Hannah  Schwennesen
Junior Assistant Resident
House Staff

Start Year: 2021


Gainesville, Virginia

Where did you attend college/university?
Duke University

Where did you attend medical school?
University of Pennsylvania

What are your career goals?
I am passionate about health equity and plan to focus my career on improving outcomes for vulnerable populations. I’m still undecided on my specialty, but right now I’m interested in Pulmonology/Critical Care or Cardiology.

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a program with well-rounded and rigorous training that prioritized resident well-being and provided many opportunities to engage with the community served by the hospital. Duke was the perfect fit!

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
Duke's greatest strength is the culture of support. Dr. Zaas and the rest of the program leadership have created a program that truly feels like a family.

Tell us about your co-residents. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
My co-residents are incredibly smart and humble and have great respect for their patients. They also have a great sense of humor (much needed during intern year). The 4+2 schedule has given us the chance to explore Durham together during our outpatient time, and the inpatient schedule allows for lots of support/laughs while at the hospital!

What has surprised you most about Duke?
Everyone at Duke (co-residents, attendings, program leadership, interdisciplinary teams) is committed to supporting the growth of trainees, which has made the start of intern year much less intimidating.

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
The trees! The Triangle offers endless opportunities to enjoy nature, even within 10 minutes of the hospital.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
The diversity of employment/educational opportunities in the Triangle attracts people from all over the country and the world. The close proximity of both urban and rural areas also results in a diverse population in Durham and the rest of the Triangle.

Where did you choose to live and why?
I chose to live in a townhouse near the hospital -- I have a great commute to the hospital and can walk to Duke Forest in less than a mile!

What are your interests outside of medicine?
I spend a lot of my free time running or hiking in the woods with my dog. My boyfriend and I also love to cook and explore new restaurants!

House Staff