Resident Spotlight: Dr. Joie Young

Why did you choose UMMC for residency? 

I chose UMMC for many reasons, but simply put, UMMC is home. I went to medical school here, and I could not have asked for a better experience. I met my husband while in medical school, and I made some of the best friends who have truly become my family. When I began looking for a residency program, I (naturally) did the nerdy thing and found myself making spreadsheets to compare the programs I had visited. Although many of the programs were fantastic and I was excited to see new places, I found that something was missing for me. It did not take long to realize that I was simply homesick when I thought about leaving UMMC. We are so fortunate here to have amazing faculty who balance support with autonomy flawlessly, and we are blessed to have access to a wide variety of pathology which provides a well-rounded education. Above all though, the people here make the program. Even on my worst days, I have felt loved, supported, and encouraged.  

Even on my worst days, I have felt loved, supported, and encouraged.

Dr. Joie Young

Tell us about a memorable experience from training. 

I think one of my most memorable experiences from training came during my intern year. I met a patient who was a young immigrant from Africa that came to us to evaluation of feeding tube placement due to significant dysphagia and weight loss. His dysphagia had been attributed to nutritional deficiency prior to arrival at UMMC. After taking my history and doing my physical exam, I realized that something did not add up. Luckily, I had patient attending physicians who supported me and gave me the confidence to go against the more obvious answer and investigate further. The patient was later found to have a rare neuromuscular disorder. We were able to get him the care that he really needed. I think this was one of the first times that I began to really grow my clinical confidence.

What is one thing you would tell the incoming interns about what is to come? 

Intern year can be terrifying and overwhelming at times, but please know that you are not alone. You are supported more than you know by both faculty and your peers. If you are worried, stressed, or overwhelmed, just find your nearest co-resident. There will always be someone there to help you care for our patients. It is also okay to not be okay at times. Your job is not always an easy one for many reasons, so please ask for help when you need it. Despite all the scariness though, intern year is going to be so much fun. You’re going to meet lifelong friends and make some pretty special memories. 

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

This question gives me the palpitations, but I would say that I could totally rock a presentation on re-purposing/salving and building furniture (shout out to mamma bear for all our projects).  

How has COVID-19 changed the way you practice medicine? 

I think COVID-19 has not only changed the way I practice medicine, but the way I practice being a human being as well. Having the privilege to care for patients during this pandemic has taught me what simple patience, effective communication, and compassion can do for those around you. Our job can be so overwhelming at times that I think we can so easily lose sight of why we were called to this profession. COVID has forced me to step back and remember that I chose to be a doctor to help and to care for others. It forced me to remember to always be present for my patients and for their families who are unable to be with them. Since COVID, I have made it a top priority to ensure I take time each to spend a little extra time with my patients, and to be the type of doctor and person that my idealistic 12-year-old self would be proud to be.  

What are some small things that make your day better? 

I adore when one of my friends stops by my work room to take a break and decompress for a few minutes—it lightens my day and brings lots of laughter. I also get giddy when my radiology husband makes a rare appearance outside of the basement to get coffee with me. At the end of a hard day, cuddles with my fur babies (a mini schnauzer and a blue heeler) bring a lot of love and joy, too.  

Where could we find you when you are not at the hospital? 

When not at the hospital, one can usually find me in my natural habitat (home in stretchy pants with a book) or spending time with my really awesome husband attempting to play video games with him (spoiler: gaming is not a talent of mine).  

What profession would you have chosen if you were not a physician? 

If I weren’t a physician, I would probably like to pursue cultural anthropology (my minor), either in research or teaching.  

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