Where did you attend college/university?
University of Denver
Where did you attend medical school?
University of Colorado
What are your career goals?
Geriatrics and Palliative Care
What did you do the summer before internship?
Vacations and one big road trip to move from Colorado to N.C.
As a recent transplant from Colorado, I didn't know exactly what to expect when moving to Durham. I was pleasantly surprised with the low cost of living, diversity of people and large amount of food, shopping, and outdoor activities here in Durham!
Reflections on the Duke program
What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a program where I "fit in" and felt comfortable to be myself. I also wanted somewhere that would push me to be the best physician I could be, but also provide support along the way. I specifically wanted to train at a large academic institution affiliated with a VA hospital with lots of opportunities for career exploration and research.
What are the strengths of the Duke program?
Duke stood out to me compared to all of the other programs I interviewed at because of how comfortable everyone seemed with each other and how apparent it was that everyone was there for each other as they went through the tough, crazy journey that is residency. Also Dr. Zaas creates such a culture of warmth and kindness that you can see throughout all levels of the program! It also is a top training program for a reason!
What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
Everyone is approachable and supportive! I feel comfortable going to any of my co-residents, senior residents, chiefs, APDs and of course Dr. Zaas with any problem or question, no matter how small.
Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect?
They are absolutely incredible! The only way to get through residency is to lean on your co-residents, and we all help each other out on a daily basis. If anyone is sick or has a conference to go to, my co-residents go out of their way to take an extra shift and help out because they know you would do it for them in a heartbeat. We all got along from day one - probably because we are all a crazy, goofy, down-to-earth bunch!
About Duke University and Durham
What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
As a recent transplant from Colorado, I didn't know exactly what to expect when moving to Durham. I was pleasantly surprised with the low cost of living, diversity of people and large amount of food/shopping/outdoor activities here in Durham! Also, everything is literally only 10 minutes away (even the airport)!
How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
The Triangle has so many different things to offer that are not very far away! If you like cities, Raleigh is only 20 minutes from Durham. Chapel Hill has tons of fun bars/restaurants that have a more small town vibe. Durham is great for fun, unique bars/restaurants with a more industrial/quirky vibe and lots of great breweries, if you like beer! Also Asheville and other cute mountain towns are only a few hours away, as well as the entire Outer Banks if you are a beach lover.
Where did you choose to live, and why?
My husband and I chose to buy a house in South Durham, a few miles north of Southpoint mall. We love where we live because it allowed us to buy a single family home with a yard for our dog but also is only a 10-minute commute to Duke and near lots of shopping/restaurants.
Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham?
I would say that you don't necessarily need to live right near the hospital or in Downtown Durham; there are so many nice neighborhoods in the Triangle that you should consider - especially if you want to buy a house!
What do you like to do outside of medicine?
I spend my free time running the many paths of our neighborhood, hiking, amateur home beer-brewing with my husband, walking the dog and exploring Durham. I also love to have friends over for barbecues and game nights!
Go with your heart in choosing a residency program and approach each interview with an open mind- there will likely be one that just "feels right," like Duke did for me!