Where did you attend college/university?
University of Richmond
Where did you attend medical school?
Duke University School of Medicine
What are your career goals?
Currently I'm interested in gastroenterology and plan on pursuing a fellowship after residency. I'm also very interested in women's health and see ample opportunity for advocacy on behalf of female patients within internal medicine. Ideally I'd love to learn more about women's health within the field of gastroenterology. I enjoy fostering relationships with patients therefore see longitudinal care as an important component of my future career. Finally, I would love to incorporate medical education into my career to some capacity. I see myself practicing at an academic medical center in the future, where I'd also have the opportunity to be involved in quality improvement projects and research within gastroenterology or centered around women's access to healthcare.
Reflections on the Duke Program
What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a residency program that felt like home! While it was important to me to be immersed in a clinically rigorous program that would challenge me academically, I also wanted to form lasting relationships with my co-residents. At Duke, I truly felt that I didn’t have to choose between these two things, as the people I’ve worked with have been extremely welcoming and fun to be around as well as incredibly knowledgeable and hardworking.
What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
Duke is an amazing program for many reasons, but what I find to be most unique is the way in which residents are encouraged to find their individual passions within medicine. Dr. Zaas frequently uses the term, “find your ‘and’ ”, meaning your own niche or area of expertise. This idea promotes diversity and enthusiasm for learning by encouraging residents to bring their own unique flair to medicine based on past experiences, research endeavors, or other personal interests.
What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
I’ve had an incredible experience working with the faculty at Duke. The opportunity to continue learning from the attendings is one of the main reasons that I decided to continue my training at Duke after completing medical school here. The faculty take teaching very seriously and prioritize resident education regularly. As a resident I have appreciated the balance of autonomy and supervision that my attendings have provided; I feel that I have space to grow as a physician while also having a safety net during times of uncertainty. Finally, I feel fully supported by the faculty both in reaching my career goals and personally. Attendings here at Duke are very approachable and helpful in terms of getting connected with research projects. I have never had any difficulty finding a time to meet with a faculty-member to get advice or ask more about their projects. Additionally, I have known many attendings at Duke to encourage a group debriefing after a tough patient encounter or a hectic day, which makes me feel more personally supported at work as well. Even between attendings and interns, there is an undeniable sense of camaraderie and mutual respect that fosters a team-oriented mentality.
Tell us about your co-residents. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
It has been difficult to connect with my co-residents in the same ways that past classes have; however, we have found some creative ways to hang out and get to know one another– whether it be virtually or in socially-distanced groups! I have loved getting to know my class and could not have asked for a better group to go through residency with. Despite the somewhat hectic and busy nature of residency, my classmates have been very positive and eager to connect, which is going to make these next three years so much fun!
About Duke University and Durham
What has surprised you most about Duke?
What surprised me most about Duke is how down-to-earth everyone is. I think I expected more of an intense environment given Duke’s reputation, but my co-interns, residents, and faculty have all been very friendly and kind. Duke Medicine prioritizes clinical excellence and dedication to continuous learning while also stressing the importance of having fun on the wards in a more relaxed environment. I love being part of a program that never loses sight of resident wellness. Another thing that surprised me was the variety of hobbies and interests my co-residents have outside of medicine. Everyone spends their days off doing cool things!
What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
This is my fifth year living in the Triangle, and I am still always finding new things to do! Some of my favorite activities include spending time outside and trying new food – both of which are very easy to do here in Durham! I also enjoy checking out live music and bars in both Chapel Hill and Raleigh. And Asheville is less than four hours away!