Graduate Spotlight

Graduate Spotlight - Faten Aqeel, MD

Aqeel [View Image]Class of 2021
Current Role:  Nephrology Fellow, Johns Hopkins 

Where did you grow up? Where did you go to medical school?
I was born and raised in Doha, Qatar and went to medical school in Weill Cornell medical college in Qatar (yes, it is the sister campus of Cornell NY). I actually spent some time in the Manhattan campus as a medical student to complete my clinical rotations and to learn the basics of clinical research. I also did some traveling during medical school, and volunteered in Costa Rica and Tanzania.

Tell us a “fun fact” about yourself.
No matter what day it is, I am always up by 6-7AM without having to set an alarm!

What other hobbies and activities do you enjoy?
I enjoy decorating my apartment and making it feel like home. I also enjoy traveling (traveled to more than 10 countries), exploring new cultures and trying out different restaurants and food cuisines.

Why did you choose VCU for residency?
During the interview trail, I was looking for a program that offered opportunities for me to grow as a person and as a physician. I was also looking for a program that focused on resident education, had a unique patient population and exposure to common and rare diseases. On my interview day, I immediately felt like VCU had exactly what I was looking for. Moreover, VCU had a sense of community that was unique. I have to say, I was not disappointed after I joined the program!

What do you value most about the program?
I truly value that the program has a clear mission, which is to train well-rounded and competent internists. The program goes above and beyond to ensure that this mission is accomplished.

Describe a scholarship, research or community/committee experience that you have pursued during your time here.
When I made the decision to go into Nephrology, I decided to start building up my future career by talking to some of the Nephrologist at VCU and the VA. The nephrology faculty was extremely supportive and helpful. I worked with Dr. Bobba on a project that looked at atypical HUS, its genetic analysis, and clinical manifestations in our patient population.

How would you describe the faculty members at VCU?
I would describe the faculty at VCU as approachable, friendly and focused on resident wellness and education.

Describe a “favorite moment” during residency.
Honestly, my experience at VCU had many favorite moments. If I had to pick one, I would say it was the time I did my Ward Manager rotation with my co-resident, Jinal Desai. Transitioning from intern year to second year was a challenge, but my co-resident and I supported each other and shared memorable and fun moments together that I will never forget!

What do you want people to know about our program?
VCU provides its residents opportunities and challenges to grow into competent physicians and caring individuals. It is certainly a unique experience to train here.

What do you want people to know about our city?
Richmond is often described as a “small town, big city”, which means that it has everything that you need! There are a ton of restaurants, bakeries in the city as well as trails for outdoors activities. My favorite thing to do in Richmond is to walk down the Potterfield Bridge on the James River after a busy day at work.

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