Matthew Pisarcik, MD

Start Year
2021

Basics

Hometown
Centreville, VA

Where did you attend college/university?
Bridgewater College

Where did you attend medical school?
Virginia Commonwealth University

What are your career goals?
I am planning to pursue a heme/onc fellowship and I'm particularly interested in malignant hematology. At the moment I envision myself focusing primarily on patient care, but have enjoyed my experiences in education and research as well. Looking forward to exploring all of the above further while in residency!

"I'm amazed by the humanism, empathy, and knowledge of my peers on a daily basis, but appreciate their willingness to share their experiences, perspectives, and strategies even more. I feel quite lucky to be surrounded by such remarkable co-residents, faculty, and support staff and am incredibly grateful that Duke has provided me the opportunity to work with them."

-Matthew Pisarcik

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a program that graduates confident, well-trained internists; has a strong track record of successful fellowship matches; and has residents who are close-knit with a strong sense of camaraderie. Duke checked all the boxes!

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
I have been blown away by how driven and intelligent, yet personable, everyone has been. It has been extremely helpful knowing my attendings, upper-levels, and co-interns are always willing to answer questions I may have, and they have gone above and beyond in providing in-depth responses that have greatly benefited my learning. Additionally, the complexity and diversity of patients provide not only extensive educational value but also the opportunity to care for and help some of the country’s most vulnerable individuals and populations.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
The faculty have been incredible. Each interaction I have had has been constructive, collaborative, and focused on resident growth and patient care. The faculty challenge residents to assume increased responsibility and take the next steps in our progression through residency, but are also always available to provide support at a moment’s notice. It has truly been a privilege working with them thus far.

Tell us about your co-residents. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
They’re the best. I have really enjoyed learning about the countless backgrounds, passions, and visions of my co-residents, and I think an authentic interest in others is the common thread that has so quickly united the class. Durham has facilitated the process as well…there is so much to do, and it didn’t take long for group events to get planned to capitalize on these offerings!

What has surprised you most about Duke?
Everything shared on the interview day has turned out to be true! In fact, I have enjoyed the first few weeks of residency even more than I imagined I would. Most notably, I have found the “Duke residents take their jobs seriously, but not themselves too seriously” mantra Dr. Zaas shared to perfectly represent the interactions I have had to this point. I'm amazed by the humanism, empathy, and knowledge of my peers on a daily basis, but appreciate their willingness to share their experiences, perspectives, and strategies even more. I feel quite lucky to be surrounded by such remarkable co-residents, faculty, and support staff and am incredibly grateful that Duke has provided me the opportunity to work with them.

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
It has it all – food, drink, sports, music, art, the outdoors, day trips, an airport…plus a laid-back atmosphere and nice people. I had never been to Durham or the Triangle before residency, but am very much looking forward to the next few years here.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
The wide array of activities and opportunities available seems to attract individuals of many backgrounds from all over the country to the Triangle area. Within Duke IM specifically, I have greatly appreciated the culture of respect and selflessness which flows throughout the program. The residents and faculty are eager to learn about each other and are genuinely interested in furthering their relationships with others. Differences in upbringing or beliefs are celebrated as opportunities to connect and learn more about a way of life that may be unfamiliar. Additionally, regarding patient encounters, I have consistently noticed persistent efforts being made by providers of all levels to fully understand each patient’s unique set of life circumstances, identify factors which may pose challenges to optimizing outcomes, and employ a broad set of resources to resolve those challenges as effectively as possible.

Where did you choose to live and why?
I live in an apartment building that is a five-minute drive to the hospital, a half-mile from downtown, and within close proximity of grocery stores and shopping centers for home/life maintenance.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
Start making living arrangements early. The housing market is dynamic, and apartments go fast. Visit the area if you can, too – it really builds the excitement for the move.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
My interests are fairly broad – I enjoy sports, music, art, traveling, cooking, reading…and am always up for anything new!