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Resident Spotlight: Jordan Mayberry, MD

Wednesday, December 7, 2016
J Mayberry

Second-year resident (or JAR--Junior Assistant Resident) Jordan Mayberry, MD, is the subject of this week’s spotlight interview. Mayberry talks to us about the sense of accomplishment from exam findings that led him to become a neurologist, a close call in the emergency department during his first day as a resident, and adjusting to the Research Triangle from Oklahoma (downside: farther from family; upsides: better brunches and fewer tornadoes).

How did you decide to become a neurologist? What interests you most about the field?
I originally went into medical school thinking that I was going to be a surgeon. I liked the concept that a patient comes to you with a problem and you fixed their problem immediately with a procedure. I had no experience in neurology and I was always told that neurology was more of a field of “diagnosis and adios,” without therapy for most of their patients. Then during my third year of medical school I went through my neurology rotation and it was anything but the stereotype listed above.

Within the first two weeks of my rotation I watched a six-year-old girl with aphasia and right hemibody weakness speak and regain strength on her right side after receiving t-PA, IV steroids dissipate symptoms of a multiple sclerosis exacerbation and AEDs stop a generalized tonic-clonic seizure. I love how neurology is one of the few fields that can localize a lesion just from a physical exam. I also enjoy looking at images to confirm your exam findings and the sense of accomplishment when they are right. I am excited to see where neurology leads me but for now I am interested in general neurology.   

Where are you now in your residency? What does a typical day for you look like?
I am currently a JAR, which is a second-year resident and first year neurology resident. A typical day on an inpatient rotation consists of getting into the hospital at ~7 a.m., getting signout from the overnight team, checking on patient prior to daily rounds, then round with the team (including an attending, chief resident, interns, pharmacist, and students), noon conference, then afternoons consist of note writing, checking back in with patient and admitting any new patients, finally ~6:30PM signing out to the overnight team. Oh and having 2-3 cups of coffee to help get me through the day.

What’s the most memorable experience you’ve had so far as a resident?
During my first day as a neurology resident I was on the stroke pager. I received a stroke code page and ran down to the ED for the stroke code. I was expecting to see my upper level resident down there as they are suppose to receive all the stroke code pages as well but they were not there. Apparently the paging system had malfunctioned that day and they never got the page. Knowing that a stroke is a time sensitive issue I started to run the stroke code by myself. The code went smooth without any major issues and I felt accomplished that I was able to handle that situation.

What do you hope to do after you finish your residency? What’s your “dream job”?
After residency I hope to go to fellowship, but at this time I am unsure which fellowship. Right now my dream job is to become a neurologist, and I will figure out the details once I figure out my specialty. I imaging I will be in an academic institute as I enjoy teaching and interesting cases.

You came to Duke from the University of Oklahoma, where you earned your MD and bachelor’s degree. What do you miss most about the sooner state? What surprised you the most about the Triangle?
I miss many things about my home state which include: family, friends, University of Oklahoma football, OKC Thunder basketball games, and good Mexican food. The Triangle has great spots for brunch and seafood, similar cost of living to Oklahoma, and I do not have to worry about tornadoes in North Carolina, which is also a very dog-friendly state.

Outside of work you enjoy hiking and the outdoors. What’s the most beautiful place you’ve found in North Carolina?
My wife and I went to Boone, NC for a weekend getaway and rented a cabin during the fall. This was a beautiful place especially during that time of year. We visited Grandfather Mountain, Asheville and Hanging rock during that trip. Also we have been to the Outer Banks during the summer and loved the beach at Pine Knoll Shores and down in Wrightsville Beach.

What other passions or hobbies do you have outside of the residency program?
I enjoy the outdoors including fishing. I made some great friends during my intern year and occasionally we will get together and go fishing at some of the local lakes. Sometime we are successful but it is mostly about the time off spent with friends and relaxing. I also enjoy watching sporting events with my wife and friends, including Durham Bulls baseball and Duke men’s basketball.

Mayberry enjoys a visit to Hanging Rock State Park.

Mayberry beach
Mayberry and his wife Monica pose during a trip to Pine Knoll Shores.