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Meet Sapna Sundar

Name: Sapna Sundar
Hometown: Bridgewater, New Jersey
Medical School: Case Western Reserve University (I also went here for Undergrad!)
Professional Interest: Hospital Medicine/ Medical Education

Residency Program Experience

What was the most inspirational thing you witnessed while working at the hospital? Seeing how the ICU team bonded during the COVID pandemic. We were faced with so much mortality on a daily basis. I really appreciated the way our attending made time for us to debrief/vent/cry together regularly. In the midst of such sadness, it was inspiring to see everyone come together to support one another.

What is the biggest sacrifice you have made in your medical training so far? Missing holidays with my family for work. I am lucky to feel supported and included from afar, through facetime dates with my loved ones.

What trait do you most admire in talented physicians? I admire physicians who constantly pay it forward to the next generation – by going out of their way to teach students and residents, making time for mentorship, and supporting trainees in their ambitions even if they are different from their own.

One thing I wish I knew before starting the Residency Program is? Surrounding yourself with good people will make even the most challenging days so much better. I truly feel lucky to be surrounded by such a great group of residents.

What was the most difficult thing during your intern year? Learning a new EMR (or three…)!

At work I never…start the without checking in with my colleagues. I love to learn all of the cool things my co-residents are doing outside of the hospital.

What is the key to making the best of this Residency Program? Recognize that we are all in this together. Whether we are roommates or we have never worked together before, we are a team and we will help each other out.

What is the one item somebody starting residency should absolutely invest into? Comfy sneakers, especially for long call days! Also, an eye mask to help you sleep during the day when you are working nights!

What’s the best advice you’ve been given? Don’t let perfect be the enemy of good.

A Few Words About Cleveland

How would you describe Cleveland to somebody who has never been here? Cleveland is large enough that you can find just about anything you’re looking for, but it’s small enough that you can go from downtown to a forest in 20 minutes. Everything is just 20 minutes away in the Cleveland area!

What neighborhood do you live in? Cleveland Heights – it is a charming old town just 10 minutes from the hospital, where I was able to buy my first home as an Intern. I love having my own yard to grow flowers and vegetables in the summer!

What are some of the spots to go to fall in love with Cleveland? The Cleveland Museum of Art (CMA for short) is one of my favorite spots. First of all, it’s an excellent art museum. Second of all, it’s completely free to the public. And third of all, it has a beautiful lagoon right outside where you can take a walk, go for a run, or even take wedding photos!

Best kept secret about Cleveland is…Vero Pizza – it may not be in Little Italy, but man, the pizza is GOOD.

Your favorite spot for a quick bite around the hospital: Bibibop – my co-workers know I love to get it delivered to the hospital on weekends!

A good burger: The Fairmount

Dinner with friends: also The Fairmount

Great patio: also The Fairmount

A night on the town: The Flats! So many restaurants and bars in one neighborhood right on the lake!


Cope with sleep deprivation: invest in a good home coffee machine and brew a cup every morning! Also, nap whenever you can.

Avoid burn out: Make time for your loved ones. We see so much mortality at work and it is a constant reminder that life can be cut short at any moment – this feeling was amplified during the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. Even if you only have time for a quick five-minute phone call, you won’t regret it.

It’s a Toss-Up

East Side or West Side: EAST SIDE FOR THE LAST 9 YEARS, BABY!!!

Staying in or going out: inviting my friends to my house, so I can have the best of both worlds!

UH or VA: UH! But the VA is growing on me…


Sushi or tacos: tacos!!!

Lease or buy a car in Cleveland: buy

Own or rent a house in Cleveland: buy

Getting Personal

On my bucket list: visit Australia

I can’t live without: my family

Bad habit: wasting hours scrolling through dog videos on Instagram reels…

If you were given three additional hours a day, what would you do with them? Watch more dog videos…and video chat with my friends and family who live out of town!

Fun fact most people don’t know about me is: I was scared of dogs until I was 25 years old – my sister adopted a dog a few years ago, and I have been obsessed ever since!

When I’m not on call you will find me: going for a walk in the MetroParks with my husband, playing with my sister’s dog, or doing both simultaneously!