Jacquelyn Kercheval, MD

Start Year
2021

Basics

Hometown
Princeton Junction, NJ

Where did you attend college/university?
Tufts University

Where did you attend medical school?
University of Michigan Medical School

What are your career goals?
I am still undecided in terms of specialty because I love everything about medicine! But I do know that I want to stay in academic medicine, and I would like my career to involve medical education and serving underserved communities.

"I think Duke stands out because of its world-class, rigorous medicine AND lack of pretension-- a combination that is pretty rare and makes for an incredibly supportive, fun environment in which to learn and provide patient care.

-Jackie Kercheval

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a program that, first and foremost, places patient care at the center of its "why." I was also looking for a program that would challenge me with its clinical rigor while also providing a community that values support, fosters the excitement of learning, and cultivates joy.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
In addition to the excellent lunch variety offered at noon conference, I think Duke stands out because of its world-class, rigorous medicine AND lack of pretension-- a combination that is pretty rare and makes for an incredibly supportive, fun environment in which to learn and provide patient care. The faculty and my co-residents seamlessly shift from giving brilliant chalk talks to discussing the ins and outs of Durham's foodie scene, and I think that balance is incredibly unique and special.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
I have been blown away by the absolute lack of pretension and hierarchy at Duke. When we step into the hospital, we are all part of a single team with the shared goal of caring for our patients, and the perspective of the medical student on the team is valued just as much as that of the faculty. I have felt so respected as a colleague since day one of my intern year. (My attendings have also ensured that their team is well-fed on call days, and for that I am endlessly grateful.)

Tell us about your co-interns. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
I was very nervous about moving to a new city and having to make new friends, but my co-interns have all been so down-to-earth, fun, and compassionate. We've gone on runs, had pizza nights, explored breweries, and debriefed the highs and lows of being called "doctor" for the first time. And we have laughed-- a ton!! I truly feel like I already have a small army of people I can reach out to at a moment's notice for absolutely anything, and I am so grateful to be joining this incredible #DukeFam.

What has surprised you most about Duke?
Undoubtedly the shared joy this community has when it comes to caring for our patients. The number of times that co-residents and attendings have randomly popped into our team room to check in and offer support has been truly astonishing. Every single person here goes out of their way to care for patients AND each other! (And I've been surprised by the seemingly bottomless supply of high-quality candy)

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
I had never even been to North Carolina until after I matched at Duke, so I truly had no idea what I was getting myself into... but I'm so glad I trusted my gut. Durham and the surrounding area have all of the things I've loved about living in a city in the past (lots of food options, great music and art scene, museums, etc.) without the hassle, PLUS the benefit of being surrounded by incredible nature. I love that it is both easy to live here AND full of a ton of fun things to do after work, while still maintaining a really cool local, small-town vibe.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
There are many communities within the Triangle that have been here for generations, but there are also so many people who come from all over the country and world for the incredible educational, research, and work opportunities that this area offers. I love the balance between a rich, long-standing history and a warm welcome to those of all backgrounds that I've found here.

Where did you choose to live and why?
I chose to live downtown! My partner and I will be doing long-distance for much of residency, so I wanted to be in a part of the city where it would be easy for me to pop out and grab a drink or go for a walk with friends. Living downtown also offers me the opportunity to pet so many good doggos as they walk around with their owners (no shame).

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
There is truly a place for everyone here, which is awesome. You can find a quiet, suburban home; a modern, amenities-rich apartment; and everything in between within a 15-minute radius in Durham! I'd recommend spending a day walking or driving around town as you begin your housing search, because each neighborhood is so different and offers its own charm.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
I'm a big runner and am excited to try the run commute life (wish me luck!), in addition to exploring all of the awesome trails in Durham and the surrounding area! I'm also a big ice cream person and believe that there is never a bad time to grab a scoop. I also love anything outdoors (camping, hiking, BBQs, you name it!), hanging with friends, and cooking/baking.