James Helzberg, MD

Start Year
2019

Basics

Hometown
Shawnee Mission, KS

Where did you attend college/university?
Davidson College

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

What are your career goals?
I hope to pursue a career in academic medicine and am currently interested in gastroenterology. I find the intersection of complex diagnostic reasoning with procedural medicine appealing. From a research perspective, I have enjoyed work examining health disparities, quality of life, and outcomes. I also enjoy teaching and working with students.

What did you do the summer before Intern year?
I was lucky enough to go to Australia with a few friends before intern year. We visited Sydney, Melbourne, and road-tripped up the East coast. It was amazing and even worth the unexpected 72 hour journey home. I also road-tripped through Maine and attended a couple of weddings.

"We have extraordinarily supportive faculty, who are always eager to learn more about you personally and in terms of career goals. They are very invested in teaching and provide the right amount of autonomy to encourage both personal and professional growth." 

-James Helzberg

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I wanted clinically rigorous program that would support me to achieve my career goals. More importantly, however, I was looking for a program where my colleagues would feel like family. To me, Duke had it all.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
We have three hospitals which offers exposure to both common and very rare conditions. Additionally, we have supportive faculty, and the most down-to-earth and fun, yet incredibly talented housestaff in the country. It really is an honor to be a part of this program.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
We have extraordinarily supportive faculty, who are always eager to learn more about you personally and in terms of career goals. They are very invested in teaching and provide the right amount of autonomy to encourage both personal and professional growth.

Tell us about your co-interns. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
My co-interns are awesome! They are both inspiring and incredibly down to earth. I think this made connecting easy.. I am very excited for the next few years with this group.

What has surprised you most about Duke?
Everyone is just so supportive of you and your goals. It's really pretty incredible!

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Durham has the feel of a town with all the perks of a city. There are great restaurants and shops, but it is pretty much all affordable and easy to access. There also great outdoor places to visit, and lots of incredible day trips from the area.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
Between Duke, UNC, NC-State, and Research Triangle Park, there are an incredible number of young, passionate people in the area. It’s an extraordinarily diverse region, offering a lot for its size in terms of community and culture.

Where did you choose to live and why?
I live a little over a mile from Duke in a townhome. I went to med school at Duke and previously lived downtown. I basically moved just to mix it up before residency.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
Don't discount Durham because of its size. It's definitely not a huge city, but it has a lot to offer. I have lived here for the past four years, and am still finding new things to do on a regular basis.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
I am always happy to talk all things sports (Go Chiefs!). I also play tennis and golf, and like to go hiking. Most of all, I enjoy simply spending free time with friends and family.