Michael Smith, MD
Where did you attend college/university?
University of Rochester
Where did you attend medical school?
SUNY - Upstate
Reflections on the Duke program
What were you looking for in a residency program?
When I was looking for a residency program, I knew I wanted a medium sized program that had the resources and opportunities typically found at a major medical complex. I thrive best when I know my colleagues and supervisors on a personal basis, which is a luxury not always found at the larger programs. However, I did not want to sacrifice the opportunities for unique patient populations and scholastic growth solely for the size of the program. Tiptoeing this line would be more difficult than I imagined. Thankfully, Duke is at an interesting intersection of being both a medium-sized program but placed in a resource rich market with opportunities at every turn. Being part of such an extended medical network at Duke has provided us with a surplus of endeavors to participate in both at the medical campus and in the community at large. However, with a program of 15 categorical residents, the camaraderie between residents was instant (we love each other!) and the attention from faculty was individualized. It is unique to find a program with the cohesion of a family that is also on the fore-front of pediatric innovation, but the choice to maintain Duke Pediatric's size in the setting of the academic richness of the Triangle has accomplished both.
Duke University and Durham
What's the best about living in Durham and the Triangle?
Moving to the Triangle was a remarkably seamless transition. Having spent my entire life in the Upstate New York tundra, I was worried about making the long trek outside of my frozen bubble. Thankfully, the Triangle is an area with so many thriving academic centers and that is expanding so rapidly that it has a surprisingly broad cross-section of demographics. People come from all over the country to work in the Triangle, giving the area a very welcoming feel to newcomers. The best part about living in the Triangle is that anything you could want is just a short drive away. Situated halfway between the mountains to the west and the ocean to the east, a weekend can easily become a mini-adventure for exploring new terrain. And for those that love the inside and air-conditioning, Raleigh and Durham are only a handful of miles away and have great opportunities for a night on the town. The diverse geography is matched by a diverse climate with all four seasons being present (although winter here is adorable). The Triangle has a little bit for everyone and has a welcoming spirit to people from all walks of life; relocation could not have been easier and I am thankful for the change.