Michael Graham, MD

Start Year
2015

Basics

Hometown
Cullman, AL

Where did you attend college/university?
Birmingham Southern College

Where did you attend medical school?
University of Alabama in Birmingham

What are your career goals?
I would love to become a clinician educator at an academic institution.

What did you do the summer before internship?
I got married to my lovely wife!

If you come to Duke as the next step in your medical training, you will be challenged, but you will absolutely love it and thrive surrounded by other motivated, brilliant, and genuine individuals. I am so glad that I made the choice to come here.

Reflections on the Duke program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a program that was filled with motivated and exciting people with a passion for patient care but also didn't take themselves too seriously. I put a lot of stock into faculty and residents being down-to-earth and relatable. A lot of my ranking decisions were based upon the "vibe" that I got from a program in regards to culture. I also wanted to join a program that listened to its residents about improvement opportunities.

What are the strengths of the Duke program?
The people. Out of all the programs I interviewed at, Duke had the most genuine and compassionate faculty and residents. Their drive was infectious and made me also want to strive to be the best that I could be and provide superb patient care.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
Superb. Faculty are immensely supportive of the house staff. I have received consistent feedback about my progress and how I can become a stronger clinician. I've never felt alone as the faculty are extremely approachable. I can't count the times I was brought breakfast by my attending after a night shift or call day, which showed lots of empathy.

Tell us about your co-interns. How long did it take to connect?
It was instantaneous. We look out for each other, support each other, and have fun together. Duke is a vigorous program and you work very hard, which is a good thing! When you are going through a experience like this with others, you naturally grow together quite quickly.

About Duke University and Durham

What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Lots of young, passionate people with all sorts of interesting backgrounds. I went on a ghost tour of downtown Durham and met people all the way from Chicago to the west coast who had come to live in Durham. I also fell on my face because of a random drop off on the sidewalk, but it was still a lot of fun.
Also the food is great! "Local" isn't the exception when it comes to produce and meat served at restaurants, it's the rule. Also there's lots of cool breweries. I'm personally a cider fan and Durham has its own cider brewer -- Bull City Ciderworks, and it's amazing.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
There are people here with all sorts of varied ethnic backgrounds! This area attracts people from all over given the immense amount of research and education in the area.
Speaking as someone from the South, I feel very comfortable here in Durham and North Carolina in general. There is a similar vibe of hospitality and warmth that reminds me of Alabama.

Where did you choose to live, and why?
I'm living at the Clairmont on Hillandale road. I chose this location because it was very dog friendly and the location is very close to the Duke University Hospital, the Durham VA, and about equidistant to Duke Regional Hospital (5-6 minutes commute)

Based on your life, what advice would you give about moving to Durham?
Soak in the area! Drive around and get to know your surroundings. There's all sorts of neat things to do.

What do you like to do outside of medicine?
I love spending time with my wife Lindsey and 2 fur-children, Lacie and Dixie.

Parting thoughts?
If you come to Duke as the next step in your medical training, you will be challenged, but you will absolutely love it and thrive surrounded by other motivated, brilliant, and genuine individuals. I am so glad that I made the choice to come here.