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Tutor Spotlight: Daniel Maselli – Med School Tutors

As far as tutors go, any student would be lucky to work with Daniel Maselli. Not only is he a well-prepared and challenging teacher, he’s a fun, funny person and a caring friend to his students and co-workers. He’s a supportive, hard-working person, and a great resource for everyone at Med School Tutors. He’s also contributed to the My First Cadaver podcast.

Here’s more about Daniel, in his own words:

Where did you go to medical school?

University of Massachusetts Medical School

Where are you doing your residency and in what specialty?

Duke University Hospital, Internal Medicine

What are your career plans after residency?

Fellowship in Gastroenterology

What accomplishment in your medical career are you most proud of?

Delivering the student address for my medical school class’ graduation. Except my mom nearly had a panic attack during it because she thought it was too “cheeky” and that I’d get pulled off stage.

Do you do any research? Any publications?

No, unless you count the multi-center randomized control trial study I’ve been conducting on the effects of Chipotle on a resident’s body habitus.

What brought you to Med School Tutors? Why did you choose to be a tutor?

A good friend and fellow UMass student mentioned it at the beginning of our fourth year, after he had been with MST for a few months. He said it was the perfect opportunity to teach—and I’ve also been particularly interested in a career in medical education. I figured this was a great place to start on that journey. (Photo by Robert Carlin Photography)

What is one piece of advice you would give to students as they are finishing interview season?

One piece? I have so many pieces of advice! I’ll boil it down to three

  • Don’t rank your programs based on “name recognition.” We are so often tempted to do this as the type-A medical students we are. Feel confident that any program you’re interviewing at is going to train you well. Instead, I encourage you to think of other things that will matter to you—things outside the scope of your program—and see if you can make a rank list based on that. For me, choosing a program boiled down to finding a place that would bring me closer to my fiancé, allow me the highest likelihood of getting a puppy, and have the cheapest cost of living (oh, that debt).
  • Remember that there were probably a handful of places you really, really enjoyed but that the Match system forces you to rank those places—again, even if you liked them equally. That makes you put an artificially inflated sense of worth on one place over the other, and that order takes on more meaning than it should. Even though you’re asked to rank vertically, try thinking of your rank list horizontally, as in, hey, here are five places I love, and here are another 5 I thoroughly enjoyed, etc.
  • Be adventurous! This is a wonderful opportunity to live in a place you’ve never lived. It’s such a rarity to have the ability to move halfway across the country not knowing anyone and but feeling assured that you’ll have a built-in social network when you get there.

What is the most embarrassing story from your intern year?

Intern year, like a venus-fly trap, is sometimes exquisitely evolved in its ability to be cruel and unusual. For me, this took the form of the Cardiac ICU, where the intern who was on overnight also was the one who presented patients on rounds to the whole team the next morning before they left to sleep. It was taking me a while to adjust to the nocturnal schedule, so I was pretty sleep-deprived during rounds, and on one round in particular. In the middle of presenting a new patient, I swear I heard my attending ask a question to me, so I paused and said, “What?” because I hadn’t really heard him. Well, neither had anyone else, because in reality he hadn’t said anything. And there was an awkward few seconds (felt like minutes or years) for everyone—other residents, pharmacists, nurses, and medical students—waiting for an attending to repeat something he hadn’t said, and for people to generally come to the conclusion that the overnight intern was just experiencing ICU delirium.

What is your favorite thing to eat?

Cheeseburgers. Maybe apple pie with vanilla ice cream.

What is the most exciting place you have ever traveled?

I did a summer study abroad in Arabic in Ifrane, Morocco. I came back with so many rugs.

If you weren’t a doctor, what would you do?

I’m pretty sure I would try to become a high school biology teacher.

What do you like to do outside of medicine?

I really enjoy running, playing the piano/bagpipes, vegetable gardening, hiking, and looking at puppies for sale online. I’m really into goldendoodles. Pretty sure I follow more goldendoodles on Instagram than actual people.