Saad Atiq, MD

Start Year
2019

Basics

Hometown
Pine Bluff, AR

Where did you attend college/university?
University of Arkansas

Where did you attend medical school?
University of Arkansas for Medical Sciences

What are your career goals?
I’m currently leaning towards pursuing a fellowship in hematology/oncology. I hope to work in an academic institution, possibly in the role of a clinical investigator. I also have an interest in healthcare legislation and providing care to medically underserved populations.

What did you do the summer before Intern year?
I had a very busy, but fun break before starting intern year. I kicked it off with Ultra Music festival in Miami, before taking a siblings trip with my two older brothers and younger sister to NYC and Philly. Then I ended my summer in New Orleans celebrating two of my friends' marriage.

"Duke has so many strengths. The biggest strength in my opinion is Dr. Zaas and the leadership team, along with all of the faculty and upper-level residents. From my interview day to today, I am constantly amazed at just how much everyone genuinely cares about each other. I never could have imagined such a kind, supportive, and intelligent group in a residency program."

-Saad Atiq 

Reflections on the Duke Program?

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I wanted to be in a program that would push me to become the best physician I could be and would give me autonomy in clinical decision making, but had a strong support system in place for its residents. It really resonated with me on interview day when Dr. Zaas spoke of how she came to Duke with an idea of what she wanted to do, but wasn't sure how to execute her plans. She spoke about how she received the mentorship she needed to do so here. I was also looking for a program with people I felt I could connect with. It was obvious on interview day not only that I clicked with the people here, but the residents were all friends with each other as well.  

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
Duke has so many strengths. The biggest strength in my opinion is Dr. Zaas and the leadership team, along with all of the faculty and upper-level residents. From my interview day to today, I am constantly amazed at just how much everyone genuinely cares about each other. I never could ahve imagined such a kind, supportive, and intelligent group in a residency program.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
In regards to patient care, the faculty all provide us with an excellent balance between autonomy in our decision making and supervision to ensure we have the support we need when thinking through these decisions. They have all been excellent teachers and mentors as well, who provide excellent advice on how to best achieve the professional goals we have set for ourselves. 

Tell us about your co-interns. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships? 
My co-interns are incredible. We had a GroupMe within a couple of weeks of Match Day, and people started making plans to hangout as we started filing into town. I feel like everyone really bonded during orientation week as well, not only over our mutual excitement for the next three years, but also with our common interests as well. We make plans to hangout basically every chance we get. I couldn't have asked for a better group of friends to take on this next step in our lives with. #DukeFamily is real.

What has surprised you most about Duke?
The people at Duke are such an intelligent and accomplished group, yet everyone is so supportive of each other. One person's success feels like everyone's. There's a real sense of camaraderie here.

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
There are a ton of great things about Durham and the Triangle. The food and shopping are great. Mountains are only a few hours in one direction with beaches a few hours in the other. The area has a lot of young professionals. Charlotte has pro-sports teams a couple of hours away. Last but certainly not least, there's Duke basketball.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
The Triangle has a great blend of people of all ages and backgrounds. The people I've met here seem to be open-minded individuals both who grew up locally as well as around the country. The area has tons of ways to spend your free time, and it is growing very quickly.

Where did you choose to live and why?
I live in an apartment complex off of 9th St about 5 minutes from the hospital. I chose it because it let me live close enough to get to work quickly, while still far enough away to where I didn't feel like I was constantly at work. There's also a 24-hour grocery store and a ton of restaurants right next to my building.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
Durham has been a great place to live so far. I'd just say get ready for a great few years or maybe longer because from what everyone here tells me, people who move here never want to leave.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
I love hanging out/going out with friends, playing sports (mostly soccer but I'll struggle my way through a round of golf or other sports as well), working out, traveling, and just relaxing in my free time.