Jonathan  Kusner
Senior Assistant Resident
House Staff


Iowa City, Iowa

Loyola University Chicago

Medical School
Harvard Medical School

What are your career goals?
I hope to focus clinically on the management of cardiovascular disease, specifically structural heart disease. Following training, I would like to work in an academic setting to perform structural heart interventions and round in the cardiovascular intensive care unit. Academically, I hope to lean on my background in device development and venture evaluation/formation to develop/contribute to an academic innovation hub where I would help to identify and qualify unmet medical needs and work with teams to translate their solutions. I would like to remain primarily clinical as I believe my innovation work is best informed and supported by my continued pursuit of clinical excellence.

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
When evaluating residency programs, I was looking for programs with a proven track record of developing strong clinicians and a culture in which academic work rested on excellent clinical training. I sought programs with an explicit mentorship framework paired with a culture of collaboration and career development that included work-life integration as one of its pillars. I also looked for programs associated with broad clinical enterprises that would have mentors and resources to accommodate wherever my interests took me.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
The Duke Program excels in all of the above. Duke trainees are grounded in clinical excellence. Although their interests are diverse and deep in other domains, I appreciate the program's focus on developing trainees as clinicians first. As I have witnessed in my peers, from this foundation other interests blossom. Duke takes mentorship and career development seriously. As trainees, we have close touch, and regular scheduled meetings, with program mentors as well as individually identified career mentors. I have felt that these meetings have worked to first understand me as an individual, clarify my interests, and then guide me on a pathway towards growth. I am most impressed that this growth is not prescribed into any one "mold" or "path"; although these tracks are available at Duke, I have felt the freedom to develop a trajectory that suits me individually and have felt rewarded for pursuing excellence in my own way. Lastly, Duke is a city unto itself; trainees in the IM program have access to a diverse set of faculty and peer mentors to explore and foster interests. Beyond the medical center, being located on the same campus as the undergrad school and many of the graduate schools offers a unique opportunity to develop interdisciplinary skills and collaboration.

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
The BEST thing is difficult to pull out because there are so many frontrunners; the incredible things about durham include the greenery (spring blooms very early and the diversity of different flowering plants ensures color throughout summer and into fall, the pines tower so tall that, together with the trees under them, two canopies form and give great depth to the forests [which are everywhere!]). The people are grounded and kind, there are many places that are cozy and great for hanging out - the city is very easy to live in (no traffic, free/cheap parking, places often have in-unit laundry, etc) and is generally very affordable on a resident salary. The food is very good and there are tons of opportunities to shop local (farmers markets, CSA's). Its a lovely place.

House Staff