sitting in the bottom of the bin
Playing with a large smile, albeit somewhat lopsided
And when asked the corn’s color, she points to yellow in her companion booklet
As she is nonverbal
She has the courage to learn
She tucks her feet up under her and perseverates on whether or not to speak
As women around her laugh and nod and cry over their triumphs and heartaches
And their failures
She decides her addiction story will be told as she begins softly
She has the courage to share
He puts one foot in front of the other, stepping happily, bouncing playfully
Gurgling and gesturing to the staff around him with glee
When he tumbles no one panics, just says “Uh-oh” to see what he will do
And though he is 3 and should not be walking, he pulls to stand again
He has the courage to try
Child Abuse, Mental Illness, Addiction,
Medical Disability, Poverty, Hunger,
Homelessness, Unemployment, Neglect,
Different stories, different backgrounds, similar result
They all have the courage to try
They all have the courage to heal

~Katrina Cork, Pediatrics Resident


Matthew Guerinot photoAn example of how this rotation positively affected me was my time at the Boys and Girls Club of Rochester.  Several weeks before starting PLC, I referred one of my young male patients to the Boys and Girls Club because his mother was worried about how he spent his time after school.  They both seemed to like this idea because he was very interested in playing sports and the Club offered him the opportunity to do so.  When I visited the Club today I was given a tour and started playing basketball with the kids and in walked my patient from before to play basketball with us. I was pleasantly surprised to see that him and his mom listened to my advice and took it to heart. This was an “aha” moment for me and one of the first of my career.  It made me realize how much of an impact that my words and my advice can have on my patients. I owe this moment completely to PLC and my two weeks on this rotation were eye opening and very rewarding.

~Matthew Guerinot, Pediatrics Resident


Megan Kazi photoDuring this rotation, I was impressed by the diverse community that serves the children of Rochester…

  • A kindergarten teacher who reminds her students to be “respectful, responsible, and safe,” even while dancing to music from Frozen at the end of the day
  • A quiet Bethany House guest who opens up when she talks about her children as her motivation for staying clean
  • A food service worker at Alternatives for Battered Women who uses his free time to entertain kids who are cooped up in the shelter
  • A developmentally disabled third grader at Holy Childhood who helps his classmate to open a milk carton at lunch
  • A young woman who works in the Reading Room at the Boys & Girls Club of Rochester and has clearly earned the respect of the kids
  • A strong circle of women who gather at Coffee Connection to share not only coffee and laughs but also their solutions to the daily struggles of raising a family while in recovery
  • A compassionate CPS worker who uses the Family Assessment Response program to earn the trust of a wary Mom and her children – she is now their “favorite CPS worker!”
  • A firm Family Court judge who reminds teens, labeled “Persons In Needs of Supervision”, that she wants the best for them
  • A soft-spoken telecounselor who listens patiently to callers’ concerns and has learned to connect with teens in their own language – online chat
  • A trio of confident high school students who stand up in front of a room of health teachers, leading a discussion on how to improve access to condoms at schools
  • And me, a pediatrician-in-training, humbled by the opportunity to join with this community and contribute to the care of our children

~Megan Kazi, Pediatrics Resident


Oliver Salmon photoPLC is a great experience for a pediatric resident in their first year.  I loved seeing children like my patients and all of their energy put to work in an elementary school classroom. I was actually surprised and impressed how well behaved and geared towards learning the kids were. This, of course, makes me optimistic of their future. It was also so very nice to put a face and feel a connection to many of the social services I previously knew of little more than by name. From the knowledgeable nutritionists at WIC to the nurturing staff at shelters, I feel like I understand better who runs these services and what they offer. It was also humbling to see some of the issues with transportation, shopping, and shelter our struggling families must go through for their children and themselves. Now that it is over, I think this experience will give me time to sit back and think of all of the possible non-medical ways we can help our little patients, who are obviously more than just a group of diagnoses and deserve all of the potential we can give them.

~Oliver Salmon, Pediatrics Resident