Melodi Whitley, MD

Start Year


Rockville, Maryland

Where did you attend college/university? 
University of Maryland, College Park

Where did you attend medical school? 
Duke University School of Medicine

What additional degrees do you have and from what institution? 
PhD in Molecular Cancer Biology from Duke

What are your career goals? 
Academic Dermatology

Duke's strength really lies in the people. It is amazing to be able to work with faculty who are so accomplished in their respective feels but also incredibly down to earth and approachable. 

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program? 
I am going into Dermatology and this will be my only exposure to internal medicine, I was looking for a clinically and academically rigorous preliminary medicine year. At the same time, I have a young son, so I was also looking for a family friendly program.

What are the strengths of the Duke program? 
Duke's strength really lies in the people. It is amazing to be able to work with faculty who are so accomplished in their respective feels but also incredibly down to earth and approachable.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff? 
I think that the house staff have the opportunity to develop meaningful relationships with the faculty on a variety of levels. The more senior faculty serve as wonderful educators and are very eager to teach residents on rounds, conferences, and reports. We also have the opportunity to interact with many early career faculty who can serve as professional and personal mentors.

Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect? 
My intern class began helping each other even before everyone arrived in Durham! We have had many social events already and stay connected with each other throughout the day via group messaging. This way, whenever anyone has a residency related question, or just wants a friend to grab drink with, we can reach other quickly!

What has surprised you most about Duke? 
I was surprised by the amount of support available during the beginning of the year. Understandably, I was nervous about my first days as a physician but I found that I had just the right amount of support while still having significant independence.

About Duke University and Durham

What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle? 
This is the best place to raise kids!! With multiple children's museums, amazing playgrounds, the world's largest natural habitat zoo, and pleasant year-round weather- we never run out of fun things to do as a family. As a couple, my husband and I love taking advantage of the local great restaurants that are always popping up on national "best of" lists. Easy weekend trips are also a big bonus of living in the triangle. Mountain activities to the west and beautiful beaches to the east mean an easy getaway is always there when you need one.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds? 
The Triangle is a very diverse area. Durham itself has a rich history with and indigent population that you will have the pleasure of learning about as you care for the wonderful people of our city. The large Universities and Research Triangle Park also attract people from around the country and the world, giving the area a cosmopolitan field. 

Where did you choose to live, and why? 
I live with my husband and son in Northwest Raleigh. My husband is a physician at Duke Raleigh Hospital so this is in between the two hospitals for us.

Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham? 
There are housing options for every type of person, style, budget. Whether you want a low-maintenance apartment, a fixer-upper with a lot of character, or a new construction out in the suburbs - it is all available and the prices are reasonable!

What do you like to do outside of medicine? 
I like to run and I developed this hobby while living in Durham. There is an amazing system of trails through Durham and connecting with other parts of the triangle. My favorite run was a 7-miler from my old apartment in SW Durham to downtown Durham. This was perfect for a weekend morning to end up downtown for brunch!