“My advice essentially is to take every opportunity that is presented to you, because you never know where it might lead,” said Berrie Center endocrinologist Magdalena Bogun, MD, who recently participated in a networking event and panel discussion sponsored by the Republic of Poland Consulate General in New York City. The event, for aspiring doctors, lawyers and management/finance professionals, was intended to answer the question, “how to break into my field”, for the 100 or so young professionals and students who attended.
Said Dr. Bogun, who was born in Poland and moved to Brooklyn with her family when she was 14-years-old, “Everybody’s path is different.
There is no right way to do this.” Dr. Bogun’s own career path began at the University of Rochester, where she was a double major in neuroscience and music.
After college, she became a research assistant in a basic science laboratory at Rockefeller University, where she decided to pursue medicine professionally.
Dr. Bogun chose to attend medical school at the Poznan University of Medical Sciences in Poland (“it was a great opportunity to live in the country where I was from, as an adult and not as a child,” she said,) and came back to New York for her residency in internal medicine at the Jacobi Medical Center in the Bronx. She completed a fellowship in endocrinology at the Yale University School of Medicine-New Haven Hospital before joining the faculty of Columbia and the Berrie Center.
The audience’s questions were very career-focused, said Dr. Bogun, who added that people were interested, as she was, in getting their graduate training in Poland and coming back to the United States for residency and fellowship. “While in Poland, they teach you to be a doctor,” she said, “and regardless of where you receive your training, if you want to practice in another country, it will take personal resourcefulness, initiative and perseverance. It’s up to you to learn about the different exams to take, when to register, important deadlines and other logistics.”
The audience was also interested in what it’s like to get a residency as a foreign graduate. “It’s a little bit more difficult to get the residency you asked for,” she said. “I looked at it not as a barrier but as a challenge.”
Dr. Bogun spoke at the consulate through a group she recently joined called Medicus, a Polish-American Medical Society whose mission is to sponsor and participate in charitable activities for the benefit of the Polish community in the United States.