Lonnie Sullivan, MD

Start Year


Woodstock, GA

Morehouse College

Medical School
Duke University School of Medicine

What are your career goals?
I aspire to practice in some subspecialty of cardiology and to pursue a career in academic medicine.

What did you do the summer before internship? 
I did a fair amount of traveling! I spent a few days in Virginia Beach with my wife Sydney and flew out to Los Angeles to visit two of my best friends from college. 

The leadership at Duke does an excellent job of creating a supportive work environment and results of their efforts permeate throughout all subspecialties of the Division of Internal Medicine.

Lonnie Sullivan

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program? 
When I was applying to residency, I was looking for a program that was known for producing highly competent yet compassionate physicians. I wanted to train at a residency program that would expose me to a breadth of different patient cases and pathologies. Furthermore, I wanted to train at a place that is supportive, prioritizes resident education/learning, is located in an affordable city, and is family friendly. I certainly feel like I got all of this and more coming to Duke! 

What are the strengths of the Duke program? 
Duke's greatest strength is the variety of training experiences that the program offers. My co-residents and I get to train at Duke's main hospital as well as the Durham VA and Duke Regional Hospital. Each of these hospitals offer unique opportunities for learning and in totality make us more well-rounded physicians. Also, there is a camaraderie present at Duke that is hard to describe, but is palpable. I work best in this kind of supportive environment and is easily one of Duke's greatest strengths.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff? 
The majority of interactions that I've observed between faculty and house staff have been positive. The leadership at Duke does an excellent job of creating a supportive work environment and results of their efforts permeate throughout all subspecialties of the Division of Internal Medicine. Medicine as a whole is inherently hierarchical, but I feel much more like a valued team member than a subordinate at Duke. 

Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect? 
My co-interns are stellar! I was surprised by how quickly we all meshed so well together. Besides them all being very bright individuals, they are also very kindhearted. My co-interns genuinely care about other people, which to me speaks volumes about the type of people Duke recruits. I will have lifelong friends in many of my co-interns for sure!

What has surprised you most about Duke? 
There are so many different things going on in the residency program at any given time. From Intern Report, to class outings, to flag football, etc. Its remarkable that my co-residents can stay so active and engaged while simultaneously being so busy with work. This has been a welcomed surprise. 

About Duke University and Durham

What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle? 
Durham is such an affordable and family friendly city. Plus there are many small restaurants to explore and try out, which is great fun. Also, Chapel Hill, Raleigh and Cary are all very close by so there are always new things to see and do even outside of Durham!

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds? 
I feel like you see people from all backgrounds in the Triangle. You have native Durhamites (of all racial/ethnic and religious backgrounds), mixed with city and country folks from surrounding cities, along with college students from states all across the country. Its a pretty unique blend of people, which is beautiful to see. One really can't say that "people from Durham are X" because there are truly so many unique people living in this relatively small community.

Where did you choose to live, and why? 
I live in a townhouse in Durham approximately 10 minutes from the Duke main hospital. I chose to live here because it is very affordable, is close to the hospital and it provides enough space for my wife and I.

Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham? 
Moving to Durham initially can be scary if you are coming from a big city because at first glance, one may think that Durham doesn't have much to offer. This is far from the truth however! Durham is comfortable, fun, vibrant, rapidly developing, charming, affordable and is within reach of so many things to do. I never view Durham as being just "Durham" because Raleigh and Chapel Hill as so close that it almost feels like I live in all three places simultaneously. Each city has its own unique feel and things to do. Whatever it is that you like to do you can find it and others who enjoy doing it within the Triangle! 

What do you like to do outside of medicine? 
I love everything basketball! Playing it, watching it, reading about it, you name it. More importantly, I enjoy spending quality time with my wife Sydney whenever possible. We love trying new restaurants and going to the movies.


Sullivan, Lonnie T., Hillary Mulder, Karen Chiswell, Linda K. Shaw, Tracy Y. Wang, Larry R. Jackson, and Kevin L. Thomas. “Racial differences in long-term outcomes among black and white patients with drug-eluting stents.” Am Heart J 214 (August 2019): 46–53. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ahj.2019.04.005.

Full Text