Clifton Park, NY
Where did you attend college/university?
University at Buffalo
Where did you attend medical school?
University at Buffalo
What additional degrees do you have and from what institution?
PhD - University at Buffalo
What are your career goals?
Become a good clinician, do clinical research, and get involved in Med Ed
What did you do the summer before internship?
Got married and went on my honeymoon!
It's amazing to want to read about a particular disorder and then realize the world's expert works down the hall. We have more resources and support here for research, teaching, conferences, and academic interests than nearly anywhere else.
Reflections on the Duke program
What were you looking for in a residency program?
Collegial, rigorous, FUN, good reputation, able to provide me the opportunity to go anywhere.
What are the strengths of the Duke program?
See above. Duke is intense and rigorous, but nobody takes themselves too seriously. We have a lot of fun, and I have made some incredible friends! It's amazing to want to read about a particular disorder and then realize the world's expert works down the hall. We have more resources and support here for research, teaching, conferences, and academic interests than nearly anywhere else. And again, I have fun here!
What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
Everyone is really chill. Attendings have reasonable expectations and they make those known early. Our attendings are also easy to connect with--they know it's tough to be a resident and they are really supportive. Everyone is really invested in making sure we stay caffeinated, too.
What research opportunities have you had during residency?
I have been able to write a review article on multiple myeloma with one faculty member, and have started a clinical research project with another. I am also currently working on developing an educational research project with a third mentor.
Describe the mentorship that's been available to you during residency.
The mentorship opportunities are abundant, and all you have to do is ask and people are willing to bend over backwards for you. I have an assigned mentor from the program (shout out to Dr. Arcasoy!); I have 2 mentors who are helping to guide my clinical research project; I have 1 mentor who is helping me craft an education research project; and I have yet another mentor I go to for teaching opportunities and general program advice. I also have senior residents who are clearly mentors, helping me to avoid pitfalls and to make wise choices about navigating JAR year.
Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect?
I love my co-interns. It only took 2-3 get-togethers to really start to make friends. I feel lucky that everyone is so brilliant and fun! It makes call almost (almost!) enjoyable when you can work with great friends!
What is a funny or memorable experience from your time at Duke?
The Tom Holland Memorial Lecture is a roast-style lecture given by a rising SAR each year, and when Lakshmi Krishnan gave the THML this year I laughed so hard that I cried. Even though Duke takes being a doctor very seriously, the IM program does not take itself too seriously.
About Duke University and Durham
What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Cost of living is cheap and the craft beer scene is awesome. You can bring your dog nearly anywhere and it's totally normal. There are tons of forest trails for hiking and biking. The food scene is diverse and delicious. Everyone is so polite!
How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
One of the things my husband and I noticed about Durham is that it is much more diverse and integrated than many cities in the Northeast. We really appreciate the diversity of backgrounds here, which is represented in the music, restaurants, and neighborhoods in the area. We do not have kids and there are many adult-friendly activities around, as well as ones that are more family friendly.
Where did you choose to live, and why?
We live off of 15-501 about five minutes from the hospital. We live in a townhouse which was the best decision for us since we weren't sure if we wanted to buy. The nice thing about Durham is you can live anywhere and get to where you want to go in less than 15 minutes. It is a driving city and you probably need a car, but it is easy to navigate.
Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham?
Moving in the summer is very hot, be prepared! Practically everywhere already comes with air-conditioning, and nobody really uses natural gas for heat, so we were surprised about that. There is a wide selection of grocery stores here that vary greatly in price and selection so find the one you like. There is also a large lack of corporate restaurants and corporate beer selections which we consider to be a benefit because you get to eat local.
What do you like to do outside of medicine?
Hiking with my dog, drinking craft beer, trying new restaurants, reading fantasy novels, swimming and hanging at the beach, sculpture, and sleeping!
I have had two personal tragedies this year, and the Duke program has been here for me 100 percent, from Dr. Zaas, to administrative staff, to chiefs, to colleagues and friends--and I could not be more thankful!