Fort Smith, Arkansas
University of California, Los Angeles
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences
What are your career goals?
I would like to practice Infectious Disease at an academic institution. Microbes have influenced not only the human body but also the course of human history! Gimme a coffee and a course like “Epidemics in Western Society Since 1600” and I am golden.
What did you do the summer before internship?
I explored my home state of Arkansas! I went to all six of the national parks in Arkansas (and several state ones). I floated the Buffalo River with my dog and husband and unsuccessfully dug for diamonds in the Crater of Diamonds State Park.
Teaching house staff is huge component of day to day activities. Also, we have a lot of fun during the day. It doesn't feel like a rigid hierarchy but rather a "let's get this done together as a team" vibe.
Reflections on the Duke Program
What were you looking for in a residency program?
1. STRONG clinical program. I wanted to walk out the door after residency and feel like I could handle the vast majority of medical scenarios.
2. I want to be a great physician, but I want to be more than an MD. I wanted my "AND" (likely medical education) to be supported.
3. Location, Location, Location. Not only is the area great for residency, but there are at least three video game studios around here. This meant that my husband was able to find his dream job too. Now he is working at EPIC Games for the video game Fortnight.
4. Personality. Once I met Dr. Zaas and several of the now JARs, I knew that I vibed with the people.
What are the strengths of the Duke program?
I started on Duke General Medicine and was exposed to patient cases that I had only seen in textbooks. I have been very impressed by the myriad of clinical pathology at Duke. The support system is very strong at Duke. Less than two months into intern year I had a family emergency and had to fly back to Arkansas. Dr. Zaas was like "We got this. Get on a plane and see your family."
What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
The relationship between faculty and house staff is incredibly positive and welcoming. Teaching house staff is huge component of day to day activities. Also, we have a lot of fun during the day. It doesn't feel like a rigid hierarchy but rather a "let's get this done together as a team" vibe.
Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect?
Um. They are AMAZING. We really connected during orientation week and stay in touch via a massive GroupMe thread. They are a fantastic support system, especially during the "harder" rotations. I have no idea how Dr. Zaas and the rest of the recruitment team picked so many amazing people whose personalities mesh so well.
What has surprised you most about Duke?
Originally I was thinking about going back west for training, but when I came to visit Duke on my interview day, it just FELT right. I thought that I would want a super big city vibe after living in the smaller city of Little Rock for four years, but boy, was I wrong. Durham provides all of the basic necessities (at a less expensive price point) with fun activities like fancy brunch, hiking, bars, beach, mountains within a quick drive.
About Duke University and Durham
What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Durham has a smaller city feel with a lot of random fun things to do. I use the app/website Offline Durham to find out what is "happening" in Durham and Raleigh when I have a free day. The Durham Hotel is a gorgeous mid-century styled hotel in downtown Durham with a root-top patio and bar. I'm a big fan of grabbing brunch + mimosas there. My husband and I take our corgi to various outdoor walking areas like the trail around the North Carolina Art Museum or the Eno River State Park.
How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
The entity of Duke along with the technology aspect of the Triangle brings people from various backgrounds and walks of life to this area. Plus, the majority of these people are driven individuals wanting to make a change or difference in the world. From my peers to faculty and beyond, I know that I am surrounded by intelligent, motivated individuals who care and want to institute real change.
Where did you choose to live, and why?
I am obsessed with our living situation right now. My husband and I live in an affordable apartment complex on 9th Street (810 9th) that literally looks like The Cosmopolitan in Vegas. Not only does it have a dog park for our corgi, but I can walk to TWO grocery stores (Whole Foods and Harris Teeter), a nail salon, hair dresser, dry cleaners, yoga studio, sushi, and a bookshop. Not only can I walk to virtually anything that i need, but I am about a five minute drive from Duke University Hospital and the VA hospital.
Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham?
Don't blow all of your money fourth year like I did. Relocating is quite a pretty penny no matter what city you end up in. We didn't get paid until the end of July, so I had to rely on my husband and my parents heavily at the end of the year.
What do you like to do outside of medicine?
Family and friends are always number one. My husband and I have a corgi (AKA #woofwoofpatapouf) that we spoil like crazy. I used to teach yoga, so I like to squeeze in a heated vinyasa class on my days off. I love to read for fun, especially by the apartment complex pool.
1) No judgment here. 2) We care. 3) You are going to hate the question "Do you have any questions?" Call me beep me or email me. No questions necessary. Just coffee.