Welcome to “A Day in the Life!” where you can get to know our residents and see into their daily life.

PL-2 McKenna Tierney

McKenna Tierney holding a match sign in front of a glass door

McKenna, tell us about yourself – where did you grow up and where did you go to school?

I grew up in Connecticut, about twenty minutes north of Hartford. I actually even went to high school right across the street from Connecticut Children's! I then attended undergraduate at Johns Hopkins University where I studied Public Health Studies. After college, I worked for a non-profit for a couple of years in Guatemala before going to medical school at Nova Southeastern University College of Osteopathic Medicine near Fort Lauderdale, Florida! Now, much to my family's excitement, I am back in Connecticut.

Why did you choose our residency program?

Firstly, it was the people and the ambience throughout my experiences with the interview process. I felt that even through the virtual meet-and-greets and the interview day that I could get a sense of the relationship that residents had with one another which was nothing short of true friendships. I felt that everyone welcomed me and genuinely wanted to get to know about me and how I could fit into their program. In addition, I felt that the opportunities in the program were numerous and able to be customized to exactly what I wanted to learn during my residency. Another plus was the diverse patient population and catchment area that allowed me to see patients from a wide variety of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds.

Why did you want to be a pediatrician?

First off, I think just being in a pediatric hospital and around fellow pediatricians is an overall happy place to be. There are stickers everywhere, laughter, toys and games on the floors, picture books, and cute band aids. In addition, as a primary care provider you have the ability to play a vital role in a family’s life by influencing their overall health and experience with the healthcare system while also playing other roles including role model, therapist, social worker, and teacher. As a pediatrician, you get to see a wide variety of pathology as each step in childhood presents with different clinical pictures and diagnoses which makes it a lifelong learning experience.

What have you liked best about being a resident at Connecticut Children’s?

The people! All of my co-interns and senior residents have been so supportive and encouraging in everything we do, both personally and professionally. There have been many instances where residents offer helping hands in writing notes, delivering snacks or caffeine, and even covering shifts when others were in need. Given the overall stress associated with residency, it has been great to see that all of my colleagues are willing and happy to help those in need.

What's been your favorite experience in residency so far?

I had a patient who needed a spinal tap so I was offered the opportunity. I was excited to get the experience yet nervous due to my lack of experience. However, I felt nothing but support from my senior residents, attendings, and staff. We had to go to the OR for sedation and I was encouraged and oriented by the OR staff. The attendings gave me the autonomy to show my knowledge about lumbar punctures while providing support and guidance as needed. I got a round of applause and continued encouragement from everyone in the program. This experience not only emphasized to me how supportive everyone in the program is but also gave me confidence to show what I could do while feeling like I would have the assistance as needed.

I also enjoyed our resident retreat. As a class we had the whole day for class bonding. The morning was spent at a ropes course and in the afternoon, we got to hang out by the pool and tie-die some clothes that we can now use for dress up days in the hospital! It was a wonderful stress-free day spent with friends. Then we got to go to a local brewery for dinner with program leadership!

Resident Retreat
Dress Up Days

Dress up days have been so fun as well!

What do you want to do after residency?

I am not sure! I spent a month on the inpatient team primarily responsible for the hematology and oncology patients and was very drawn to that specialty. In addition, I would love to be a primary care physician and have been grateful to have a continuity clinic each week to be able to practice my primary care skills and learn more about the business of medicine.

What do you enjoy doing outside of the hospital?

When I'm not in the hospital, I still enjoy hanging out with my hospital friends. We like to explore new restaurants and breweries for brunch and happy hours! Parkville market in downtown Hartford is a great food market that I love to go to and try new foods each time I go. In addition, I enjoy playing board games or some corn hole with friends. I enjoy taking advantage of the sporting events near Hartford including the Yard Goats (baseball) and Hartford Athletic (soccer) games that are affordable and fun! This area has some great wineries and breweries to explore as well including the Connecticut Wine Trail! My family is very important to me and I love that I get to spend time with them while in residency as well.

Yard Goats Game

My family and I at a Yard Goats game

Local Brewery

Mix of classes exploring the area at a local brewery