Faculty Spotlight: Sonya Patel-Nguyen, MD

Friday, December 7, 2018

Dr. Sonya Patel-Nguyen joined our division this past July after completing her combined medicine and pediatrics residency training at UNC Chapel Hill. Learn more about her work, family, and interests from our interview.

Where do you work? 
I have been working as a hospitalist at Duke University Hospital, and hope to snag some pediatric time as I've just completed my Med-Peds residency. 

What are your interests in the field? 
My interests are varied, from transition of care for patients with childhood ailments, to medical education, and particularly global health in acute settings, such as displaced persons due to conflict or natural disasters.

How did you get in to this specific field?
I am too fascinated by all aspects of medicine to try and subspecialize in one field. Hospital medicine really gives me that variety and acuity that I crave, with so many interesting patients, diagnoses, and stories. 

"I am too fascinated by all aspects of medicine to try and subspecialize in one field. Hospital medicine really gives me that variety and acuity that I crave, with so many interesting patients, diagnoses, and stories."

What brought you to Duke? 
I'm a true local, having grown up in Cary. I went to NC State for college and UNC for medical school and residency — Duke was a natural next stop around the Triangle! 

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
I love to travel both for work and for fun. I love cooking and crafting - I will try to DIY just about anything. 

Any trips you've taken recently that you would like to share?
My husband and I just took our 6-month-old on his first international trip. Call us crazy, but we went to London for a few days, then traveled Portugal for over a week. What a beautiful country. Did you know, they passed a law giving disabled persons, pregnant women, and families with small children priority in every line imaginable — at the grocery store, the airport, the train station?! It's a LAW. What great timing it was for us! 

Any recent books you’ve read that you’d like to share?
I'm currently reading "The Sympathizer" by Viet Thanh Nguyen, about a sleeper spy. I love historical fiction, and after years of no time for leisure reading, I'm ready to get back to my books. 

What is a fun fact about yourself?
I met my husband on a hip-hop dance team in college. We don't do choreographed dance anymore, but we are known to groove at many weddings. 

What is your favorite food?
Easy — any and every Indian street food. 

What is your favorite restaurant?
Have you been to Bida Manda? Everyone loves the pork belly soup, but I'm a vegetarian and just die over the veg saffron crepe. Delicious.