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Resident Roundup: John Damianos

October 15, 2020
by Amy Anderson

Meet John Damianos, from North Hampton, New Hampshire. He attended The Dartmouth Geisel School of Medicine, and is a PGY-1 in the Traditional Internal Medicine Residency Program.

What led you to pursue a career in medicine?

I always knew medicine was my calling. My dad is a physician and my mom is a nurse, so I grew up with tremendous exposure to medicine. As I grew older, I realized that medicine is the perfect marriage between science and humanities, and provides practically endless possibilities including clinical work, research, teaching, public health advocacy, and writing. This unique diversity of opportunities united by the common goal of advancing health, especially in a time of ongoing health disparities and barriers to optimal healthcare, affords a humbling privilege to partner with patients and colleagues alike in furthering our knowledge of health and disease to heal on an individual and population level. I am grateful for this opportunity every day.

What are your goals after you complete residency? Where do you see yourself?

My clinical interest is in the gut microbiome and its relation to human health and disease. I plan to pursue gastroenterology as a specialty, focusing on either inflammatory bowel disease or gastrointestinal motility. I am passionate about teaching, medical education, and writing, so I plan to stay in academic medicine.

Why did you choose Yale IMed for your residency?

Yale provides a residency experience par excellence that includes all the key aspects of an ideal internal medicine program. The clinical education is rigorous yet supportive. The teaching is exemplary. The opportunities for research and other experiences are diverse and accessible. The connection to Yale University and its greater academic community are intellectually enriching and invaluable. This is all on a background of a caring and collaborative community, united by our shared purpose of becoming our best selves in the service of the healing art. It is truly this community of exceptionally accomplished yet humble, motivated yet collaborative, individuals that convinced me that Yale is the place for me.

Describe your experience at Yale IMed in 3 words.

Stimulating, supportive, engaging.

What is your fondest memory at Yale thus far?

During a particularly busy night rotation, a group of other night interns and I would go to the hospital's outdoor healing garden to have snacks and watch the sunrise!

Who has had the greatest influence on you, and why?

My family has had, and continues to have tremendous influence over who I am as both a person and a physician. My dad, a physician, exemplified the ideal doctor for me, and is to this day my role model. My mom, a nurse, taught the virtues of humility and selflessness. My younger twin brothers are my biggest supporters and always have my back. And finally my wife, with her endless love and patience.

If you could say anything to your younger self, what would you say?

Begin with the end in mind.

What's a fun fact about you?

Since I was a linguistics major in college, I can pronounce any sound from any human language- even clicks!

What is one piece of advice you'd give someone who is applying for residency?

At the end of the day, most residency programs will get you roughly toward your end goal, whatever that may be. Your job in selecting a program then, is to find a place where you will thrive. Tune into that gut feeling of "this is the place for me." Residency, wherever you go, will be challenging; find a program where you can accept those challenges with comfort in knowing you are supported by colleagues and friends. Speak to as many residents as you can to see if a particular program's environment elicits that gut feeling for you.

What have been your biggest challenges and accomplishments since the beginning of the pandemic?

Since the beginning of the pandemic, I matched at Yale, graduated from medical school at Dartmouth, got married, moved to a brand new city, and began my life as a new physician. I have faced many of the same challenges as most during the pandemic including the toll of social isolation, the anxiety about personal and family health, and the uncertainty of what is to come. But through meeting my phenomenal co-interns, co-residents, program leadership, and hospital faculty, I have comfortably acclimated to life in New Haven, and am excited to continue growing and thriving!

The Department of Internal Medicine at Yale is among the nation's premier departments, bringing together an elite cadre of clinicians, investigators and educators in one of the world's top medical schools. To learn more, visit Internal Medicine.

Submitted by Amy Anderson on October 15, 2020