Sean Taasan, MD

Start Year
2019

Basics

Hometown
Gainesville, FL

Where did you attend college/university?
University of Florida

Where did you attend medical school?
University of Florida College of Medicine

What are your career goals?
In the future, I plan to practice in a large academic center with a focus on medical education. I have always really enjoyed both learning and teaching, and being at Duke has only made me appreciate it more thanks to all of the incredible faculty and residents who make it a point to focus on using evidence based practices and honing clinical skills. I also plan to pursue a career in Heme-Onc, based on the truly rewarding and meaningful experiences that I've had taking care of patients with cancer.

What did you do the summer before intern year?
I traveled to India to see me best friend get married, and then two weeks later traveled back to Florida to see him get married again! In between, I moved up to North Carolina, got settled into my new home, and met many of my future co-residents.

"Duke fits the exact description of what I was looking for in a program, and our upper level residents are probably the best example of that. Every time I work with another resident, I am constantly amazed at how strong everyone is in terms of clinical proficiency. Just as importantly, each resident I meet is exceptionally welcoming."

-Sean Taasan

 

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
Most importantly, I wanted to train at a program where I felt the best fit in terms of culture. In particular, I wanted to go to a program that featured exceptional clinical training and still retained a strong culture of collegiality within the residency program (as well as between residents and faculty). For me, I felt this was incredibly essential - although many programs are strong academically, I also wanted to be sure that I would enjoy the atmosphere and be happy in my day-to-day activities.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
Duke fits the exact description of what I was looking for in a program, and our upper level residents are probably the best example of that. Every time I work with another resident, I am constantly amazed at how strong everyone is in terms of clinical proficiency. Just as importantly, each resident I meet is exceptionally welcoming. Help is not only provided, but proactively offered. Each rotation that I have been on, the JAR or SAR has done a great job of encouraging me to take ownership of my patients while also making sure I know that I can ask them for help with anything no matter how small or simple it might seem.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
Faculty are excited to work with residents, and the residency program is highly valued as an integral part of what makes Duke special. Faculty are eager to teach and help residents to develop their clinical skills, and being able to work with/learn from the leading experts in a variety of fields is a unique opportunity.

Tell us about your co-interns. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
I am constantly impressed by my co-interns and always humbled to be a part of such an amazing group of people. The amount of thought put into assembling a class of like-minded people who will continue to maintain the culture of clinical excellence and kindness definitely shows. Everyone is very easy to get along with, and even before our orientation started we had multiple meet-ups to hang out at a brewery or get food at a restaurant.

What has surprised you most about Duke?
How welcoming all of the residents and faculty are - even though it's the reason why I wanted to come to Duke in the first place, I am continually impressed by the extent to which it is displayed. On my first night rotation I worked with multiple SARs, and even though they were doing 28 hour calls (while I was only working the night shift) they would stick around to help me for however long I needed and would make me promise that if I had any questions I would text/page/call them no matter how minor it was.

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
The cost of living is very reasonable, and there are a lot of cool restaurants, music venues, and other recreational activities (like Durham Bulls games or the Durham Performing Arts center) that provide things to do on days off from the hospital. Coming from Florida, it's also nice to have more than one season too!

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
Within the Triangle, places like Duke attract many different people from a wide variety of backgrounds both across the country and around the world. Meeting my co-residents and hearing their stories has been a very enjoyable part of residency so far.

Where did you choose to live and why?
I live near the Ninth Street area, which is about a 5-10 minute drive from the hospital and a 10-15 minute drive from my continuity clinic. The location is very convenient, and there is a grocery store and plenty of restaurants within walking distance. The downtown area is also very easy to get to, and you can easily drive or Uber there in about 10 minutes.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
There are a lot of great and reasonably priced housing options, whether you are looking to live in an apartment or a house. You can easily live near the hospital or further away in residential areas of Durham (or anywhere else in the Triangle) depending on your personal preferences. When I moved I asked some of the current residents that I knew for recommendations based on what I was looking for, and I think that's the great way to get a good sense of options that will fit you best.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
I enjoy playing guitar, taking pictures, and playing sports. I also really enjoy eating at new restaurants and going to breweries - each time I hang out with my co-interns someone mentions a new place that I haven't been to yet, and I look forward to trying all of them out at some point over the next few years!