Name: Marcono Hines
Fellowship: Duke University Medical Center
Residency: Duke University Medical Center
Medical School: Brody School of Medicine, East Carolina University
Undergraduate: North Carolina A&T
1) When did you decide you wanted to become a Medical Doctor and what led to this decision?: I decided I wanted to become a physician during my sophomore year of college. I thought I wanted to be a dentist when I began undergrad, however my interest soon changed. There was no individual event that drove this change.
2) What was the most difficult part of getting into Medical School for you?: The most difficult part of getting in to medical school was preparing for the MCAT. When I took the exam the material did not seem relevant to medicine. It was difficult for me to know what I was supposed to study and how i was supposed to study.
3) How did you study for the MCAT? How do you recommend students study for the MCAT?: The first time I took the MCAT, I took it blindly. BIG MISTAKE!!! I recommend a review class. I took the Kaplan course. Students need to understand the format and how to reason through the questions to understand what is being asked.
4) What did you do during your undergraduate summers?: After my freshman year I worked as an intern in the quality control department of a pharmaceutical company. At the end of my sophomore year I did absolutely nothing but enjoy my friends and family. Following my junior year I attended the MED program at UNC Chapel Hill that exposed prospective students to the first year medical curriculum.
5) What is one thing you wish someone told you while you were in college?: My college did at the time have a pre-med program or advisor that could effectively help me navigate the waters in regards to prepping for med school and applying. I wish I would have been told how to better prepare myself for the MCAT. I would also have started on my personal statement earlier as that can be difficult to write.
6) What led you to choose your current specialty?: I choose the specialty of nephrology because 1) it offered continuity of care with my patients 2) It allowed me to work with African Americans as many of them have chronic kidney disease as well as end stage renal disease 3) there are so man different avenues you can take with nephrology such as hypertension, dialysis, transplant, critical care, electrolyte abnormalities, research, procedures, and health disparities.
7) What is one thing that a mentor did for you which has had a lifelong effect on your career?: I had several good mentors at Duke who taught me so much. One thing that was told to me when I was looking for a job was not to take a bad job to live in a nice city. I was encouraged to take a good job and wherever it is, put down your roots and make it your home.
8) Briefly describe your average work day: My average work day starts at 8:30. I am either in the office or rounding at one of the local hospitals seeing new consults and old patients that we have been following during their admission. After lunch, if I am in the hospital I will see patients in the office until 5pm. Some days I do my dialysis rounds which usually consist of me being at the dialysis unit the entire day reviewing medications, dialysis orders, and dialysis related treatment issues.
9) What do you enjoy most about your profession? What do you enjoy least?: What I enjoy the most is the interaction with the patients. I try to take my time and make sure I explain their issues well to them so that they understand. Patients are often afraid of the unknown when it comes to kidney health and there are several misconceptions that they have heard. When a patient or their family member tells me after a visit that they feel better after talking to me, I am satisfied. Education is the key to managing any health disorder. What I enjoy least is the paper work that no one tells you about during your training.
10) What words of advice would you like to leave with pre-medical students?: I would advise students to not be discouraged with set backs, and do not let others determine how successful you can be. Seek mentors and advisors who have your best interest in mind.