Choose one word that best describes your work style
Effective. I aim to be productive, efficient, thoughtful, and caring with every effort.
What is your device of choice?
iPhone. If a task can be achieved on my phone, I will find a way.
Favorite apps & software?
For social media, I use Facebook,Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram.
I read the Doximity app for its featured articles and to look at my call schedule. The articles are very relevant to my neurosurgery practice. I read the PubMed app for original clinical and research articles and references.
What’s your secret to staying productive?
I am constantly setting daily and long term goals and work hard to accomplish all of them in the most efficient and efficacious fashion.Taking care of patients motivates me to be very effective. I do everything in my power to provide excellent care to my patients, and the rewards of these interactions and interventions keep me going.
What do you wish you knew when you were younger?
I wish I had the skills and wisdom of experience at an earlier age. I could achieve more in life skipping all of the standard learning curves. Saying that, I would never give up the journey and being a lifelong learner.
Who is your mentor?
In residency, fellowship, and generally, at every stage of my education and clinical practice, I have had the fortune to have multiple mentors to inspire and encourage me to be the best that I can be. I live by the motto “Everyone has something to teach me,” and I try to learn from every person I encounter.
What’s the first thing you do when you wake up?
I spend time with my family. Next, I usually check into the electronic health record portal on my phone to answer any questions or concerns from my patients.
What’s the last thing you do before you go to sleep?
Similarly, I check on my patients one final time for any concerns or questions or new test results. I also read the news, articles about current events, and med tech articles before I go to bed.
How do you decompress?
I enjoy spending quality time with my three children. I like doing athletic activities with them and reading to them. I particularly enjoy entertaining them with elaborate fictional stories I create nightly.
Also, I have an additional role outside of my main one as a neurosurgeon at Duke University: I work on multiple TV shows. It provides great balance in my life, and I find it very relaxing. It also allows me to use my medical knowledge creatively to make TV more accurate and sometimes even more entertaining.
I can’t live without...
Communication... just being connected. I’ve given out my cell phone to patients for over 10 years, and I like being there for my patients whenever they need some help. Taking a short call when someone is in need and just being available can really make a difference and can improve quality of care.
What are you currently reading?
I am constantly reading the neurosurgery and medical literature for improving clinical care and quality, for my outcomes research, and even for a good TV story. I enjoy reading nonfiction as well.
What’s your favorite book?
I enjoy books about understanding the art and practice of medicine.
Do you have a favorite song?
I used to be a DJ. I play the violin as well, and I have very wide musical interests. I listen to and am moved by practically all genres of music. I have different favorites based on different circumstances, such as operating versus exercising.
What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?
Early in life, I was told to try to learn something from everyone I met. I try to learn a skill, fact, or lesson from each and every conversation or interaction.