DukeMed Alumni News Winter 2021

DukeMed Alumni News

View Winter 2021 Issue

Families at 2021 White Coat Ceremony

Medical Families Day

March 5, 2022

More About Medical Families Day

2021 DMAA Awardees

2021 DMAA Awardees

Both our 2021 and 2020 Duke Medical Alumni Association Awardees will be celebrated during the spring of 2022.

About the Awardees >

 

School & Alumni News


Vietnam: Looking for Disease in a Global Hotspot

It’s an early November morning and third-year Duke medical students Amanda Farrell, MSIII, and Thao Nguyen, AB’16, MSIII, are walking through the massive, muddy, and malodorous Ha Vi live bird market near Hanoi, Vietnam, looking for potential disease.

They have come to the right place.

From Ethicist to Activist

The Silence of the Lambs, the 1991 award-winning movie in which Sir Anthony Hopkins plays Hannibal Lecter, a sociopathic psychiatrist and cannibalistic serial killer, is considered one of the great films. But for Mark S. Komrad, MD’83, a clinical psychiatrist and medical ethicist, it was more than a horror movie. It was a reflection of how the public perceives psychiatry, and a reminder of why he hesitated to go into the field in the first place.

Balancing Act

When Shelley Hwang, MD, MPH, is in the operating room performing surgery on a patient with breast cancer, she focuses all of her considerable experience, skill, and knowledge on the task at hand: giving this individual patient the best possible outcome. At the same time, she recognizes that every operation is an opportunity to learn just a little bit more about the disease she battles every day. Every patient and every procedure add to the store of knowledge that guides research and ultimately informs the advances that improve care.

Medical Education in a Time of COVID-19

The arrival and rapid spread of COVID-19 in mid-March disrupted virtually all normal operations at Duke. Administrators, faculty, students, and staff had to move quickly to revise plans, adapt procedures, move operations, and improvise on the fly.

Duke University Medical Students Celebrate Match Day 2020

On Friday, March 20, medical students at Duke celebrated Match Day virtually! The students received envelopes digitally at noon and quickly shared their exciting news on social media and other digital platforms. 

A total of 115 Duke Med students participated and are headed to some of the nation’s most prestigious residency programs.
 

Among them:

With an Eye to the Future

Kind and supportive classmates. Inspiring mentors. Life-changing interactions with patients. These are all facets of the Duke University medical school experience that graduating students will take with them when they move to their residency programs later this year.

We interviewed five members of the Class of 2020 about their favorite memories from their time at Duke and their aspirations for the future.
Match Day 2020 article 

Putting Data and Tech on a Fast Track

A longtime advocate for the marriage of technology and data to advance health care, Amy Abernethy, MD’94, HS’94-’01, PhD, envisions a future in which the two are as ubiquitous and easy to use in the medical field as tongue depressors.

As the newly appointed principal deputy commissioner of the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA)—the highest position at the FDA that is not a political appointment—Abernethy has a national platform in which to help advance personalized medicine.

Building Bridges

From the day she took office as dean of Duke University School of Medicine in 2017, Mary E. Klotman, BS’76, MD’80, HS’80-’85, has advanced the idea of One Duke: the premise that the key to achieving great things lies in collaborations across Duke, regardless of title, unit, discipline, or any of the other labels that traditionally have compartmentalized the operations of a major academic medical institution.

Changing of the Guard

The day her eyelashes froze together turned out to be a pivotal day for Heather Whitson, MD, HS’01-’04, ‘06. She was a medical school student at Cornell University at the time, spending the winter in Boston doing research with a Harvard geriatrician. She was enjoying the research so much she was hoping to do her residency at Harvard so she could continue it. But when her eyelashes froze, she started dreaming of warmer climes.

Parkinson's Disease: The Stars in Our Brains


More than 10 million people worldwide—about 1 percent of people over age 60—live with Parkinson’s disease. There are treatments that can help control symptoms, but there is no cure.