Where did you attend college/university?
Where did you attend medical school?
What are your career goals?
Hematology-oncology, palliative care, healthcare administration
What did you do the summer before internship?
Spent as much time with family and friends as possible
Leading experts in every field are directly involved with patient care and resident teaching and mentoring; it's a great opportunity to learn from the best.
Reflections on the Duke program
What were you looking for in a residency program?
I wanted a residency program that would provide excellent general medicine training and push me to develop my skills as a clinician as much as possible. I learn best in an environment that's welcoming and the people are friendly, so that was very important to me. In the end, one of the biggest factors in my decision was location - residency training is hard enough, I wanted my hours outside of the hospital to be enjoyable!
What are the strengths of the Duke program?
One of the biggest strengths of the Duke program is the faculty and staff. Leading experts in every field are directly involved with patient care and resident teaching and mentoring; it's a great opportunity to learn from the best. Having a strong relationship with the local Veterans Affairs hospital is also hugely valuable to the program.
What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
The faculty and program leadership are incredibly approachable and dedicated to their mission of medical education. They're all invested in getting to know the house staff individually, which creates a very supportive environment with amicable relationships.
What research opportunities have you had during residency?
We are encouraged to pursue research during our residency, and there are many opportunities to do so. The program leadership helps residents identify research interests early on and will even facilitate connecting residents with possible mentors. After I found a topic of interest, the residency had multiple opportunities for funding via internal grants that allowed me to pursue that research project. If anything, there are far more opportunities than any one resident can take advantage of. The biggest challenge is narrowing down your interests to decide on just one or two projects to work on.
Describe the mentorship that's been available to you during residency?
Duke is a phenomenal institution for becoming involved in research, and there are many faculty who are interested in mentoring house staff. After talking with the program leadership about my research interests, one of the associate program directors recommended a specific faculty member to reach out to. We scheduled several meetings to discuss project ideas the mentor already had in mind, and from there it was easy to hit the ground running. I’ve also had great experiences with contacting faculty cold – say you hear a presentation or read an article you’re interested in, faculty are happy to teach and include house staff and are very receptive to you reaching out for mentorship.
Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect?
With long hours in the hospital and heightened levels of stress tackling new responsibilities, having camaraderie with co-interns is a must. Fortunately, there's no shortage of it at Duke. Within the first week I felt an attachment to my intern class as our cohort uses a number of social media tools to plan get-togethers, share funny stories, and ask each other questions. While the program goes above and beyond to host social engagements for house staff and their families, the relationships are largely strengthened by shared experiences on the wards. My co-interns have all been amazing so far, and it's inspiring to see how knowledgeable and skilled they are at working with patients, even at the beginning of the year.
About Duke University and Durham
What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
The best part about living here is how easy it is to do pretty much anything. Most everything is about a ten-minute drive away, and there's hardly any traffic. There are always new, great restaurants popping up in either Durham, Chapel Hill, or Raleigh. There are gorgeous parks nearby and idyllic countryside get-away spots a few miles out from the Triangle. Oh, and the housing is amazingly affordable.
How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
While many may have reservations about the diversity of the state of North Carolina, the Triangle is exceptional because there are three top universities (UNC, Duke, NC State), Research Triangle Park, and the more metropolitan Raleigh to create a diverse community.
Where did you choose to live, and why?
I chose to live halfway between Chapel Hill and Durham right on Durham-Chapel Hill Blvd (aptly named). My partner works at UNC, and the location gives us both easy commutes to work.
Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham?
Durham has been through some incredible changes in the last two decades, all for the better. It's growing rapidly, as is the entire Triangle. The worry I hear most from prospective Durhamites is that it's short on a nightlife beyond midnight. That may be true, but there are plenty of evening-life events and bars open late. It's also true that residency life is chockfull of some very early mornings...
What do you like to do outside of medicine?
I enjoy running on the nearby greenways and parks, trying to cook new recipes, and exploring the many local breweries (and a vineyard or two).
The leadership at Duke really treats the residents like family, and they support our growth as individuals just as much as newly minted doctors. Between that and how awesome living in Durham is, ranking Duke was an easy choice.