Incoming Resident Profile – Austin Cotter, MD
He attended Arizona State University, studying biology and engaging in research, and went on to join the college’s Class of 2023. During Match Day, he discovered that he would remain in Phoenix for residency training.
That step will come in a familiar place — Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix, the hospital where he was born. Dr. Cotter will be joining the college’s Family Medicine Residency.
For him, the match was a dream come true. “Being the home program for my medical school, I already knew how strong the family medicine program at Banner was. I had also met my amazing mentor, *Sarah Coles, MD (Class of 2011 alumna from the college), as one of the docs in the Family Medicine Clinic,” he said.
That strong connection dissuaded him from earlier thoughts of one day leaving to pursue adventures elsewhere. “After doing college and medical school in Arizona, I realized how much I value the community I grew up in. I wanted to stay here for residency and, at least my early career, to make a difference in this state.”
It was during his time at the College of Medicine – Phoenix that he found his passion for family medicine.“I liked every rotation I did — telling myself I would be a neurologist, then a pathologist, then a pediatrician — but my Family Medicine Clerkship really called to me, as I could be all of those things in one specialty,” Dr. Cotter said. “I also became more aware during my specialty rotations, that patients had no idea what was going on with their care. I became motivated to be a primary care doc to help patients manage their complex care and understand the confusing aspects of medicine.”
And he commended the training the college provided him for allowing him to enter this next chapter equipped for any challenges he may face. “I feel as prepared for residency as I could get from my medical school experience. We had fantastic faculty who taught us ‘doctoring,’ the History and Physical, plus how to incorporate that info and make a plan of care,” he said.
In addition, Dr. Cotter noted the value of the various simulation scenarios they practiced in the college’s Center for Simulation and Innovation, as well as the impact the amazing mentors and faculty from the college had on his professional development.
As he enters residency, Dr. Cotter looks forward to becoming an integral part of the team at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix. It will be a transition from more of an observer role — which, he experienced as a medical student — to a full practitioner. “I am excited (and nervous!) to make my own orders and defend my own plans to my senior residents and attending physicians,” he said. “Now is the time to integrate all the knowledge I have spent the last four years acquiring.”With three years of residency training ahead of him, the immediate future is certain. After that, Dr. Cotter hopes to stay in Arizona once his training is completed. “I want to pay it forward and stay to care for the community I grew up in. There is a huge shortage of primary care physicians across the state of Arizona, and I want to do my part to contribute to the health — especially preventive health — of the state.”
*Both Drs. Coles and Cotter were inducted into the college’s Gold Humanism Honor Society Class of 2023.
About the College
Founded in 2007, the University of Arizona College of Medicine – Phoenix inspires and trains exemplary physicians, scientists and leaders to optimize health and health care in Arizona and beyond. By cultivating collaborative research locally and globally, the college accelerates discovery in a number of critical areas — including cancer, stroke, traumatic brain injury and cardiovascular disease. Championed as a student-centric campus, the college has graduated more than 800 physicians, all of whom received exceptional training from nine clinical partners and more than 2,700 diverse faculty members. As the anchor to the Phoenix Bioscience Core, which is projected to have an economic impact of $3.1 billion by 2025, the college prides itself on engaging with the community, fostering education, inclusion, access and advocacy.