After four years of intense study and clinical experience, 30 Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine students graduated Friday in a ceremony at the Kimmel Center in Philadelphia.
Six graduates will continue their education at St. Luke’s for residency, including Nicholas Roma, a Lehigh Valley native who plans to stay and practice in the region as an interventional cardiologist.
During his education at the region’s first and only medical school, Roma completed a rotation in cardiology and had the opportunity to work with electrophysiologist Darren Traub, MD, who Roma said had a huge impact on his career choice. Dr. Traub allowed Roma to assist him in implanting pacemakers and scrub in during ablations, a procedure used to scar small areas in the heart to correct rhythm disorders. He also was involved in interventional procedures, such as cardiac catheterizations. This involves the insertion of a tube into the chamber or vessel of the heart to restore blood flow.
“Interventional cardiology’s one of the few careers where you have an immediate impact,” he said. “Heart attack patients come in with terrible chest pain, and after a 20-minute procedure, it’s relieved. It’s mind-boggling.”
For the Allentown Central Catholic and Muhlenberg College graduate, the ability to stay local was a key factor in his choice of med school and residency program. He will begin his four-year residency in internal medicine this July, followed by a two-year cardiology fellowship. St. Luke’s offers both and is the only program in the country to give residents the opportunity to “lock in” to the program for six years.
The opportunity to work so closely with attending physicians, residents and other medical students, as well as members of the medical school’s administration staff, made his experience at Temple/St. Luke’s special, Roma said. That sentiment was shared by several of his classmates, who also are also staying local.
“We strive to ensure all of our students feel supported and have the absolute best education and experience,” said Shaden Eldakar-Hein, MD, MS, Senior Associate Dean of Temple/St. Luke’s School of Medicine. “I’m incredibly proud of this class and their accomplishments. They will all be amazing physicians, and I’m honored to be a part of their medical training journey.”
Note: This local health news is brought to you in partnership with St. Luke’s University Health Network.