Chief Interview Series: Anum Abbas

So I had the chance to sit down with all our chiefs the past few days and ask them a few questions about their experiences here at Creighton. I’ll be uploading the conversations over the next week or two — hopefully they’ll share some of the things they’ve learned throughout their journey!

Osman: So let’s start off with a simple one — what made you want to be chief?

Anum: What made me want to be chief is um…can we pause this thing?

Osman: No

*Anum glares at Osman* 

Anum: Start from another question!

Osman: ….Okay. So if you had one piece of advice to give to the interns and seconds year what would that be?

Anum: Right, so much wisdom *winks* The one piece of advice I would give is that you only train once so you should really go in with that attitude and try to work as hard as you can these three years because after that you’re on your own whether you do a fellowship or not. Irrespective of that I think sometimes when you get caught in how busy residency is it’s easy to lose perspective We get burned out and stuff but when you look back at it you’ll realize how fast it goes and you don’t want to waste that time because after that you’re on your own so I would say officially…work as hard as you can these three years because after that it’s all you.

*Wiping away tears from his eyes*

Osman: That was beautiful — speaking of the future, what do you hope to be doing after this year?

Anum: So after this year I think I will pursue a career in primary care for a couple of years so I have that experience. I ultimately want to do something outpatient, the one speciality I was thinking of maybe applying to in the future is rheumatology.

Osman: Yeah rheumatology is a great field I can totally see you doing that. So now that you’ve been at Creighton for a few years is there anything you’ve grown to appreciate about Omaha and the residency program?

Anum: Oh my god, there is so much stuff I love about Omaha – it’s just such a homey place to live and Creighton has always been a second home and I’m not just saying that! It’s completely the truth — you know everyone and they know you. It’s such a good environment to be in and everyone in their training goes through ups and downs but Creighton has always had that family atmosphere that makes you feel at home. I love that about Creighton.

Osman: Awesome. Residency takes so much time, there’s a lot of discussion of “work-life balance” — are there any hobbies you’ve kept up with. I know that you’re a full time mom so that’s probably your only hobby.

Anum: Believe it or not I do have hobbies outside of residency besides raising my baby — I actually play poker.

*Awkward silence*

Osman: Wow

Anum: *laughing* Did you know that about me?

Osman: Well you’ve always had a good poker face

Anum: *moving mic aside and whispering* My brother in law calls me a vicious shark when we play

Osman: You know it’s still recording right?

Anum: *laughing* Okay…okay…besides that just the usual stuff — traveling, cooking, being outdoors

Osman: You’re originally from Cleveland, what do you miss most about home?

Anum: Besides from just being home and being around my family [my parents are there] — the Cavs, especially this last year after the championship…let’s see what else…friends…it’s where I grew up! I’m always going to miss it.

Osman: Amazing. Finally, we’ll end where we began — hopefully you had some time to think about it *Anum shakes her head no vigorously* So what inspired you to become Chief?

Anum: Well, what made me want to be chief is when I came to Creighton the program was just so gracious about everything. They were so welcoming, I had a baby intern year and they really supported me through everything, through the whole transition. Not just with having my first child but also with starting residency, being in a new place. I always felt really indebted to the program and Creighton in general so I really wanted to bring something positive to the program and hopefully becoming chief will provide me that platform to give something back.

Osman: Any last words?

Anum: Ummmm…

Osman: You can say no

Anum: *laughs* Okay, no!

Osman: Thanks Anum for the interview!

Stay tuned for more chief interviews this week!

So, what do you think?


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