Alumni Spotlight

Have Couch, Will Travel

Deanna Glassman, M.D. ’16

Fifteen interviews: it’s not unusual for a medical student to have that many in the process of applying for residency. This can mean having to find up to 15 places to sleep, often in cities or towns thousands of miles from home.

Deanna Glassman, M.D. ’16, remembers the challenges of the interview trail well. That’s why she now volunteers for Help Our Students Travel (HOST) by offering free accommodations to traveling medical school students.

“Often you fly in, go straight to an interview dinner, get back to wherever you’re staying at 9 p.m. and have to be out by 6 a.m. the next morning. It’s silly to pay $200 for a hotel,” says Glassman, now a second-year resident at the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a practicing OB-GYN at the affiliated Women & Infants Hospital.

So far, Dr. Glassman has offered her home in Providence, Rhode Island, to students six times over the last two years. Being a resident, she thinks, makes her more approachable. “I can say, ‘Hey, I was in your shoes two years ago. I can pick you up from the airport. Just text me when you’re coming in.’ It can be less formal.”

And as a Montana native, she can also offer perspective on what it’s like to relocate across the country. Besides getting used to locals calling the drinking fountain “the bubbler,” the transition has been an easy one. “Providence is about the same size as Tacoma, Washington, so it has a familiar, small-town feel.”

What hasn’t been so easy is working 80-plus hours a week while in her third trimester. But being a pregnant OB-GYN has increased her empathy for the chaotic and stressful situations her patients sometimes find themselves in.

Working while pregnant and traveling for residency interviews? Those are stressful. But hosting a medical student, Dr. Glassman insists, is not.

“I encourage other alumni to volunteer for HOST because it’s just a matter of paying it forward,” she says. “It’s so easy to offer a couch.”

Want to volunteer for HOST? Learn more about the program.