Chief Resident Eileen Marziarz, MD, believes that Duke University School of Medicine has the best internal residency program in the country.
"The depth and diversity of the people who work here are amazing," said Maziarz. "I'll be having a side conversation with someone about their research, and I think to myself, 'Oh my gosh, that's what you do in your spare time!'"
As chief resident of internal medicine for 2011-2012, Maziarz said her goal is to continue to recruit the best group of interns to Duke. In the busy world of a chief resident, that’s one of her easiest tasks.
"It's not that hard, we just have to show of our strengths," she said. “And those are easy to display.”
Maziarz attended Duke for her undergraduate degree in psychology. After graduation, she practiced social work in Seattle before returning home to Omaha for medical school at the University of Nebraska. She came back to Duke in 2007 for a residency in internal medicine and a fellowship in infectious disease.
Maziarz said she was honored and surprised when Harvey Jay Cohen, MD, former chair of the department, to be asked her to be chief resident in the summer 0f 2009 (chief residents are chosen 18 months before their one-year term begins each July 1).
"It's such bright group of people," said Maziarz. "The competition is very steep."
Organizing general medicine education, mentoring residents and working with the house staff are her primary job duties. Maziarz coordinates daily case conferences and develops curricular programs.
"The only downside to this job is that I don't get to see many patients," said Maziarz. "The plus side is that I'm learning new medicine everyday."
Maziarz said her research on infectious disease diagnostics and treatment is temporarily on hold. She focuses on fungal infections in immunocompromised patient populations. She said Duke's growth as a hub of organ transplant activity attracted her to the residency program.
"Treating infections in this population early is key," said Maziarz. "And we need to develop effective therapies."
Maziarz who lives in Durham, said being chief resident helps her appreciate a good work-life balance.
"I've learned to treat this career as a marathon and maintain a vibrant non-work life to remain happy," she said. Maziarz's new puppy helps her with that last task.