Chelsea  Gaviola
Senior Assistant Resident
House Staff

Start Year: 2020


Joppa, MD

Where did you attend university/college?
Johns Hopkins University

Where did you attend medical school?
Dartmouth Medical School

What are your career goals?
I plan to specialize in Pulmonary and Critical Care. I am interested in global health and public health and want to incorporate these passions in my future career.

 "The residents and faculty here create a real sense of camaraderie and encourage a love of learning medicine."

-Chelsea Gaviola

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
It boiled down to three things. First, I wanted a rigorous training program that would prepare me to be a strong and compassionate clinician. Second, I sought out programs with longitudinal and sustainable global health rotations and research opportunities. Lastly, I hoped to be part of a warm and supportive community that would be invested in my personal and professional growth.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
Duke excelled in all three requirements! I was drawn to the strong clinical training and breadth of research opportunities, especially in my field of interest. I was impressed by the Global Health Pathway program, which aims to train academic leaders in global health—I found this program unique on the interview trail. Most importantly, the residents and faculty here create a real sense of camaraderie and encourage a love of learning medicine.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
My interactions with faculty have been great. Coincidentally, the faculty I have worked with thus far went here for their internal medicine residency. They keenly remember what it was like to be an intern here, and have struck the right balance of growing my autonomy in clinical decision-making and offering support at the same time.

Tell us about your co-residents. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
COVID19 has made it more challenging to meet people, to state the obvious. Despite this, our class connected soon after Match Day through GroupMe and Zoom hang out sessions. A fair number of my co-interns are familiar with Durham and were very quick to offer advice on moving and things to do. I have been getting to know my co-residents through small gatherings over tasty food. I’m excited to continue meeting and connecting with my class this year.

About Duke and Durham

What has surprised you most about Duke?
It is not necessarily surprising, but I have been amazed by residents and attendings I have worked with so far. I have been impressed by their competent clinical decision-making, ease with leading teams, interactions with patients, and how supportive and welcoming they have been to us interns. The strength of the Duke Program shows through in the physicians they have become, and I look forward to growing into that role.

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Coming from rural New Hampshire for medical school, the warm NC weather and existence of Target sold the area for me. More seriously, the area seems to have something for everyone and has a fantastic cost-of-living. As a foodie and adventurous eater, there are plenty of great restaurants here, and as a movie buff, I am looking forward to exploring the Carolina Theater and Durham Performing Arts Center when they open back up.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
I have been impressed by the diversity of patients at Duke and know that this diversity will help me become a better clinician. There is a growing Spanish speaking population here, which is a draw for those who want to practice their Spanish. Duke University brings people from all over the world to the Triangle area, and I find that there is something for everyone in terms of food, arts, and outdoor activities.

Where did you choose to live and why?
I chose to live in an apartment complex on Ninth Street. I looked for a place that would be close enough to the hospital (it’s an easy 5-minute drive), but far enough away that I could explore a different part of Durham. The area here is bustling and within walking distance of multiple restaurants, shops, and two grocery stores. It has been a convenient and comfortable place to live, and I would definitely recommend it.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
Durham is an interesting, comfortable, and low-stress place to live. Finding housing was straightforward, even during the challenges of COVID. If you are looking for an apartment, there are many options close to the hospital which are affordable and with multiple amenities. Some of my co-interns bought houses which highlights how good the cost-of-living is here. For longer trips, it is easy to travel outside of Durham, with RDU airport less than 30 minutes away, beaches 3 hours east, and mountains 3 hours west.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
Watching and critiquing films, from quiet indie movies to sci-fi blockbusters. Exploring street food, with memorable experiences including trying ants in Colombia, guinea pig in Peru, and arguably the best pad thai in Bangkok. Ready to travel post-COVID. In my spare time, I enjoy cooking, creative writing, reading, tennis, piano, and spending time with loved ones.

House Staff