Welcome to our new neurosurgery residents

They’ve only been here a short time, but already our three new residents took 2nd place in the Society of Neurological Surgeons Virtual Intern Boot Camp competition. 

Immersed in training, and winning awards, they took a moment to tell us a bit about themselves and their experience in St. Louis so far.

Dr. Giles (PGY 1), Dr. Garber (PGY 1), Dr. Connor (PGY1), and Dr. Dibble (PGY 6).

Michelle Connor, MD

Why did you rank WashU highly during the match process?

The collaborative culture, breadth of clinical opportunity, and access to academic resources really stood out to me during my interview day at Wash U. The commitment to educating caring doctors and well-rounded future leaders makes WashU an amazing place to train. 

Any surprises? Experience at WashU so far?

In the few weeks that I’ve been here, I have loved getting to know my co-residents as they welcome me into the department. Moving from Los Angeles to Saint Louis has been a huge transition, but I have enjoyed it so far, especially being back in the Midwest, closer to my family.

Hobbies: Beach and indoor volleyball, snowboarding, cooking, yoga, reading.

David Giles, MD

Why did you rank WashU highly during the application process?

The biggest factor for me was the people. There were residents and faculty who I felt comfortable with and looked up to. They are exceptional clinicians and researchers who demonstrate the strengths of the department, and I look forward to learning from them.

Has St. Louis surprised you?

I’ve been pleasantly surprised by all the trees, gardens, and parks.  I live just east of Tower Grove Park, and the neighborhood and park are beautiful places to walk and run.  There’s even a farmer’s market in the park on Saturdays.

What’s your experience at WashU so far?

I have really enjoyed getting to care for patients and think more about neurosurgical issues.  The residents have been welcoming and supportive, so it’s been a lot of fun to work with everyone.

Hobbies: Triathlons, piano, cooking, and my vegetable garden.

Charise Garber, MD

Why did you rank WashU highly during the match process?

My experience at WashU began as a participant in one of the summer undergraduate research programs offered by the division of biomedical and biological sciences. I was impressed by the incredibly collaborative environment present on campus and the extensive number of clinicians who not only take great care of their patients clinically, but who also have impressive research programs dedicated to advancing their respective field. When the time came for me to create my rank list, WashU was an obvious choice. The high volume of clinical cases performed here each year lead to an outstanding clinical training. The incredible depth of diverse research interests both within the department, and in the surrounding academic community, provide a rich opportunity for research opportunities, from basic science to clinical in scope. 

Not only that, the department of neurosurgery has the highest number of RO1 funded neurosurgeons in the country, which speaks volumes to the level of dedication and support for those who wish to pursue independent research careers in addition to their work in the operating room.

What do you think of St. Louis?

Not only is St Louis incredibly affordable, it is also a lot of fun! From the Whittaker festival at the botanical gardens to Shakespeare in the Park, summers in St Louis are full of a variety of events and activities to fill your free time.

How’s your experience at WashU so far?

As a new intern in neurosurgery, I have felt so much support from both my co-residents and the neurosurgery faculty. I couldn’t be happier with my experience so far and I am thrilled to be joining the legacy of the WashU department of neurological surgery.

Hobbies: When I am not working in the hospital you can find me running in Forest Park, biking on the Katy Trail, playing piano, rock climbing with friends, or baking a new batch of granola.