When first meeting me, you might wonder how a Southerner ended up in Manhattan. Well, let me explain. What follows is an abridged version. I was born and raised in Memphis, Tennessee and attended a Catholic all-boys school from kindergarten though high school. On graduating, I moved to Atlanta and attended Emory University, where four years later, I graduated Valedictorian of my class with a degree in Finance. After a brief stint working at a Goldman, Sachs & Co. and a year of pitching a personal business plan to venture capitalists around the country, I decided to pursue my dreams of becoming a doctor and attended Yale School of Medicine. After this year at MSKCC, I will continue on to Duke University for a residency in Ophthalmology. My scientific interests include ocular oncology and neural-prosthetics. My outside interests include travel, golf, skiing, and exploring NYC.

Why Memorial Sloan Kettering?

Well, for me the choice was simple. I love science and have a particular interest in ocular oncology, I like academics, I like technologically advanced hospitals, and I don’t like scut. I found each of these things at MSKCC. But putting all of those things aside, its even simpler: it’s the people, the people, the people! That’s really the bottom line. The first thing I noticed about this place is how passionate and excited everyone is to work here. Everyone is so proud of it, and for the most part, everyone is happy to be at work every day. There’s an undeniable energy to the place.

The attendings here, while busy, are great teachers and mentors. The nurses and ancillary staff are top-notch, and really make your day here a joy. And your co-residents and chiefs are great! However, the thing that you’ll come to appreciate the most is your interaction with the patients here. Due to the nature of the disease, your patients will have longer inpatient visits and require more involved care. As a result of this you will truly get to know your patients and their families. You will impact people during a critical period of their lives, a period which often involves a lot of uncertainty and requires re-assurance. I think that the powerful experience here allows you to grow tremendously as an overall physician.

Beyond those things, the housing is great and New York City is a blast. Feel free to email me at awdehr@mskcc.org if you have any questions. Good luck with your interviews!