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Meet your chief resident: Ryan Spotts, MD

Monday, September 3, 2018
Ryan Spotts, MD

Ryan Spotts, MD, is one of the 2018-19 co-chief residents for the Pediatrics Residency program. Ryan is a graduate of the The Pennsylvania State University and received his MD at Drexel University College of Medicine. As chief resident, Ryan provides a voice and an advocate for the pediatric residents. He also serves as the link between the residents, GME, and hospital leadership.

How did you end up at Duke?
I grew up in a small town and was looking for a place where I could enjoy the benefits of a smaller community and still practice in a large academic environment.

How did you decide to become a pediatrician? What about the field interests you the most?
Like everybody else, I never want to grow up!  I love the interactions I get to have with the children as I guide their family through the predictable stages of development. 

What are your main responsibilities as chief resident?
My main responsibility is to provide a voice and to advocate for the pediatric residents.  Rachel and I serve as the link between the residents, GME, and hospital leadership.

Do you remember a key teaching moment from your training that helped you become a better doctor?
I think it’s difficult to focus on one moment.  Residency is a collection of experiences both good and bad.  We take lessons from each patient encounter that over time mold us into the physicians we one day hope to be.

What is your approach to leading and working with residents?
I really just try to be myself.  I try to provide an example of dedication to the profession and kindness while also allowing others to see my vulnerability.  Physicians historically have struggled to accept their limitations and knowledge gaps.  My hope is that I provide a safe learning environment by embracing my own imperfections.  There is certainly humor within the struggle for perfection!

How will you give your residents the confidence they need to be successful?
I am a small part of a larger Duke Children’s team that together helps to provide an environment of learning and mentorship.

What makes you a good fit for this role?
I hope to provide an approachable and relatable presence to the program. 

What assets did you look for in your chief resident that you plan to bring forward during your chief year?
I think some of things I looked for in my chief residents were openness, honesty, and good communication skills.  It always felt good to have a person in a leadership position that really cared for you as a person and understood your concerns. 

What do you want to do after your chief resident year?
I am passionately dedicated to being the best father and husband I can possibly be.  Oh, and I may dabble in outpatient academic pediatrics too.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the department?
My wife Moira and I love cooking.  We spend the majority of our free time buying fun ingredients, cooking meals that are way too complicated, and cleaning dishes for far too many hours each day.  I also am a scratch golfer.  And by scratch I mean I basically hit every single tree on the golf course and lie a lot about my actual triple digit scores.  Like I said earlier, there is humor in the struggle for perfection!

Is there anything else that you’d like to share with the Pediatrics faculty or residents?
I am nervously awaiting the birth of our first little girl in October.  Prayers and well-wishes are always welcome!