Brian Shackleford, M.D.


Hometown:  Baltimore, Maryland

Name of Undergraduate Institution:  North Carolina Central University

Major(s)/Minor(s) in College: Biology Major

Name of Medical School: Wake Forest University School of Medicine

Residency Program Internal Medicine at Wake Forest SOM

Favorite Quote:  “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

Contact Info:

Where are you currently at in your career path and why did you decide to pursue this career path?

I’m an intern in Internal Medicine.  I don’t have that really profound reason as to why I chose Internal Medicine. I’m really big on “feels.” Throughout my 3rd year of medical school, I was drawn to IM. I enjoyed coming to “work”, whether it be on the weekends or those lovely “med student night shifts.” Some of the attendings I worked with had such an amazing thought process and such a profound knowledge base. I found it aspirational. As I progressed into fourth year and did my sub-I and electives in medicine, I knew I had found the right specialty. Things just clicked. While my interests change during intern year (I’m interested in Pulmonary/Critical Care or Hematology/Oncology at this time, but started off interested in Nephrology or Geriatrics), I don’t second guess my decision at all.

If you could go back and have a chat with your 1st year postgraduate self, what would you tell him?

Since I am a 1st year post-graduate I’ll just tell what I tell myself every morning. I tell myself I’ve been blessed to be placed in a position to be an advocate for those who would otherwise go without. I’ve been afforded the opportunity to learn and practice medicine and live out my dream every day. The hours may be long, and the tasks at hand may be daunting at times, but I’m an extension of the healing hands of God to His people. There are so many people who would trade places with me in a heartbeat; be grateful and appreciative. Be kind and humble; place yourself or a loved one in every patient’s shoes. Don’t be jaded and don’t let others’ opinions or attitudes negatively affect you. Give your best to every patient and in every patient encounter. Make sure to not only work hard, but work smart. Say your prayers and eat your vitamins, trust the process, you’ve got this kid.

What advice would you give to someone getting ready to start their application process to residency?

Prioritize what is most important to you. If being close to family is important to you, obviously prioritize your search via location. If you have a specific sub-specialty in mind, make sure you research and find programs that are strong in that sub-specialty. Also make sure to budget appropriately. Interview season gets expensive. Talk to those who are in the process of matching now at your institution or interns at your program who have just matched. Try to gauge how much they spent and how much you feel you need to save.  I also advise you to pace yourself; the interview trail is long and can become tiring. You always want to be on your “A-Game” at these interviews so don’t overbook to the point where you are noticeably disinterested. Lastly, have fun and be confident. You’ve made it this far.

What’s the best advice you’ve ever received?

Simplistically stated: Follow your dreams and in all things Keep God first and give Him thanks.

What do you like to do for fun?

I enjoy exercise. I’m still decent on the basketball court and I lift weights as often as I can. I also enjoy cooking and baking. It’s so cathartic. I also enjoy live music.

In an alternate universe, what career do you think you would be in right now if healthcare wasn’t an option for you?

If I was unable to be a physician, I’d probably be a chemical engineer. It’s a really cool field that would still let me stay on the cutting edge of the sciences.

Who are some of your favorite musicians? Favorite books? Shows? Movies?

Favorite musician is Maxwell. My favorite books are the Bible and The House of God. In the times I am able to watch TV, I tend to gravitate to ESPN and TNT right now for NBA games.

This is awesome Brian! Thanks a ton for taking the time to help out with this initiative, you are very much appreciated! I deeply relate with what you tell yourself every morning as well! It's extremely important for all of us going through this arduous path of the health professions to remember how blessed we are to be in the positions that we're in! Keep killin' residency bro!

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Posted on March 20th, 2017

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