Name: Risa Garcia
Hometown: Apache Junction, AZ
Undergrad: Arizona State University
Life before med school: I went to med school straight from college. During college I tutored math for the university. I read a lot more (although 4th year of med school helped me catch up on that score). In general though, I was a pretty typical nerdy science student.
Med school: Saint Louis University
Worst/best job: Worst job – Believe it or not, working at a movie theater in high school. Sounded awesome when I applied. The prospect of free movies really sold me. It was not so glamorous when I was sweeping the theaters and bathrooms nor when I was attempting layer butter onto popcorn just right for a picky customer at the concessions stand. All in all, that summer I got to see some blockbuster hits for free and I learned that the movie theater industry was not in my cards.
Hobbies: All the outdoorsy things – hiking, climbing, camping, biking, anything I haven't tried before. I also love reading, photography, and making jewelry. I do enjoy TV a lot and am partial to binge watching.
Favorite band: Florence and the Machine. Open to many genres though my favorites tend to be in indie rock/folk, alternative, pop.
Favorite movie: Not sure I have a specific favorite – I love Wes Anderson films and enjoy all kinds of comedy, chick flicks, and action movies.
Why Albuquerque: I'll admit, UNM was one of my last interviews and I was on the verge of canceling due to interview fatigue. However, I rallied and went to my interview with an open mind. My goal was to do residency somewhere in the west (I was longing for the mountains after 4 years in the Midwest). The interview day blew my mind. I was so impressed with the resources and opportunities at UNM. The diversity of the population and emphasis on critical care was especially appealing. What sealed the deal, though, was Dr. Rimple, the Program Director. I felt so welcomed when I interviewed with her and had a genuine sense that UNM was a program I could fit into and find an EM family. In the end, she is really the one who made me decide to go for Albuquerque.