Jessie Gu, MD

Start Year
2017

Basics

Hometown
Oak Ridge, TN

Where did you attend college/university? 
Princeton University

Where did you attend medical school? 
University of Tennessee Health Science Center

What are your career goals? 
Not sure yet but considering pulmonary and critical care.

What did you do the summer before internship? 
Traveled to Thailand and Myanmar

In addition to the fantastic clinical and research experience, Duke has a great mentoring program. You are immediately connected with an advisor, coach, and big sib each with a distinguished role to play in giving advice on research mentors, accomplishing goals during residency, and maintaining a work/life balance.

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program? 
I was looking for a residency program that has strong clinical training with a diverse patient population including the underserved, veterans, and private patients which offers a good balance of unusual and rare diagnoses with bread and butter cases. I wanted an academic university hospital that has an abundance of great research opportunities as well as an established mentorship program that can help residents navigate and tailor one's own research interest and goals with specific faculty. I also wanted a residency program that values resident wellness as a priority and provides emotional, mental, physical, social support throughout a challenging yet rewarding training program. But ultimately, on the interview trail, I was looking for fun laid-back and supportive residents and enthusiastic faculty that I connected with and felt comfortable being myself!

What are the strengths of the Duke program? 
I am consistently amazed by how much the Duke program is invested in my training from the very start. In addition to the fantastic clinical and research experience, Duke has a great mentoring program. You are immediately connected with an advisor, coach, and big sib each with a distinguished role to play in giving advice on research mentors, accomplishing goals during residency, and maintaining a work/life balance. The program is also very receptive to feedback and effectively implements changes that improve our training from the chiefs to the program director to the chair of medicine, which I believe is a great and unique strength for all levels of the program to constantly adapt and think about how to make the most out of our residency training. 

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff? 
When the entire program has bitmojis to communicate with each other, I knew that I would be having fun during residency! The faculty are always asking us how we're doing and if there's anything they can help with. They are easily approachable and genuinely interested in getting to know more about us. We learn, teach and support each other at work but always find time to laugh and have fun even outside of work as well. 

Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect? 
I couldn't have asked for a better intern class! We have had so much fun together so far and its only the beginning of our intern year. We immediately connected by email as soon as we matched to Duke. Even before orientation, we were hanging out every day exploring Durham together, trying new restaurants and bars and hiking outdoors, so by the time orientation came, we all knew each other! #Dukefamily is the best. 

What has surprised you most about Duke? 
The feeling that I know I am always supported by #Dukefamily has surprised me the most. I never expected to be as happy as I am now with the people I am working with. They are fun to hang out with, extremely bright talented doctors to learn from, and generous and humble friends that I am excited to work with for the next few years. I know that residency will be hard and challenging at times but I no longer have the fear that I have to go through it on my own.

About Duke University and Durham

What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle? 
Love the diverse food options here with great Asian food like M sushi, Kokyu Namean, but also Nanatacos and Guglhupf are my favorites too. The local breweries are fun spots for casual hangouts with co-residents and cool coffee shops for studying. There always seems to be a new restaurant to try! I also love the variety of outdoor experiences from hiking locally at Eno River, Umstead, and many other local parks, or driving a few hours to the beach or the other way to Asheville!

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds? 
The food again! I was surprised to find there are great Asian grocery stores like Liming's and the Hmart in Cary is amazing! The diversity of education levels and renown research happening in the Triangle attracts people from all of the world and promotes great food, shopping, cultural events for people of all backgrounds. 

Where did you choose to live, and why? 
I chose to live at Trinity Commons because it is close to the hospital and convenient to walk to work and back home especially when you are post-call. Some people don't like being right next to the hospital but I find the short walk home and the extra sleep time in the morning worth it and downtown is only a short drive away!

Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham? 
Find an apartment early! The prices go up the later you wait.

What do you like to do outside of medicine? 
I enjoy running, hiking, and cooking. I also love to travel and always looking for new places to explore. I've loved Morocco and Myanmar so far and hoping my next travel destination to be somewhere in South America.

Parting thoughts? 
Have fun on the interview trail and hope you choose to come to Duke!