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Meet Michael Daunov, DO

Name: Mike Daunov
Hometown: St. Louis, MO
Medical School: AT Still, Kirksville College of Osteopathic Medicine
Professional Interest: Adolescent and Young Adult (AYA) Oncology, Leukemia/Lymphoma

Residency Program Experience

What was the most inspirational thing you witnessed while working at the hospital? A patient had been readmitted multiple times with an unknown condition and instead of accepting that others had tried and failed, the intern and I took time and reviewed the case and over the course of the next week ultimately provided the patient and their family with a diagnosis. Months later I received a message from the primary outpatient provider about how much the patient had improved since initiating treatment and had returned to a normal life and that he and his family wanted to thank us personally for our care.

What is the biggest sacrifice you have made in your medical training so far? I miss spending holidays with family and participating in friends’ milestones and significant life events. Medical school and residency is hard but I’m happy to say that this has gotten better each year and the friends and family I have made in med school and at UH/Rainbow will last a lifetime.

What trait do you most admire in talented physicians? Self-doubt and self-reflection. I had always thought that confidence was a trait to strive for but I’ve learned that overconfidence is more dangerous. The ability to critically review one’s own thought process and evaluate your actions allows you to always find ways to improve and grow.

What was the most difficult thing during your intern year? I am inherently inefficient and easily distracted so intern year was a struggle for me to learn how to get organized and stay on task. There were days when 5pm would roll by and I felt like I had accomplished nothing but thanks to my wonderful coresidents and seniors, I improved throughout the year and now help others learn the same set of skills.

One thing I wish I knew before starting the Med-Peds Residency Program is
Just how challenging second year is. Intern year is tough for everyone as you learn to function in a hospital but second year for MedPeds is also challenging as we take on much more responsibility on both medicine and peds. You have done half as much on either side as your colleagues and there is a significant sense of imposter syndrome. Ultimately I was reassured by coresidents and attendings and by the end of the year you feel so empowered and competent; a sensation that only grows third and fourth year.

At work I always remember to
Be honest with my patients and coworkers. There is no shame in admitting you don’t know something and everyone will appreciate you more if you are honest. Telling patients we are working to figure out the cause of their symptoms or colleagues that we can look up the answer to their question together creates an environment in which patients trust when you ultimately find a solution and providers learn and grow together.

At work I never
Leave without finishing my notes. I have a family at home so I really want to spend my time at home with them 100% so for me it was always easier to finish the work and then go home and be fully present with my wife and children.

What is the key to making the best of this Med-Peds Residency Program? Growth mindset! A co-resident of mine has made this our class theme and it is absolutely true. We all come in at different levels of knowledge in different subjects and skills but the important thing is that we continue to improve throughout our training and career and embrace our deficits as an opportunity for learning and growth.

What is the one item somebody starting residency should absolutely invest into? I bought a bike trainer which allowed me to ride my bike indoors throughout the year but if biking isn’t your thing then I would recommend investing in some way to exercise. Just 15-20 min helps me process my day and drastically improves my headspace.

What's the best advice you've been given? “You are smart, you are talented, you are capable.” None of us have gotten to this point without these traits and characteristics and even on your worst days remind yourself of all the amazing things you’ve done to even get here.

A Few Words About Cleveland, Ohio

How would you describe Cleveland to somebody who has never been here? A mid-sized city that has lots of fun things going on, a surprising number of opportunities for outdoor activities, and a cheap cost of living that make it the perfect place to train.

What neighborhood do you live in? Cleveland Heights: less than 10 minutes from the hospital, close to lots of restaurants and bars, and plenty of parks and trails to get outdoor.

What are some of the spots to go to fall in love with Cleveland? Solstice Steps is a great place to watch the sunset and Edgewater beach both on the West Side, Art Museum which is completely free and gorgeous, Cuyahoga National Park, Cleveland Guardians baseball game which is surprisingly cheap and always fun.

Best kept secret about Cleveland is
The Cleveland Metroparks nicknamed the “Emerald Necklace” because of the huge ring of greenery and parks that encircle the entire city. Along with Cuyahoga National Park, the city has more hiking and outdoor spots than any city I’ve ever lived in.

Your favorite spot for a quick bite around the hospital: For something quick Kenko or Bibibop but if I’m being classy and have time L’Albatros is one of the best spots in Cleveland.

A good taco: Cilantro Taqueria has the best tacos without a doubt. Don’t buy into the Barrio conspiracy.

Dinner with friends: Van Aiken Market Hall which has multiple food and drink options as well as Mitchell’s Ice Cream with lots of outdoor seating.

Great patio: I love Bottle House in Cleveland Heights. They make their own beer and Meade and have a lovely patio that is great in the summer and just down the block from me.

A night on the town: Dinner at Vero, milkshake from Tommy’s, then drinks at Quintana’s Speakeasy


Cope with sleep deprivation: Force yourself to go to bed early on the days you can and recharge your sleep bank. Also don’t have kids because then you can never sleep in ever again.

Get to conferences on time: You just have to prioritize it. I always tell residents that we are here for an education first and if you skip out on lectures then you are missing the entire point of residency.

Avoid burn out: Find something to balance you. For me it is spending time with my family and exercising but everyone needs something to keep them level.

It's a Toss-Up

East Side or West Side: East Side – I live in Cleveland Heights and absolutely love it; lots to do and close proximity to the hospital but we go out to the West Side frequently.

Staying in or going out: My wife and I do a date night at least every few weeks which is much needed to refresh and recharge and feel like a normal person but otherwise I just feel better when I sleep.

UH or VA: This is tough – I love the specialty services and education opportunities at UH but gen med at the VA might be the best rotation with some of the best attendings and a wide range of patients that keeps things interesting.

CICU or MICU: Easily MICU. Senioring in the MICU was one of the most educational rotations in all of residency. So much pathology and learning on every single patient plus the opportunity for procedures and running codes.

Pizza or tacos: Always tacos; I make a great guac.

Lease or buy a car in Cleveland: My wife and I bought a car.

Own or rent a house in Cleveland: We opted to rent because the area we wanted to live in has a lot of old houses and we didn’t want to be trying to make repairs and fix urgent problems during intern year but this is really a toss-up; several colleagues bought and have no regrets either.

Getting Personal

On my bucket list: My wife and I did a medical trip during my med school and we always talk about taking our children when they are old enough to volunteer and contribute.

I can't live without: Good coffee. We subscribed to a “fancy” coffee delivery service and grind our own beans and use a pour over chemex daily. Other coffee just isn’t the same anymore although there is something special about a hospital coffee at 11pm that still works for me.

Bad habit: Not being able to go to bed without finishing a movie.

If you were given 3 additional hours a day, what would you do with them? Make a list of all the things I want to accomplish and then probably just watch Netflix.

A fact most people don't know about me is
I met my wife when she interviewed me for a job…obviously I interview well.

When I'm not on call you will find me
Running with my baby jogger while my daughter yells at me to run faster: “the cars are all passing us!”