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Testimonials From Emergency Medicine Residents​

Class of 2024

Kristina Damisch, MD

University of Iowa Roy J. and Lucille A. Carver College of Medicine

Given the move to virtual interviews, I was understandably nervous about uprooting myself four states away to a hospital I'd never been to with people I'd only briefly talked to. My fears resolved almost immediately upon reaching Erie. The residents and staff are exceptionally down-to-earth, good-humored, kind, inclusive people who not only care about your education, but about your well-being. I'm just as happy to see my new friends at work as I am outside of work.

With respect to the ED itself, I've been floored at the acuity. Within my first month of residency, I had already been involved with what attendings referred to as a "once-in-a-career" emergency. As the only trauma center in approximately 9,000 square miles, we constantly see trauma cases of the highest severity. The ED is also high-volume in addition to being high-acuity, and with just 6 residents per class, opportunities for procedures and interesting pathology are abundant. There are no general surgery or anesthesia residents to compete with, either.

I'm still amazed at how lucky I am to have matched here. It's a great program and deserves to be widely known as such!

Class of 2022

Kelvin Ellis, DO

Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine

“I chose UPMC Hamot because of the people. I was introduced to the Hamot team during a rotation as a transitional intern. Everyone from the President to the patient service representatives were friendly and approachable. We are a high volume and high acuity facility, so having a supportive team and staff is invaluable. The city is very affordable, and the wages are, shall we say, competitive. We have strong didactics that I have no doubt will prepare me for board certification and the real world.

I am originally from Orlando, Florida so cold weather is not my favorite – shocking, I know! I made the decision to apply to Hamot, knowing all the rumors about Erie winters. I applied to Hamot because it is well worth it, and I have no regrets. I am proud to be a member of the UPMC Hamot Emergency Medicine Residency Program.”

Megan Kammerer, DO

College of Osteopathic Medicine of the Pacific at Ponoma 

“I found everything I was looking for in an emergency medicine residency program at UPMC Hamot. What impressed me most about the program was how well trained and well prepared the residents leaving the program were to see high acuity patients in any hospital setting. I love the challenges that come with working in a community ED, but also wanted a hospital where I could see a lot of patients, perform a lot of procedures, and still be in an academic setting with relevant and engaging didactics, and attendings who were enthusiastic about teaching and up to date on the latest research. I found that perfect mix here! From my first shift I felt like I was part of the Hamot family. Everyone we work with in the ER; techs, nurses, attendings, and my co-residents are super supportive and great to work with. It's a wonderful team environment and we have a lot of fun! I am also involved in our residency's global medicine track, in which we get to complete an international rotation, are encouraged to be involved in relevant scholarly activity, and have meetings in which we discuss global health research and books.

I moved to Erie from Los Angeles with my husband and daughter, and we absolutely love it! There is so much for us to enjoy as a family including the beaches, Presque Isle, the zoo, and outdoor concerts in the summer. We also love outdoor activities like hiking, camping, snowboarding and there is plenty of that at the lake and the nearby ski resorts. We're also foodies, and there's a ton of great restaurants and cool breweries to hang out at as well. I have been so happy that I get to do my EM residency at UPMC Hamot!”


Alexander Sloboda, MD

Drexel University College of Medicine

“I chose to train at UPMC Hamot in Emergency Medicine for many reasons, and my experiences have exceeded my expectations. The clinical training is excellent, with significant exposure to nearly every traumatic or medical pathology you read about. As a regional trauma center, Hamot exposes residents to a significant number and variety of penetrating and blunt traumas, with full control of procedures and resuscitations. The emergency department’s faculty and staff are very approachable and supportive, but also give residents an appropriate amount of independence from day one. You will have significant exposure to critical patients in the ED as well as in the ICU and can easily surpass the number of required procedures by the middle of your second year. You can then teach these procedures to interns, allowing you to further your familiarity and mastery of them. 

The main reason I chose UPMC Hamot is the program’s faculty and hospital’s leadership, who are very interested and invested in supporting my passions in global and public health. For example, we’ve developed a mentorship program with a local public high school to expose students to careers in health care and medicine.  The mentorship program provides a unique opportunity to the students with the goal of increasing diversity in these fields.  Social medicine and diversity have likewise become important values to our residency program. 

The UPMC Hamot Residency Program has also been very supportive in my ambitions to continue my work with the medical community in Nigeria as they develop their own emergency medicine training programs and emergency medical services. This program has helped me to complete international electives, attend the African Federation of Emergency Medicine Conferences, and apply for global emergency medicine fellowships. As I enter my Global Emergency Medicine Fellowship upon graduating residency, I am confident in my ability to work in any clinical setting, including large academic and trauma centers as well as small community, public, urban or rural hospitals.

Whatever passions you may have in emergency medicine, our residency program will support you and help you to achieve your ambitions.”

Matthew Woodley, DO

Kansas City University of Medicine and Biosciences

“UPMC Hamot’s Emergency Medicine program will prepare you to handle anything that walks through the door, wherever you are. After graduating Hamot’s EM program in 2017, I moved with my family to practice medicine in the highlands of Papua New Guinea. While nothing can truly prepare you for such a practice setting, I truly believe my training at Hamot came as close as possible. Through a dedicated faculty, a high patient to resident ratio, endless opportunities for procedures, minimal competition from other residency programs, and international opportunities you will be well trained whether your ultimate destination is a tertiary referral center in a developed nation or the middle of the bush in one of the most remote places on earth.”

Kasey Tobin, DO

Rocky Vista University College of Osteopathic Medicine

"UPMC Hamot Emergency Medicine Residency provided excellent training and made me feel more than prepared for becoming an attending. I went to work at a smaller community hospital after residency and felt that I was capable of taking care anything that came through the door. When I interviewed for the program, I fell in love. Everyone was so welcoming and seemed like a large family, which I was looking for. I'm now so grateful to have been part of the great family of UPMC Hamot emergency medicine residents. The entire hospital is welcoming of the residents. In the ED, you are definitely never short of patients to see and learn from. So much pathology comes through the doors that you will constantly be learning. There are tons of procedures available to do. The attendings are also very welcoming and enjoy teaching. I know this for a fact since I am now an attending back here at UPMC Hamot. I've fallen in love with Erie! I'm originally from Texas and people are always asking how I could like Erie and its weather. Well, I love the seasons and there is so much to do here. It very much has the feel of a small town with big city amenities. The UPMC Hamot Emergency Medicine Residency Program provides great training and I'm so glad that I was able to be a part of it!"