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Hofstra Northwell Internal Medicine

Specialty: Internal Medicine

Hometown: Queens, NY

Charter Class alumna Rivkah Darabaner, MD ’13, graduated from residency and is staying with her program for another year to serve as a chief resident, teaching and mentoring physicians in training.

Dr. Darabaner says, “I always wanted to be a doctor. Of course, medical school was a tough but necessary step in this journey. I never imagined that I would have the privilege to study at a place like Gesinger Commonwealth School of Medicine. Geisinger Commonwealth is a community of dedicated staff members, doctors and visionaries who came together to create a special home, into which they invited my 64 classmates and me. Geisinger Commonwealth wasn’t a pit-stop on the way to becoming a doctor; it is the family that taught me my values, goals and reasons for practicing the art of medicine.”

Dr. Darabaner said she benefitted from other dreams cherished by Geisinger Commonwealth’s founders. As a member of the school's Charter Class, she and each of her classmates were “adopted” by a founder, who paid 50 percent of their assigned student’s tuition throughout the student’s four years at Geisinger Commonwealth. In Dr. Darabaner's case, her Founders Scholarship came from Sondra and Atty. Morey Myers, benefactors with whom she remains close.

When asked how Geisinger Commonwealth prepared her for residency, Dr. Darabaner said, “First of all, I had a lot of experience with patients in community settings while at Geisinger Commonwealth, so I made a smooth transition to working in the ambulatory clinic setting. Secondly, Geisinger Commonwealth’s focus on team-based learning and development of critical thinking skills helped me adapt to new situations quickly. Finally, my residency program partnered with another new medical school (Hofstra), and I related to the new medical students at once because they went through similar experiences.”

Dr. Darabaner's advice for graduating medical students: “Embrace residency for what it is: a challenging experience where people rely on you during some of the worst times in their lives. It will change you, but you have to remember to live your own life while all this is happening.”

Rivkah Darabaner