In 2002, Teikou Artists was in a predicament. A year after joining Duke, Artis enjoyed her work as a patient services advocate in the psychiatry and behavioral sciences department. But with his bills piling up, his four-year-old daughter to feed, and his own long-term financial security, he needed more money. Artis began planning how to advance his own career.
Over 20 years later, Artis is still at Duke and looking forward to it. Now a staff assistant to the chairman of the Duke Neurology Department, Artis has raised his salary level by three notches, earning almost double what he did when he first came to Duke. Artis says that each of his positions has been an interesting experience and a learning opportunity.
“There is no manual or handbook that works for everyone,” says Artis. “It’s a small job here, a lot of work there. People have to be willing to do it, but I did it.”
See an erupting volcano from Sicily
Artis’ professional career began in 1991 when he enlisted in the United States Navy. Stationed in Sicily, he was engaged in aircraft maintenance management, recording flight hours and mileage for all individual aircraft on the base, as well as their components his engines, landing gear, and other vital parts. Did.
“Attention to detail was particularly important in that role, as one mistake could cost the aircraft or, in the worst case, the pilot’s life,” says Artis.
Artis’ meticulousness was put to the test in 1992, when the nearby Etna volcano erupted in its biggest eruption in 300 years. Over the next 500 days, Mount Etna he released over 250 million cubic meters of lava and rolled slowly but forcefully toward the towns and villages below.
“It was scary because we could see the lava glistening at the top even from our base,” Artis said. , had one of our helicopter squadrons fly a concrete barrier up to a mountain village.”
These barriers, which Artis inspected by helicopter, helped divert lava from inhabited areas from Zafferana and other villages that had been inhabited for hundreds of years.
come to duke
After four years in the Navy, Artis returned to his home in Durham, North Carolina. He joined his Duke in 2001 and helped check out psychiatric patients. During the first few months, Artis had to deal with the logistical challenges of working at the new clinic and the first few days of Duke’s electronic health record system, but all patient interactions I worked with compassion.
“This job has taught me how to be patient and work with people. They were grateful that I was there.
Although he enjoyed his work in a psychiatric clinic, Artis’ financial needs prompted him to expand his skill set and consider new positions. To achieve these goals, he joined the Duke Eye Center as his assistant on the staff of the retinal surgeon team.
Switching to being a support provider rather than a patient meant taking on new responsibilities. That means learning how to schedule surgeries, maintain a calendar and travel schedule, and update your research portfolio and resume for each surgeon involved. Artis took on these duties with pleasure.
“When people ask me to do something new, they say, ‘That’s not my job,’ but I’ve never seen that kind of work,” says Artis. “The more you do or learn, the more you value yourself. Then you become a perfect asset. When people can rely on you, you become irreplaceable.” .”
Joined Duke Neurology
Artis joined the Duke Department of Neurology in 2018. As Duke D. Deane University Distinguished Professor of Neurology Richard O’Brien, MD, PhD, he triages the thousands of emails his O’Brien receives daily. He maintains O’Brien’s calendar, books flights and visits for upcoming speakers, and serves as a “go-to” person for neurology faculty, staff, and postdocs within the Bryan Research Building.
“Working under Dr. O’Brien has given me a new perspective on the department’s needs and how neurology fits into the overall structure of the medical school and the rest of Duke.” Artis said. “I have really enjoyed my time here so far.”
O’Brien says Teikko has become a valuable asset to himself and the department.
“Over the past four years, Teiko has become an integral part of the division,” says O’Brien. “His personality and smile put everyone at ease. His initiative, tenacity and willingness to go one step further has been great for us.”
Artis said the increase in salary he received as he progressed at Duke alleviated the financial problems he faced when he first arrived.
“The promotion also gave me peace of mind because I was able to buy things that I otherwise wouldn’t have been able to afford,” he said. “I’m in a much better position here than when I first started.”
Her oldest daughter, who was two years old when Artis entered Duke University, is now a 24-year-old middle school teacher, and her youngest daughter, now 15, is in high school.
Artis said he expects to retire in five to 10 years, but has no plans to slow down by then.
“I always want to learn new things, and you never know where it will lead,” Artis said.
Artis said he sees each step in his career as a learning opportunity to support where he works and to advance his own career. Here, he shares his career advice about what he’s learned over the years.
From the Navy: Attention to Detail and Accountability
- “Accountability and attention to detail were especially important given the risk of losing the life of the aircraft and, worse, the pilot.”
From Duke Psychiatry: Patience and Making a Difference
- “Checking in patients requires patience and customer service. I also learned about the difference I can make when checking in people. I was always grateful that I didn’t treat anyone differently.”
From the Eye Center: Learn New Skills
- “Be open to learning new things. , never actually seen such a job. The more you do or learn, the more you value yourself. After that, you are a full asset. You become irreplaceable when people can rely on you. ”
From Duke Neurology:
- “Think about the greater needs of the place where you work and how you can help. The more you learn in a particular position, the more likely you are to succeed in that position.”