Get to know the CUHCC Staff!

Spotlight on:
Marta Michalska-Smith
Fourth year Medicine-Pediatrics Resident at CUHCC
Marta lives in St. Paul, MN

What is the funniest thing a child at CUHCC has ever said to you?
Me: to a kid decked out in Packer gear, "So, how come you're a Packers fan?" Kid: "Because my sister is a Vikings fan."  

What does a typical day at CUHCC look like for you?
We start the day with resident learning which usually goes off on an especially high yield tangent (not). The remainder of the day is a mix of seeing patients, staffing them with the incredibly helpful Dr. Rogers, the equally sarcastic Dr. Aylward, or the chill Dr. Pham, and trying to find the ear curettes.  

What lesson(s) have you learned from CUHCC Patients?
Patience and perseverance. I am always amazed to hear of the personal and societal struggles our patients have endured and admire their ability to continue on with tenacity and grace despite these challenges.  

What is a favorite memory of your time at CUHCC?

There was a patient who had been very angry with me during our first visit due to a long wait time, but over time, he came to identify me as the only doctor he wanted to see. He would repeatedly tell me how well taken care of he felt, and even gave me a blessing when he found out I was pregnant, telling me he "was as happy as if his own daughter were having a baby."   

What have you found most challenging about your time at CUHCC?

The hardest part of working at CUHCC is dealing with the barriers to providing quality care in the midst of a broken medical system and broken society. But whenever I feel like I'm beating my head up against a wall, I remember that my Wednesdays are a taste of what some of my patients confront every day. That, and Success EHS, back when we had it! Learning the string of clicks needed to place various orders was like learning to play one of Chopin's compositions.
What are your future practice plans?

I hope to be starting a rheumatology fellowship next year.

Picture of Marta Michalska-Smith

Marta Michalska-Smith

Marta at a Voter Registration event.

Marta also spearheaded and organized the Voter registration efforts this fall that involved Students, residents, staff and other volunteers taking shifts in the clinic lobby and during outside testing and care events. 

Voter Registration booth

This photo is of Marta wearing the PPE donated by Direct Relief this summer and while womanning the voter registration booth at the CUHCC mobile health event we had in our parking lot this September.