Trainee Spotlight: September 2023

Trainee Spotlight

September 2023

Alyssa Hardin, MD

Alyssa Hardin, PGY 1

Hi, Alyssa. Thank you for taking some time to chat. We'll start off with some basic questions. So, tell me where's hometown?    

I say I'm from bend OR, but I actually grew up kind of moving along the West Coast. We moved like 9 times when I was growing up. But eventually my family settled in Bend. So that’s what I call home. 

Is it as pretty as the pictures seem?

It is. I have like a couple mountains that I can see from my backyard and it's the thing that I miss most being here in the South. 

That begs the question, are you a mountain or a beach person? 

Oh, that's a tough one because I grew up skiing with my family. We all also scuba dive. So I'm a big mountain person but a sucker for the beach too.  

Y’all are all about the action sports. You mentioned family. Tell us about yours. Do you have siblings? 

I do. Yeah, I have two brothers, one older, one younger. So I'm stuck right in the middle.

Are they in medicine?

Alyssa and brothers

No, they're actually both not. So my older brother is in International Development. He lives in on the East Coast. And then my younger brother is in finance. He just moved to Austin. Yeah, I'm the medicine black sheep in the family, haha. 

Alright, awesome. Well switching gears. You're about two months into being a doctor. What's that been like?

Yeah, it's been really good. I feel like when I was looking forward towards intern year, I had a lot of uncertainty about what it would be like. There's been a lot of constant learning and a lot of opportunity for personal and professional growth. Yeah, a lot of fun times too. It's been good. Not a lot of sleep ha-ha. But that's okay! 

Totally fair. That sounds right. You also just finished your first Vandy main rotation. Thoughts? 

My thoughts were there's a lot of consults ha-ha. But yeah, it was a really busy rotation, but you know, I think it really drives home the fact that we all work together as a team. And yeah, at the end of the day, we come together to get patient care done. So, it was a good month. 

What was your first urology case? 

I got to be in a stent case. It was with Avi and he let me from start to finish drive the scope. That was awesome.

That is awesome.

Yeah, that was a really cool intern experience because I felt like that was kind of the first time that I was, you know, like in the driver's seat, as the surgeon, so to speak.

Alyssa on vacation

I foresee a few more stents in your future. So, you mentioned scuba diving and you mentioned skiing, is there anything here in Nashville that you like to do outside the hospital? 

Oh, I love to eat. There's so much good food here. Yeah, pretty much every time I get a day off. I find a new restaurant to eat at.

Love the Nashville food scene. I've heard Ann Arbor's got some good food. Would you say Nashville's better?

Yeah, 100%. Hands down.

Do you have a favorite spot? 

Yeah, I I've been to this place called Barcelona a couple of times. I like that place. And then there's a place that's pretty close to where I live that has a really good happy hour called Answer. You should check that place out. They have a wine bar in the middle and everything on the Happy Hour menu is $6.

Sounds awesome. Vanderbilt Urology is big on Happy Hours. Now I know you’ve been busy, but you've had time to explore Nashville. Anything that surprised you about Nashville or that you know? Other than the food scene.

Yeah, I think one of the things that's kind of surprising is that it has a big city feel with a lot of things to do and food to eat, and all of that. But I think it also has a smaller town feel as well. For example, I've been out a couple of times and have seen people that I know. Which is nice. Like, going to the grocery store and running into a friend.

Yeah, I completely agree. OK. Let’s do some rapid fire questions here. 

Favorite holiday? I hate to say Christmas because that's so cliche. But I mean, it is the best one for a reason. 
If you could meet anyone who would you want it to meet? Oh ok. I'm a big music person and I love Leon Bridges. I would love to meet him. He's brilliant. 
Yeah, he really is best. Texas Sun is high on my playlist. Best vacation you've ever had? I don't know if this counts as a vacation. But after college, I went backpacking around Southeast Asia with a friend for four months. 
Four months. Nice. Yeah, it was a four month vacation. 
OK, if you weren't doing medicine, what would you be doing? I would be a pastry chef. 100%. Yeah, that's my Plan B still. 
City life or outdoors... Outdoors, right? Easy, outdoors.  
Go out or stay in? Stay in. 
Music, is it better live or on vinyl? Hmm, I have to say live. I love concerts. 
All right, it's 2:00 AM. You're at the hospital. What's your go to snack? This is funny, but I feel like everyone in the Vandy main workroom knows this about me at this point. But I always have an uncrustable on hand. 

Ha, great choice - well thanks Alyssa!

Interview conducted by Craig Hill, MD