Brittany Gatta, MD

Start Year


Grinnell, Iowa

Where did you attend college/university?
Iowa State University

Where did you attend medical school?
Vanderbilt University School of Medicine

What are your career goals?
Currently my goals are to train as a palliative care clinician and to practice both palliative care and general medicine. I am also passionate about medical ethics and would love focus a portion of my career on ethics research. 

What did you do the summer before internship?
I got married to my wonderful husband who is an Ob-Gyn resident here at Duke and we went on a honeymoon to Iceland!

Duke has a mission, an infrastructure, and supportive mentors to help residents pursue their personal vision as well as excel clinically.

Reflections on the Duke program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
Like most people on the interview trail, I was looking for a place where I would "fit in" with the people (both residents and faculty) and where I would be able to find great mentors. I wanted to be a part of a community that would challenge me to be my best and where I would learn from my colleagues constantly. I was also looking for a city that was very "livable" in the sense of being both affordable and full of things to do. 

What are the strengths of the Duke program?
Something that I remember striking me on my interview was the dedication of the leadership to facilitating each resident's unique goals. Duke has a mission, an infrastructure, and supportive mentors to help residents pursue their personal vision as well as excel clinically.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
The faculty/house staff relationships have been, overall, fantastic. Something I have really enjoyed is being on rotation with an attending for a week or two at a time and then seeing them around the hospital in the months afterward. After a couple rotations, those individual relationships quickly coalesce into a community that you know has your back, both personally and professionally (#dukefamily!).

Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect?
When I was getting to know the many people in the program, I found myself amazed over and over again as I learned more about their families, their accomplishments prior to residency, and their goals for the future. After spending so much time with them over the past year, I am just as amazed by their compassion, their humor, their dedication, and their ability to throw together a great party at a moments notice.  

About Duke University and Durham

What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Since moving to Durham I have loved getting to explore the outdoors. We have made a couple trips to the beach in the past year and have gone to the foothills to hike. There are also plenty of opportunities to get out and walk/run closer to home (I've particularly enjoyed Eno River State Park – it’s a gem!). 

Where did you choose to live, and why?
We live about 2.5 miles southwest of campus because we were able to find a small house to rent in a quiet neighborhood. It is in a wonderful location that feels secluded but is only a 10 minute drive to campus (driveway to parking garage). I would encourage new interns to check out all the great neighborhoods in Durham - not just the area around the hospital.

Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham?
Coming from living in Nashville for the last 4 years, Durham definitely feels more like a small town but this was great for us when we were thinking about the sort of life we wanted for our years in residency. We wanted to live in a place that was easy to get around, that we could "know" by the end of 4 busy years, and that had a vibrant identity - you can find all that in Durham!

What do you like to do outside of medicine?
I love being outside, whether it's exploring the nearby ocean, planning trips to the mountains or running the nearby trails. Being in nature is my way of de-stressing. My husband and I also have enjoyed sampling the restaurants of Durham and getting to know some of the church communities in the area.