Q&A with Sophie Church, Department of Neurosurgery residency coordinator

Sophie Church has served as the Department of Neurosurgery residency coordinator for five years and is headed to Omaha where her husband accepted a faculty position in Vascular Surgery at the University of Nebraska. While she leaves St. Louis (and fortunately is still working with our department remotely), we wanted to take a moment and recognize her enormously positive impact on our department and ask her to reflect on her time here.

When did you start working with WashU Neurosurgery? What responsibilities have you had?

I started in the department in June 2015. During my time here, I have been involved in residency and fellowship coordination, Society of NS resident course coordination, and NIH K12 and Academy Emerging Investigator coordination.

What did you enjoy most about your role as senior program coordinator, Neurosurgery at WashU?

I have always enjoyed being involved in medical education but working with and for the hardest working residents in the hospital has really proven to be the most rewarding experience for me during my time at WashU. We have a tremendous group of residents and it has been an honor and privilege to work with them (though I do joke that they sometimes make me want to pull my hair out).

When you first moved to St. Louis what was your expectation? Were there any surprises?

When I moved from New York City to St. Louis, I had absolutely no idea what life would be like for the next five years. As a lifelong New Yorker without a driver’s license, the only thing I was sure of was that I would need to get one! 

The biggest surprise for me has been how amazing the food scene is here. My husband and I have eaten at some of the most spectacular restaurants in NYC but the restaurant options here absolutely hold their own in comparison. I also had no idea how many incredibly close relationships I would build during my time here. I truly value my friendships with everyone in the department and will miss everyone terribly.

What were you top three things to do in your free time here? 

My favorite things to do are spend time with my family, cook, and enjoy time in our backyard (usually in combination!).

Where are you headed to next and why? 

While my family and I moved to Omaha, Nebraska this summer, I am thrilled to be able to continue my work for the department remotely. My husband is a vascular surgery resident here at WashU and graduated in June. Like many of our neurosurgery residents, he wants to pursue research along with surgery and the University of Nebraska offered him the best opportunity. I thought we would be moving back East but knowing how much I have come to enjoy St. Louis gives me hope that this next chapter will bring unexpected surprises.