Wisit Cheungpasitporn, M.D.
What attracted you to nephrology?
My interest in nephrology started when I was a second-year medical student. My physiology class piqued my interest and made me fall in love with nephrology.
During my clinical years, I had great opportunities to take care of patients with acute kidney injury, chronic kidney diseases and end-stage renal diseases requiring dialysis. These experiences motivated me and pulled me deeper to want to study nephrology in order to improve patients' quality of life and outcomes. I soon found that I was well-suited to this field.
The progress in transplantation fascinates me and strengthens my desire to select this discipline. I have been fortunate to meet many wonderful people. During residency training, my mentors and role models strongly encouraged and guided me to pursue this career.
What attracted you to Mayo Clinic for fellowship training?
Mayo Clinic is a world-renowned institution in the diagnosis and treatment of many conditions. I remember I was a little nervous when I first stepped into this famous facility, but the Mayo Clinic Nephrology Fellowship attracted me right away.
Although this is a large organization and there are many leaders in medicine here, the consultants and various staff members are very friendly. A perfect match is not easy to find, but I have certainly found the perfect match for my nephrology fellowship training at Mayo Clinic.
This program offers me the best combinations of clinical responsibilities, research opportunities and education, just as making my perfect cup of mocha with mint, chocolate and coffee, which I enjoy every day.
What makes Mayo Clinic subspecialty training in nephrology unique?
The Nephrology Fellowship here really values education. Every day when I wake up, I am excited to start my day because I know I am going to learn something new. Our consultants not only are excellent teachers and leaders in their respective areas but also are approachable and supportive.
As a trainee, you have lots of opportunities to learn and work with consultants very closely. The renal pathology and physiology classes are very unique and helpful. Research-wise, there is exceptional exposure to clinical and translational research. In addition, we have the opportunity to attend statistical classes to advance our knowledge as well.
Did anything surprise you about Mayo's program?
Mayo Clinic's Nephrology Fellowship is a large program, but training here provides me with a feeling of a big family. Staff members are kind and friendly. Our program values feedback in a constructive way. I have received a lot of helpful advice from my program director, clinic and research mentors, and other fellows. You will never walk alone at Mayo Clinic.
What is living in Rochester, Minn., like for you?
Rochester is one of the best cities to live in. I grew up in Bangkok, a large city in Thailand, and then moved to Cooperstown, a small, lovely town in New York for my residency training.
Rochester is a wonderful midsize city. It's been a pleasant change to me. Living here is safe and convenient. Traffic is not bad at all, and people are very nice and friendly. I enjoy outdoor running in the summer. The city trails are convenient for physical activities such as biking, running or walking. My favorite thing to do is run around the Silver Lake area, which is a gorgeous lake.
There is also an event called Thursdays on First, which is a very fun market that unites the Rochester community and provides options to simply enjoy life with good food and relax with friends. Mayo Clinic has a strong belief in lifelong fitness and provides us with an exceptional and quality facility with enjoyable programs to help us live healthier.
What does your future look like right now?
"The brick walls are there for a reason. The brick walls are not there to keep us out. The brick walls are there to give us a chance to show how badly we want something." This is one of my favorite statements by Randy Pausch. I feel it always encourages me to do my best to achieve my dreams. I have received a lot of advice, and I am confident that I will be able to get through those brick walls.
Right now, I am focusing on general nephrology since I am very much enjoying my first year of fellowship training. After completing my fellowship, I am planning to follow my next dream, which is kidney transplantation. Ultimately, I would like to be a great clinician, researcher and educator, and continue to be a good child for my parents.