Lee McDaniel Jr., MD
Where did you attend college/university?
Johns Hopkins University
Where did you attend medical school?
Reflections on the Duke program
What were you looking for in a residency program?
I first considered the culture of the program and the location--would I be happy living somewhere? Would I like my colleagues? Every great house needs a strong foundation. Next I looked at the pedagogical quality of the program and the hospital, diversity of patients, and types of services offered. Finally, I love research, so I wanted to assess how each program incorporates research into their training.
What are you involved in at Duke that particularly interests you (i.e. committees, research, interest groups, QI, etc)?
I am a Duke pediatric research scholar, which means the main emphasis outside of core residency requirements is research. I am extremely passionate about research, particularly big data and genomics. Duke offers such amazing institutional support combined with a great number of world class investigators.
What are the strengths of the Duke program?
Duke is a major regional hospital; patients with more complex conditions from North Carolina and neighboring states are sent here. At the same time, Durham has a rich history and multicultural background, so the breadth of socioeconomic and cultural backgrounds of patients seen here prepares me to serve a large variety of patient populations. All that is to say: Duke is strong both in the hard science of medicine and the softer aspects of patient care and understanding.
About Duke and Durham
What's best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
I've lived in many different places in my life--rural Virginia, rural Maryland, New York City, Paris, Philadelphia, Baltimore, and Washington, DC, so I have a lot to compare it to. The people of Durham are easygoing, down to earth, and friendly. Traffic is way less than most places I've lived, so you can get anywhere in about 15 minutes with minimal stress, even during rush hour. As someone who enjoys both city and rural living, I've found Durham has a nice mix of rural virtues such as parks and trails, but also urban virtues like restaurants, science museums, and breweries. I enjoy the pace of life. The weather is far more pleasant than up north.
What advice would you give about moving to Durham?
It's bigger than it looks. Trips that I thought would be walkable on the map are further than they appear (so I bicycle instead!). Whereas in most states an out-of-state driver's license is swapped for an in-state one easily enough, to get a driver's license from out of state in NC, there is a test component where you must identify signs by shape alone (without words or pictures), so be sure to study up on all the sign shapes and colors.
What do you like to do outside of work?
I love doing mechanical work, whether that's soldering wires on my electric bicycle or putting a new distributor on my car. As a trained computer scientist, I still dabble with technology, programming, and Linux. Otherwise, I follow a lot of the standard hobbies like running, travel, restaurants, cooking and photography.
What is something interesting/surprising about you?
I'm a farm boy, was president of my 4H club and would show pigs at the fair every year.