Matthew  Townsend
Senior Assistant Resident
House Staff

Start Year: 2021


Chappaqua, NY

Where did you attend college/university?
Yale University

Where did you attend medical school?
Harvard Medical School

If applicable, what other degrees do you hold and from what institutions?
-Master of Science in Medical Anthropology, University of Oxford 
-Master of Public Policy, University of Oxford

What are your career goals?
Academic gastroenterology / hepatology

"I am blown away by the culture of humility. The faculty and my housestaff colleagues are so accomplished and knowledgeable, yet down to earth. The patient always comes first."

-Matthew Townsend

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
I was looking for a program that was clinically rigorous and prioritized resident growth, with leadership I truly admired and co-residents who felt like a team or a family, in a great place to live.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
The 4+2 schedule balances robust clinical experiences with built-in "diastole." From the top down, everyone buys into the "Duke Family" culture -- people work hard, are unafraid to ask for help when needed, and are focused on growth and supporting each other.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
Everyone is incredibly dedicated to education alongside superlative patient care. As an intern, I feel my perspective is respected as that of a colleague.

Tell us about your co-residents. What has helped you connect, support each other, and form friendships?
What a crew! On days off, whether meeting at a brewery or for a run or hike, people are always down to unwind.

What has surprised you most about Duke?
I am blown away by the culture of humility. The faculty and my housestaff colleagues are so accomplished and knowledgeable, yet down to earth. The patient always comes first.

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Coming from Boston, I really appreciate the lower cost of living and how accessible everything is. There are a surprising number of green spaces and great restaurants within a 10-minute drive. Parking is free and traffic is nonexistent. My partner and I could afford a house. By living somewhere where there is less friction at the margins, I've been more able to bring 100% to my residency training without putting everything else on hold.

How does the Triangle appeal to people of diverse backgrounds?
The Triangle has a welcome-all attitude with the energy that comes from tremendous growth in the area. Durham, Chapel Hill, and Raleigh each have different vibes. Most importantly, people are friendly and genuinely kind.

Where did you choose to live and why?
South Durham - my partner and I were looking for a quiet neighborhood convenient to not only Duke and downtown Durham but also Chapel Hill and Raleigh.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
Try to visit in person and talk to current residents if you can! Each part of town has a different feel, depending on what you're looking for.

What are your interests outside of medicine?
Marathon running, basketball, hiking, gardening, and theater at the DPAC.

House Staff