Alumni Interview with Grant Chen
Grant Chen, M.D.
Undergraduate: Rice University, 2004 B.S. Electrical Engineering
Medical School: Texas Tech University, 2011
Residency: Washington University at St. Louis, 2015
Fellowship Pain Medicine: Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University – New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, 2016
What have you done since residency?
After residency, I moved to New York City to for an interventional pain management fellowship through three different hospitals: Hospital for Special Surgery, Cornell University – New York Presbyterian Hospital, and Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. After completing fellowship, I decided to stay in New York, and I now work for Memorial Sloan Kettering as an attending in interventional cancer pain management. My role includes utilizing my understanding of anatomy to perform various interventions for cancer patients with pain from various tumors, chemotherapy, radiation, etc. I spend some time performing regional anesthesia and manage postoperative inpatient pain as well. I continue to practice anesthesia by providing anesthesia for cancer patients. While I work mostly on my own, I also have the opportunity to teach and supervise rotating residents and fellows from many of the other New York City hospitals.
How did the residency program at Washington University prepare you for your practice?
The residency program at Washington University in St. Louis was an excellent stepping-stone towards my career. Barnes Jewish Hospital has a diverse patient population and a very wide variety of surgical cases, from easy cases to uniquely difficult. My experiences prepared me for all of the patients and cases I came across after residency. I felt comfortable tackling challenging cases. During fellowship, I met many colleagues who trained elsewhere and had not encountered many of the procedures or cases I had routinely seen at Washington University. Secondly, many faculty members at Washington University were very helpful in promoting my future, helping me grow professionally and personally. Lastly, Washington University was regarded with respect at all of my post-fellowship job interviews, which helped set me apart from other applicants.
Any other advice you'd like to give to applicants?
My number one advice for applicants is to find a place that aligns with your future goals. If you are unsure what your goals are at this time, find a place that gives you the opportunity to explore all the options. When I started residency, I had originally wanted to go into critical care. Luckily at Washington University, we had an enormous amount of exposure to all of the various anesthesia specialties, and I was able to find my true calling in the field of interventional pain management. Find a place where you will get the best training because those four years will define your future. My four years at Washington University really prepared me for the world after residency, and I will always be grateful towards my mentors for the excellent quality of my training.