Pooja
Patel
Pooja  Patel
Senior Assistant Resident
House Staff

Start Year: 2020

Basics

Hometown
Newburgh, IN

Where did you attend university/college?
Indiana University Bloomington

Where did you attend medical school?
Indiana University School of Medicine

What are your career goals?
I am hoping to become a gastroenterologist/hepatologist. Ever since my early exposure as a third year medical student with acute liver failure and GI bleeds, I fell in love with the diverse pathology GI as a specialty can offer. I hope to also incorporate medical education and global health into my practice in the future as well!

"The attendings on the teaching services are skilled clinicians and do a great job balancing educational opportunities with our well-being as residents."

-Pooja Patel

Reflections on the Duke Program

What were you looking for in a residency program?
First and foremost I was looking for a program where residents formed a strong bond with each other and strong sense of camaraderie. Upon starting, I immediately felt part of the #DukeFam that I had heard so much about. I was also looking for a program that worked with highly complex medical patients coming from diverse socioeconomic backgrounds.

What are the strengths of the Duke Program?
Even though our intern class started our training in the middle of the pandemic, there was an easy camaraderie between me and my co-interns starting day one. Dr. Zaas and the associate program directors are some of the finest educators in the country and make it a point to emphasis our well-being with daily emails that revolve around positive aspects of our life outside of the hospital. I'm constantly surprised at the level of talent and humility I have encountered both in my co-interns, program leadership as well as attendings I have worked with. All of this in combination makes each tough clinical rotation uniquely rewarding.

What are your observations about the relationships between faculty and house staff?
The faculty are very approachable and as a resident, it is easy to find both clinical and research mentors. The attendings on the teaching services are skilled clinicians and do a great job balancing educational opportunities with our well-being as residents.

About Duke University and Durham

What is the best thing about living in Durham and the Triangle?
The best part about living in Durham and the Triangle is definitely the abundance of diverse food options in combination with opportunities to get outside. There are several free state parks a short distance from Duke's campus that are amazing to explore on a post-call day or short weekend. Durham is also very accessible to a TON of beaches as well as the Smokey Mountains to visit on those golden weekends!

Where did you choose to live and why?
I have chosen to live in an apartment complex about about 4-5 miles from downtown. I wanted to be close to the hospital yet be far away enough to feel relaxed and surrounded by nature.

What advice would you give to someone looking to move to Durham?
Growing up in Indiana and spending most of my adult life there thus far, I was looking to move somewhere different for residency. Yet, I was immediately drawn in by how Durham and NC in general had a similar Midwest charm. The people are very friendly and there is a strong sense of community throughout Duke and Durham! You have to decide what really matters to you in a place that you live. For me, being able to be close to nature, with easy parking and commute to work and affordability were all criteria for me. Overall, Durham was a very easy city to move to!

 What are your interests outside of medicine?
I love to be outside whether its hiking, biking, or spending time at the amazing Carolina beaches. I also enjoy trying new cuisines and craft beer, both of which Durham has plenty of!

House Staff