Fellow Spotlight: Dr. Clark Cutrer, PGY-V

First, tell us about you.

I am a 2nd year Hematology and Oncology fellow here at UMMC. I also did my medical school and residency here at UMMC.  I’m married to the most beautiful, kind and hilarious woman alive, Alyson. We have 2 fur babies, a 4 year old Bassett hound named Dakota, and a 1 year old Goldendoodle named Snickers. We are also expecting our first REAL baby, a little boy named Raleigh James, who is due on Halloween! Aside from my family and medicine, I love listening to vinyl records, reading biographies and other non-fiction, running, good bourbon and good coffee, church and nerding out over theology.

What do you like most about UMMC?

Not to be cliche, but to be totally cliche, I love the people here. I have now been a part of UMMC in 3 different vectors: as a student, resident and now as a fellow. In all of these different roles and environments, I have made lifelong friendships and been supported and mentored by some incredible people along the way.

When did you know you wanted to pursue Hematology and Oncology?

Although I did have somewhat of an interest coming into residency due to some personal experiences I’d had, I tried to keep an open mind entering into residency. However, I quickly realized a few things that I really enjoyed and was passionate about: taking care of acute  chronically ill patients and, in doing so, having difficult but meaningful conversations with patients and families about their goals of care. I was especially drawn to Heme and Onc patients because of the diverse patient population and their genuine appreciation for your care. 

Share a memory of your time here.

For whatever reason, all I can think about is the time I woke up at 8:17 for my 8am in-training exam my intern year. It was my first “day off” in the MICU that month and I woke up the next morning and immediately knew I had slept too long. I checked my phone and had 7 missed phone calls and texts from the chiefs. I threw on some clothes and booked it to UMMC and strolled in for the ITE at 8:32.  That test did not go well for me but it only got better from there.

What advice would you offer to the interns?

It’s okay not to know everything. It’s okay if you feel like you don’t know anything. Be humble and listen to those around you – upper levels, attendings, nurses and anyone who’s been doing this longer than you.  Always be learning – you have never arrived in medicine, there’s always something to learn and grow in. Lastly, having a caring and compassionate attitude toward your patients, co-workers, ancillary staff and attendings. You’re likely going to see these people at their worst at some point and they will definitely see you that way. Give and accept lots of grace.

What could you give a 40 minute presentation on with absolutely no preparation?

Easy. The history of the Red Hot Chili Peppers, their entire discography and why they are the greatest band of all time. 

What are some small things that make your day better?

A good cup of coffee (or several), giving patients and families good news, cooking dinner with my wife

What is something you wish you knew more about?

I would say the human kidney but that’s just not true – I don’t care to know anymore. I do wish I knew more about the stock market and just had a better understanding of economics, in general.

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