Residency Corner

Resident Spotlight

Kathryn Pearson, MD, CA-2Kathryn Pearson, MD, CA-2

Growing up, I was a serious violinist and was playing semiprofessionally by the time I was in high school. When it came time to apply to college, I auditioned at conservatories and music departments with the intention of becoming a professional musician. Ultimately, Duke was the best choice because the university was committed to supporting me in academics and music, while providing a stellar experience in both areas. I had a wonderful experience here as a music major and have maintained many relationships within that department, but started to feel that I would prefer to play violin on the side instead of pursuing it professionally. My first exposure to medicine came during my freshman year at Duke when I volunteered as a musician at the hospital. The hospital setting piqued my interest and I started to explore medicine and took some of the required pre-med courses. The more I looked into medicine as a future career, the more I felt that it would be both fulfilling and exciting.

As a medical student at Johns Hopkins, I decided to take the anesthesia elective following a summer shadowing experience as an MS-1. I chose anesthesia because I wanted to be able to take care of a wide variety of patients and enjoyed the hands-on approach to medicine in the OR. I also had a lot of great mentors in the department of anesthesia who influenced my decision.

Now that I’m a CA-2, I have found that the same skills essential for success as a musician are important as an anesthesia resident. I used to spend a lot of time analyzing mistakes in my performances of a piece in order to avoid the same slip-ups in subsequent performances. I often find myself going through this same routine as a resident since I am working to improve on procedures that I wasn’t doing several months ago!

Lori Jones, MD, CA-3Lori Jones, MD, CA-3

Duke and Durham have been part of my intellectual, professional and personal growth since being dropped off on East Campus (shoutout to Blackwell, one of the only air-conditioned dorms at that time) as an undergraduate, and I’ve truly come to think of both as home. The similarities between the gothic architecture of the buildings on Duke’s campus with that of the National Cathedral near my parents’ home in Washington, DC gave my new surroundings a subtle sense of familiarity, which helped quell some of my freshman nerves. Also helpful were the ample depictions of Dr. Samuel Dubois Cook (political scientist and first African-American professor at Duke in 1966), who had become a familiar figure in my upbringing as the president of Dillard University, where my father graduated as first in his class and with the “Samuel Dubois Cook/Benjamin E. Mayes Most Outstanding Student Award” in 1982. So, in a way I have always felt that I belong here.

I decided to major in English after finding the mandatory (and dreaded, by word of mouth) “Writing 20” freshman seminar unexpectedly enjoyable. I found the use of prose to carefully construct universes around people (fictional or otherwise) and their lives – and the triumph, despair, resiliency, and so on therein – to be exhilarating. And, it felt as though by telling these stories that I was paying homage to the persons being depicted.

I went into my undergraduate studies knowing that I was interested in science and medicine but struggled with how to unite this with my newer interest in humanities/narratives – until my sophomore year, when I registered for an elective titled “Literature and Medical Ethics.” The professor of this course became a close mentor, and deepened my engagement with topics that have continued to be of interest to me throughout my education and medical career thus far; namely, social determinants of health and health inequities.

Ultimately, I chose Duke Anesthesiology for many reasons, but largely because: (1) I found that, as a field, anesthesiology is at the forefront of many patient outcome-centered initiatives, including quality improvement, of which equity is one of the defining principles; (2) Duke is a national leader in the provision of this care; and (3) Duke has always felt like home to me. Here, I’ve been able to expand my knowledge and technical skills under the mentorship of truly exceptional clinicians and researchers and continue to make the kind of lifelong friendships (with mentors and fellow residents alike) that I had as an undergraduate. I knew that residency was going to be challenging – that it had to be, if it was to make a life-and-death-decision-maker out of me – and I wanted to do that in an environment that I knew would be supportive when it mattered. So, it kind of just felt like coming home.

Alumni Shoutout

William Fox, MD

Where are you now? I am active duty in the Air Force and stationed at Joint Base Elmendorf- Richardson (JBER), Alaska. I am the Critical Care Air Transport Team (CCATT) medical director. Currently, I am deployed overseas as a physician in the Air Force’s CCATT and responsible for transporting critically ill patients onboard military aircraft back stateside.

Why did you choose anesthesiology as your specialty? I chose to become an anesthesiologist because I enjoy being involved in the intervention process and seeing the immediate results of actions. Whether it is managing the hemodynamics of very ill patients in the OR or continuing to advance their care in the ICU (and ultimately following them until discharge), I enjoy being able to make a meaningful impact on their lives.

How did your training prepare you for being an anesthesiologist in a pandemic? By taking care of ill, complex patients at Duke, I feel that I had years of experience condensed into my training. Being able to manage airways, hemodynamics and understanding the pathophysiology of ARDS allowed me to become a consultant for the military hospital on managing COVID-19 in the OR and ICU.

What is your greatest takeaway over the past year as a practicing anesthesiologist? Always be your patient’s best advocate.

Advice for our residents graduating from our program? Take what you have learned at Duke to go out into the world and make a difference

Eun Eoh, MD

Where are you now? After I finished the Adult Cardiothoracic Anesthesiology Fellowship at Duke, I joined a private practice group in Austin, Texas called US Anesthesia Partners, formerly known as Capitol Anesthesiology. I am part of the cardiac division, so I perform pump cases, but I also take care of all patients ranging from healthy pediatric to vasculopaths. As a new partner, I had the opportunity to become involved with the recruitment committee and currently am one of the recruitment chairs for our group. It has been really neat being part of a group that believes in sponsoring their new partners to be successful. There were six of us who started together, and we call ourselves the “Six Pack.”

Why did you choose anesthesiology as your specialty? I am a first generation physician who grew up in a small cow town. I think I got lucky – I became a physician because that seemed like a way I could help people. I chose anesthesiology because those were the physicians I wanted to be like – calm, reliable and always willing to lend a hand. I went into cardiothoracic anesthesiology not only for the complex and interesting cases, but also because the attendings in that division are brilliant and resilient clinicians who genuinely enjoy their work. I am lucky to say, three years into it, I still really enjoy practicing anesthesia.

How has your training at Duke Anesthesiology accelerated your practice thus far? The training at Duke is excellent! Coupled with great mentorship, I was very well prepared for “the real world.” Duke’s large case volume allows residents to provide anesthesia for bread and butter cases, as well as more complex vascular, neuro and cardiac cases. By CA-3 year, we had completed well over the GME case requirements, so we were able to hone in on our interests and skills with electives. My experiences as a chief resident, making schedules and supervising junior residents and CRNAs (while on call with attending back-up), have been useful tools in my practice.

What do you miss the most about Duke/Duke Anesthesiology? I definitely miss being able to pop into Dr. Thompson’s office to gab with her throughout the day. She is still a wonderful friend and mentor who I keep in touch with. Her greatest asset (besides her sense of humor) is her ability to really listen and hear what someone needs and then giving productive advice. Her career and clinical advice has really helped me navigate the tricky waters of private practice. Her support, empathy and resilience as a female physician is priceless and are traits I try to emulate in my work.

Advice for our residents graduating from our program? Keep learning! Try new (safe) things in the OR. It’s easy to get into a routine and be comfortable. Use your CA-3 year to really hone in on your skills. Lean in: talk to your surgical colleagues, do the extra fiberoptic intubation, ask to place a subclavian, be inquisitive. You will be a better anesthesiologist because you understand what is going on across the drapes.

New and Noteworthy

New and Noteworthy Infographic

Annemarie Thompson, MD

Program Director
Annemarie Thompson, MD

“The residency program is the crown jewel of our department; our residents represent the future of our specialty and become the strongest ambassadors of our commitment to perioperative medicine and leadership. In the era of a pandemic, their leadership skills and poise in the face of uncertainty have been remarkable as they have grown to be compassionate physicians, lifelong learners, and leaders who understand there is strength in flexibility.”


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