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Resident Spotlight: Yvonne Baker, MD

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

For this week’s Resident Spotlight, we talk to Senior Assistant Resident (SAR) Yvonne Baker, MD. Baker discusses long work hours made up for by great working relationships, the benefits and drawbacks of having an English degree, and her future as a Duke neuromuscular fellow in 2017.

What are your responsibilities as a Senior Assistant Resident ? What does a typical day for you look like?
SAR year is our chance to get exposure to all of the non-acute and/or sub-specialized aspects of neurology. We get to rotate on headache, neurodegenerative disease (movement disorders, dementia), neuromuscular disease, EEG, and pediatric neurology. We can also have some elective time to explore other areas like brain and muscle pathology.

What have you enjoyed most about your residency experiences so far? Can you describe one or two moments that were especially memorable?
When people think of residency, they tend to think of long hours, difficult lessons, and lack of sleep. That’s all there for sure– but you get used to it, and now when I reflect upon residency so far I think about the wonderful people I’ve gotten to know. My fellow residents, especially, are some of my favorite people and they make it enjoyable to show up for work in the morning. I also very much enjoy the congenial relationship between residents and attendings — it makes for a much a fun, fruitful learning environment.

You earned your undergraduate degree in English. How have those studies benefited or influenced your current work?
I didn’t realize how important it is in medicine to be able to write a coherent note. The downside to that I spend too much time on my notes and they’re way too long!

What are your plans for after you complete your residency?
I’m going to be a neuromuscular fellow at Duke starting in June 2017!  I’m thrilled to have the opportunity to complete my training at Duke and to stay in Durham.

What’s one new thing you have planned for 2016?
Now that I have more time, I’ve finally been able to read neuro review texts at night. I’m also exercising more and I’ve started going to Yoga classes– something I’ve wanted to do for years but never had the time for!

Have you recently read any books, articles, or websites that would be of interest to others in the Department?
I’m currently reading three books for fun: The Old Man and the Sea by Ernest Hemingway, Homer and Langley by E.L. Doctorow, and The Heart is a Lonely Hunter by Carson McCullers.  I’m also re-reading Dr. Bhatti’s book on neuropthalmology., the Handbook of Neuro-Imaging for the Ophthalmologist.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the Department?
I love hiking, gardening, skiing, biking, playing tennis — anything that I can do to be outside!