Medicine / Pediatrics

Welcome from the Chief Residents


Gayathri Kumar

Gayathri Kumar
kumargk@umkc.edu

Johana Mejias-Beck
mejiasbeckj@umkc.edu

Bienvenidos and Swagatam from the Chief Residents!

Last year was very hard for the whole world.
We were and continue to be impacted by COVID19 and its variants. We’ve seen drastic changes to hospital protocols, medical management, ambulatory clinics, surgeries, and medical education. Residency programs around the country had to shift gears and jump into the virtual world for didactics, noon conferences, professor rounds, resident reports, and interview season. Despite the unfortunate reality of the pandemic, the virtual world has opened the opportunities to have more medical trainees explore programs around the country without barriers. We are humbled by the ever-changing process of medical education and resident training but are committed to developing strong all-around physicians.

UMKC Med-Peds is a mid-sized program that trains six residents per academic year. In our program we have the opportunity to work in three drastically different medical centers: Children’s Mercy, Truman Medical Center, and Saint Luke’s Health System of Kansas City. Children’s Mercy is a stand-alone children’s hospital that spans a large portion of the Midwest. Truman Medical Center is a very busy academic medical center that serves the greater Kansas City area with very diverse patient care including insured, underinsured, and uninsured populations. Saint Luke’s Health System has multiple nationally recognized subspecialties, including the Saint Luke’s Mid-America Heart Institution. While challenging, working in three different hospitals provides residents a broad scope of medical training. If you are interested in ambulatory-outpatient care, we have our very own Med-Peds clinic. If you are interested in sub-specialty, we have extensive subsets of electives. If you are interested in research, we have bountiful research opportunities and have nationally recognized research. If you are interested in Global Health, we have a global health track through the pediatric side. And with that, we’d like to say that we have limitless opportunities in our program!

There are no words to describe just how hard residency can be, and it’s not until you start residency that you realize just how much sacrifice goes into this medical journey. Our Med-Peds program is not just a residency program – we are a family. We get to know our colleagues and sometimes spend more time with them than we do with our own families. We have play dates for our kids. We have intentional and purposeful monthly social gatherings. We blend in well with the categorical sides and often hear, “You’re MedPeds? Oh good!” One of the best attributes of our program comes from the love, respect, and support of our Med-Peds faculty.

If you haven’t been to Kansas City – you are truly missing out! It’s a hidden gem. KC has a casual pace and friendly Midwest vibe, but big city amenities. The food scene rivals large cities with a huge push for supporting local restaurants. As our prior chiefs quote, “KC FOOD – enough farm-to-table to keep Portland transplants happy and enough barbecue to give even the hardiest carnivore ‘meat sweats’.” If you’re into sports, KC has professional baseball, soccer, and football (did you know we are Super Bowl Champions from 2020?!).  If you are into the arts, KC is filled with the KC Symphony at the Kauffman Performing Arts Center, the works of internationally renowned artists at the Nelson-Atkins Museum of Art, more than 20 museums to learn about anything from jazz and WWI, and a huge live music scene.

We feel fortunate to be a part of this program and call KC home, and hope you feel the same!

Johana and Gayathri