Felicia Cao, MD, PhD

Start Year
2019

Basics

Hometown
Buffalo, NY

Where did you attend college/university?
​University of Buffalo

Where did you attend medical school?
Baylor College of Medicine

If applicable, what other degrees do you hols and from what institution?
PhD, Translational Biology and Molecular Medicine, Baylor College of Medicine 

What are your career goals?
I’m interested in a career in academic medicine as a physician-scientist in the field of hematology/oncology. I’d like to focus on translational research and clinical trials, especially immunotherapy for cancer.

What did you do the summer before intern year?
My husband and I traveled to Europe for the first time! We had a lot of fun visiting cultural and historical sites in Spain and France, eating lots of amazing food, and drinking delicious cheap wine.

"Duke has a strong reputation in Internal Medicine, with many world-renowned experts, numerous research opportunities, and the chance to care for a diverse patient population with medically complex needs. I feel that Duke's greatest strength have been its people, working together to support each other and our patients."

-Felicia Cao

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for strong clinical training combined with access to cutting-edge research. Additionally, I wanted a program that had a warm, collaborative environment.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
Duke has a strong reputation in Internal Medicine, with many world-renowned experts, numerous research opportunities, and the chance to care for a diverse patient population with medically complex needs. I feel that Duke's greatest strength have been its people, working together to support each other and our patients.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
Everyone is so friendly and welcoming! I think the faculty are very accessible and treat the house staff as both colleagues and learners, rather than a strict hierarchical relationship.

Tell us about your co-interns. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
Our intern class has been much fun to hang out with! Even though it's only been a month, I've already gone out for meals with multiple people, arranged board-game nights, and gotten thoroughly trounced at Super Smash Bros.

What has surprised you most about Duke?
I hadn't realized how much support I would have during residency. I feel like there's always a helping hand if I need it, and so many mentorship opportunities.

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
As a new resident of Durham/the Triangle Region, I love how beautiful the area is, with so much greenery everywhere. I like that everything is fairly close by and it's affordable to live here as a resident.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
I think that the multiple universities/medical systems and the tech hub in RTP attract people of diverse backgrounds to come here to work. However, I feel the great quality of life in the Triangle area is why people are so happy to live here.

Where did you choose to live and why?
My husband and I bought a house in Hope Valley Farms because we want to settle down in this area and wanted more space for guests. Our house is a fixer-upper that's still in the beginning stage of renovation, but it's been such a rewarding process to see our home start to take shape.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
There are a lot of different opportunities close to Duke, so evaluate your priorities to decide what location would be best for you. For example, Downtown is super walkable but has more condos/apartments, whereas if you want a house with a yard you will probably be looking more in North Durham or Hope Valley Farms/Southpoint area.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
Outside of work, I enjoy playing boardgames (some recent favorites are Codenames, Gloomhaven, and Spirit Island), trying out new restaurants, and reading.