Resident Spotlight: Dr. Mindy Talley

Meet Dr. Mindy Talley, sailor and third-year internal medicine resident. Here, Dr. Talley shares her path to UMMC for residency, what she’s learned during the pandemic, and some valuable advice to the incoming interns.

Why did you choose UMMC for residency?

I chose UMMC for the breadth of patients with complex diagnoses, a diverse population, a dynamic complexity of care in the setting of an incredibly supportive and encouraging environment. As a medical student, I witnessed first-hand the bond residents had between each other and the team-based atmosphere of the program and knew that this would be home. 

Tell us about a memorable experience from training.

At the end of the day, I’d have to say that the friendships and connections made throughout my time has been unlike anything I’ve ever experienced. We’ve shared some incredible ups as well as some harrowing downs.  I wouldn’t trade it for anything and consider myself very lucky to have made the friends I’ve made. 

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

Be humble. Remember that every patient, regardless of the illness script, is different and can provide an incredible opportunity for growth. Learn from every member of the medical team. Some of my most valuable clinical pearls have come directly from nurses, respiratory therapists, pharmacists, etc. You have a lot to learn as a new doctor! 

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

Growing up in coastal Alabama, I learned how to sail at an early age and sailed competitively (and continue to do so here on the Rez!). So, I would present about regattas and throw in some tactical tips to ensure a win. 

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

I started residency in July of 2020, so my entire training has been adjusting constantly to the COVID world. First and foremost, I have accepted that everything can change in an instant.  Secondly, it ultimately enhanced my ability to communicate with patients. A lot of misinformation was spread regarding COVID and deepened mistrust between patients and physicians. Practicing in the COVID world has truly taught me patience and has challenged me to improve my rapport with patients to identify underlying misgivings or hesitation. 

What are some small things that make your day better?

  • Any time I’m on wards I try to make team Cups runs regularly. Coffee in general makes my day better, but walking with your team for a coffee break is just the best.
  • I try to spend a little time outside every day, whether that’s watering my plants or walking my dog. It’s a little reminder that life exists outside of the hospital. 
  • Seeing friends unexpectedly around the U always brightens my day! 

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

When it isn’t so hot you can find me on the Natchez Trace trail with my border collie, Gizmo. Otherwise, my husband and I really love to travel and try to go somewhere new any time I get the chance, both domestic and abroad. You might also catch me around town at happy hour with friends! 

What profession would you have chosen if you weren’t a physician?

If I stayed in the medical/STEM world, I would have either done biotech or become a respiratory therapist. If I didn’t do medicine/STEM, I think I would have been a chef. 

My husband and me on Cadillac Mountain in Bar Harbor, Maine 

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