Danicela Younce, MD, provides excellent care to hospitalized patients and is involved in medical student and resident education. Dr. Younce immigrated from Cuba to reside in Florida until attending college at UNC. Although she has always wanted to be a physician, being a celebrity travel chef would have been cool too!
What brought you to UNC Medical Center?
I have a long history of engagement with UNC. I first attended UNC as an undergraduate for my Bachelor of Science degree and subsequently stayed for medical school. I went out of state for residency but the intention was always to return to North Carolina at some point in the future. The UNC community has always been extremely welcoming, diverse and supportive so it was natural for me to want to return to my Alma Mater and contribute in some small way to the education of the next generation of physicians.
Where are you from?
I was born in Cuba and immigrated to the US with my family in 2000. I grew up in South Florida until it left for college at UNC.
Did you always want to be a doctor?
Yes, ever since I was a little girl in Cuba watching my parents care for their patients.
How did you choose your specialty?
I knew early on that it would be difficult for me to subspecialize since I loved all areas of medicine and did not think I could give anything up. Internal medicine came naturally to me as it is all encompassing, diverse, and always exciting. I have loved the acuity of hospital medicine, the collaborative relationship with consultants, and the opportunity to work directly with medical students and residents.
What do you find most rewarding about your work?
I particularly enjoy caring for patients at their most vulnerable moments, when things may be scary, painful or uncertain. I find it rewarding helping my patients through those times and alleviating their suffering for them and their families.
What are some of the new developments in your field of specialty?
The field of Hospital Medicine has been at the forefront of residency education and quality and safety improvement for hospital patients. Most recently, bedside ultrasonography has become a hot topic within our field and one that I find exciting and promising in moving the care of the hospitalized patient forward.
Is there a particular achievement (professional or personal) that has been most gratifying to you?
I am incredibly proud of all the work I have put in to make my dreams of becoming a doctor come true. Today I focus on doing the best work that I can each and every day and if someone notices, well then, that is just icing on the cake!
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
“Don’t sweat the small stuff”.
If you weren’t a physician, what would you like to be doing?
If I wasn’t a physician I would have loved to do what Anthony Bourdain did.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
Photography, travel, visiting national parks, trying out new foods!
Do you have a favorite quote or life motto?
“Work hard and be kind”.
What was the last book you read?
Just finished Bringing Up Bebe by Pamela Druckerman. My husband and I had a baby last year and we have been busy trying to figure out parenthood.