Intern Spotlight: Dr. Monica Kala

Meet Dr. Monica Kala, internal medicine/pediatrics intern, Mississippi native, and brunch specialist.

First things first. How do you pronounce your last name?

Call-uh (Not like Kayla!)

What made you choose UMMC for residency?

As a medical student, I felt that UMMC residents treated each other like family, supporting one another on good days and bad. The community kept me here! Also our patient population is incredible and it is humbling to serve my home state.

Tell us about a memorable experience thus far in training.

My team was lucky enough to have a few days in the MICU with a lower census. We played Clue & Case Files; solved lots of mysteries those days! 

What is one thing you would tell the incoming interns about what is to come?

The transition from medical student to intern, is honestly a very big change, one that comes with A LOT of challenges. I think it’s important to treat yourself kindly and give yourself grace, especially early on! It can feel very overwhelming and scary to make medical decisions for sick patients, but you just have to remind yourself that you were chosen for this for a reason and you are not a doctor by mistake!

What could you give a presentation on with absolutely no preparation? 

Hmmmmm probably a detailed rundown of best brunch spots in Jackson and NOLA! 

Also anything Taylor Swift, for sure. 

What are some small things that make your day better?

I truly feel like it was the “little things” that kept me here for residency, and it is still the same acts of kindness that keep me smiling throughout intern year. Countless times, friends have met me for quick Cups runs when I just needed a pat on the back. Attendings have brought me snacks on call days or they have shot me encouraging texts when I’m running a team by myself. Sometimes, it’s the upper level who says “That’s a great thought!” when I am feeling a bit lost and confused. The pick-me-ups are incredibly meaningful and they are not quickly forgotten. 

Where could we find you when you are not at the hospital?

I’m a big book person, so most likely curled up on the couch with coffee, a warm blanket, and a good book! 

What profession would you have chosen if you weren’t a physician?    

I really wanted to be a flight attendant or pilot when I was younger, and it turns out I am actually too short (have to be ~5’3″ to reach the overhead bins!), so since that’s not an option, a travel blogger!

Holiday cookie decorating with my intern girls!

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