What Our Residents Are Up To

With UTSW’s 4+1 Firm System, housestaff have many opportunities to relax and participate in activities outside of work. If you have a day or weekend to spend in Dallas, this is what some of our residents would do.

Elisa Pichlinski (PGY-3)

In a Covid-free world, I would spend most of my free time with friends, usually outdoors. Brunch can never go wrong (unfortunately some of my favorite places are now closed, still love Crickles on Cedar Springs), good cocktail bars or restaurants for the evening (you'll find the best Margaritas at Gloria's, try the Mango one!), and then anywhere near a pool would work for me. I am actually part of a synchronized swimming team but unfortunately we can't practice 6 feet apart from each other so recently we've just been working out together on zoom, it's been an interesting experience. In the last few months, #ThankyouCovid19, I have been spending a few (too many) hours playing animal crossing and growing avocado plants. Only 10 more years until they can bear fruit!

Geoff Huntley (PGY-3)

My situation is somewhat atypical in that I live in one of the nearby suburbs of Dallas, Richardson, to the northeast. Still, my days off are centered around family, with some sort of outdoor activity with my dogs, cooking or baking with my wife, and relaxing to a good movie or tv show at night. I have a chocolate lab and a golden retriever that love to swim, and we often visit Spring Creek Forest Preserve in the morning so they can run and swim, and I can replenish my vitamin D stores. I also really love to bake, so once or twice a month I will try to bake something for the other residents on my inpatient team. My Parkland MICU team recently benefited from a batch of 'cowboy cookies.’ To be honest, though, some days off are very lazy days that I spend relaxing around the house, maybe leisurely working on a research project (it’s very easy to get involved in research here if you want), and ordering take-out. Richardson is very well known for its Chinese and Middle Eastern cuisine, so there are plenty of good take-out options near me! I highly recommend you visit Richardson's Chinatown even if you live in the heart of Dallas. I'll usually end my day off with a good movie and a cocktail (most commonly a brandy old fashioned—people from Wisconsin will understand).

Prior to COVID, my go-to activity to get out of the house would be grabbing a beer at one of Dallas’ many breweries or getting some BBQ for dinner. My favorite brewery is Peticolas Brewing, but honestly I’ve been happily surprised by the quality and quantity of great breweries in Dallas, so you could and should visit a new one every week! For BBQ, Richardson’s Ten50 BBQ is the favorite in our house, but Pecan Lodge in the Deep Ellum neighborhood is of course always worth the wait, and Deep Ellum is an awesome area to hang out with friends for an evening.

Jet Patterson (PGY-2)

In the "before-times" (as my husband, Gareth, and I call the pre-COVID era), days off were spent exploring all that Dallas has to offer. For supreme relaxation, we would use our membership to the Dallas Arboretum and settle down on their lawn overlooking White Rock lake with a good book. On days when we were energized we could easily find a Taco Festival or concert to attend (Lizzo, Dashboard Confessional, and Mumford & Sons were all amazing). We managed to crowd into the standing-room section of AT&T Stadium for a Cowboys game twice last season and watched Doncic save a Mavs game from the nosebleeds of American Airlines Center. We ate our way across town, from the classic Fletcher's "corny-dogs" at the Texas State Fair to an elegant charcuterie at our favorite date spot, Macellaio in Bishop Arts. At night we'd meet up with friends for trivia at Community Brewery, a game of spikeball in Reverchon Park, or live salsa music at Reveler's Hall. There's always something happening in Dallas!

More recently, the need to stay socially distanced has allowed us to enjoy time off in new ways. I play piano much more now and have regular virtual game nights with friends. We've been hiking at Cedar Ridge Preserve and Cedar Hill State Park, which are very close to our house south of the city. We jumped on the Peloton bandwagon but also like to go cycling outdoors on the trail systems around White Rock lake and Trinity Forest. We planted a vegetable garden and still get take out from our favorite local restaurants like Salaryman, BBBop Seoul Kitchen, and Salty Donut. In a city like this it's easy to make lemons from lemonade and keep maximizing down-time, even in the age of COVID!

Ashlin Szalanski (PGY-4 Med/Psych)

photo of Dr. Ashlin Szalanski

A return to outdoor activities and at-home hobbies to maintain work-life balance is a theme of my year so far. That means hanging out at Reverchon park, motorcycle rides around the area and occasional trips to Fort Worth to buy home-brew supplies. When gyms are closed, enjoyable exercise has been hard to come by: at-home yoga isn’t the same and, though there are plenty of places to safely do it in Dallas, running is the worst.

I look forward to getting back to trying out new restaurants every weekend - the best in-town neighborhood for restaurants is Bishop Arts - going out in Oak Lawn and The Cedars (aka the least appreciated but hippest neighborhood in Dallas) and wasting away evenings at Celestial Beerworks, my favorite local brewery. I hope that my roller skating skills haven’t completely left me when the local women’s roller derby leagues start back up and ask if I can start refereeing again.

In the meantime I’ll keep learning how to cook new types of food and keeping my wife’s plants alive while she’s off being a busy general surgery resident. And continue pouring literally hundreds of collective hours into playing through the Gloomhaven series of board games.