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Brent Duran, DO, MPH, discusses overcoming imposter syndrome and being a positive role model to his learners
Brent Duran, DO, MPH
Assistant Professor at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC)–Wichita
Internal Medicine–Pediatrics Hospitalist
— MEDICAL SCHOOL —
Kansas City University
— INTERNAL MEDICINE RESIDENCY —
Med-Peds Residency—KU School of Medicine-Wichita
What is your current position?
I am an Assistant Professor at Kansas University Medical Center (KUMC)–Wichita and an Internal Medicine–Pediatrics Hospitalist.
Where did you attend medical school and postgrad training?
Medical school: Kansas City University; postgrad: KU School of Medicine–Wichita Med–Peds residency.
Why did you choose to become a physician?
I wanted to contribute to the health and healing of others. I realized that I could help to alleviate suffering by dedicating my life to this profession with inspiration from mentors, including multiple primary care physicians I volunteered under during college.
What field of internal medicine did you select and why?
I chose to practice in the field of hospital medicine. I have found I best thrive in a fast-paced environment where I can regularly collaborate with other health care professionals and quickly connect with patients who many times are having the worst periods of their lives. I have gained an appreciation of the team-based approach in the practice of medicine, which I believe will be ever more necessary in the future to effectively help patients who are suffering from illness.
Please describe a typical day in your practice.
I start the day with preround chart reviews and then meet with the “Med-1” team, consisting of junior and senior residents as well as medical students. We discuss urgent patient care issues and then physically round on our patients integrated with bedside teaching. We then divide assignments for discharges and new admissions throughout the remainder of the day. During the period after rounds, we also perform procedures or pursue more comprehensive physical exams with POCUS.
What are some of your special interests professionally?
My clinical interests include evaluation and management of sepsis and septic shock in the critical care environment. There is so much we have yet to understand regarding the disease process, including the optimal care of patients in this scenario. I hope to also increase research into the utilization of POCUS to guide management of these patients.
What are your interests and hobbies outside of medicine?
I am an avid science fiction reader. I have recently finished the Dune series and am midway through the Wheel of Time series. I also enjoy continuing to develop my piano playing abilities with my daughter, soccer skills with my son, and video editing. My wife and I also enjoy getting exercise with the newest addition to our family, Oscar, a mini sheepadoodle.
What advice would you like to share with medical students, or what do you wish someone would have told you while you were in medical school?
I have had the opportunity to formally coach a cohort of students the last 4 years and continue to appreciate the theme of imposter syndrome that can substantially affect the confidence level that students have in their abilities and skills. Anyone that has been accepted to medical school is amongst an elite crowd. Inevitably, comparisons are made amongst peers who may be high performers in certain areas. Remember that every person has strengths and weaknesses, and perfection is unattainable. Acceptance that you may fail at times is a part of the process of becoming a physician, and the lesson learned from remediation or recovery is what will make you a better doctor and human being.
Which talent would you most like to have?
I would like to be a seasoned guitar player. I have always been impressed with the dedication to practice along with expert dexterity necessary to play the most intricate songs. Music can be quite inspirational, and the guitar is an instrument that has remained on my bucket list.
What do you consider your greatest achievement?
I have plenty of professional accolades that I am proud of, but I consider my greatest achievement being a role model for learners and my children. I try to live my life with humility in that I do not always have the “right answers” yet will always try to do the next right thing. I believe it is a daily achievement if I stick to this value.
Who is your hero of fiction?
Neo from The Matrix continues to be an inspirational character. He frequently struggles with his role in an existence of reality that he has always questioned. He represents a savior figure who suffers from impostor syndrome. This was especially impressionable on me when I first watched the movie just prior to college, wondering who I was and what I could do to serve others.
Which historical figure do you most identify with?
Saint Augustine (of Hippo) remains a figure who I have continued to identify with. His writings in Confessions describe a man who was distracted by worldly and material things but was later inspired to philosophy and spirituality. He lived out the principles he preached, which I hope to emulate in my own life.