Matthew Labriola, MD

Start Year
2016

Basics

Hometown
Farmingdale, NY

Where did you attend college/university?
Notre Dame

Where did you attend medical school?
Georgetown

What are your career goals?
I want to be an Oncologist with a focus on medical education.

What did you do the summer before internship?
I attended five weddings and I went to Mexico and Toronto with my wife.

I have felt nothing but support from my attendings and leadership, and they take the time to teach even among the busy work day. They are clearly working here at Duke because education is important to them, and they truly respect the residents' opinions on patient care and respect the residents as human beings.

Reflections on the Duke program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
As I approached the daunting task of choosing a residency program, I focused on a few major aspects. First, and most importantly, I looked at the current residents and if they seemed to be enjoying their lives and if they were excited to see their colleagues. Second, I observed the way that the faculty interacted with the residents and with each other, and if there was any "malignancy" present. These two major things gave me a feel for the culture of the program and if I would fit in there. Lastly, and the aspect that makes the final decision, is your gut feeling. Mostly made up of the people you meet, the feeling you have while on your interview day, location, tasty lunch spread, etc. When you have that gut feeling, that is where you are supposed to be. 

What are the strengths of the Duke program?
Duke has exceeded all of my expectations for what I was looking for in a program. My co-residents are all incredibly impressive, yet humble, people and are clearly here to work hard and become the best doctors they can be, but they all have smiles on their faces and are excited to be here. They care about one another and are more than willing to grab a drink after a hard day at work. The attendings, fellows, and upper level residents are incredible teachers and foster a great team environment. Durham, although an adjustment from NY/DC, is a fun place to live with a lot of delicious food. Lastly, the leadership here is so clearly dedicated to its residents and is almost over-the-top in making sure we are cared for personally and in our educational goals. I am so happy with my choice. 

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
I have now worked with a variety of attending physicians and fellows, and I have not had a single bad experience. I know there are questionable rumors that it is "malignant" at Duke, but it could not be further from the truth. I have felt nothing but support from my attendings and leadership, and they take the time to teach even among the busy work day. They are clearly working here at Duke because education is important to them, and they truly respect the residents' opinions on patient care and respect the residents as human beings.

Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect?
My co-interns are awesome. They are all way smarter and more impressive than I am, but they are all so humble. They care about one another and are willing to help each other out - and it has really built a collegial environment that is fun to be a part of. They are also always willing to grab a drink after work and on the weekends and are a hilarious group of people to hang out with. I would say I was comfortable and felt well connected with a large group by the end of orientation, and I am getting to know more and more people well with each rotation. 

About Duke University and Durham

What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Moving to Durham was scary for me coming from the big cities of NY and DC, but I have been pleasantly surprised by how much I love Durham. The food here is fantastic. There are a handful of awesome bars that have great craft beer. Raleigh is close by if you are looking for more of a nightlife scene. The people are all super nice. I really can't complain so far! 

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
There are tons of ethnic restaurants that I really enjoy. There are also many multicultural events at DPAC and numerous multicultural festivals in the Triangle! 

Where did you choose to live, and why?
I live at Berkshire Main, which is a really nice apartment complex close to the hospital. It only takes me 5 minutes to get to work - and I can easily walk or bike. I wanted to be close to cut down on commuting time so I had more time to spend with my wife after work. It has a nice pool, full gym, a coffee machine, and a solid group of residents live there so it helped form a smaller community right away. It is also close to Ninth Street which has many restaurants, coffee shops, and a grocery store nearby which are all convenient. 

Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham?
I am married and my wife and I were unsure of how we would like it down here coming from big cities. The best advice I could give is to have an open mind about the area and enjoy the things that it has to offer, even if they are different from what you are used to. Obviously, there is not a bar or restaurant on every corner like there is in NY or DC, but there are really cool craft beer places, awesome tapas restaurants, and the people are super nice. 

What do you like to do outside of medicine?
Exercise, play soccer or basketball, hang out with my new puppy, dinner dates with my wife, "liver rounds"

Parting thoughts?
Duke is a top 5 program with the most collegial environment and coolest co-residents. If you want to work hard and become the best doctor you can be, but still have a good time doing it, come to Duke.