Faculty Spotlight: Nilesh Patel, MD, MS

Meet Nilesh Patel, MD, MS, a DUH hospitalist since finishing his residency in 2013 and chief residency just last year. Get to know Dr. Patel through our interview below. 

How long have you been at Duke?

I am starting in my sixth year at Duke. I did both my residency and Chief Residency here at Duke, and liked it so much that I’ve stuck around since then (or rather, GIM and hospital medicine let me stay).

What are your responsibilities within the division?

My responsibilities have changed quite a bit over the past few years. Last academic year, I was Chief Resident at Duke, so most of my time was spent with the residency program. However, I did get to round on the teaching service for 2 months out of the year. The year before that and now, I spend most of my time on both the teaching and non-teaching services. I will be transitioning to becoming Medical Director of Unit 8100 with the help of Pooh Setji; co-directing our residency program’s simulation education with Cara O’Brien and Liz Hankollari; and starting to spend some time at Duke NUS with Larry Greenblatt and Mamata Yanamadala.

Could you tell us more about your role as a researcher?

Over the past two years I have become more interested in research in education. With Liz (Hankollari), Cara (O’Brien), and a group of others we have started projects researching a novel simulation curriculum for residents, inter-disciplinary procedure training, and ultrasound guided procedure training.

How did you get into this field?

I also have a background in Clinical Research through Emory’s TL1 program in Clinical and Translational Science. I’m hoping to apply that more over the coming year as well, but it really helped start my interest in clinical research.

How has your subject area changed (or where you see future changes)? 

Simulation in internal medicine residency is evolving quite quickly. The foundations for it in medical school education and for surgical/procedural specialties have been quite developed. However, using it to train residents how to think without algorithms (rather than how to do) is quite new. We’ve actually started from scratch, building cases, scoring systems, and a longitudinal curriculum.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the division? 

I was in Chicago and Atlanta before coming to Durham, and really was most worried about finding great food here (that, and starting intern year). I really like finding a new place that’s great. Jogging, hiking, and reading are also quite a bit of fun.

Have you recently read any books, articles, blog posts or other material that would be of interest to the division?

When building the curriculum, getting exposed to different preferences and styles of learners was really interesting. I just started reading Quiet by Susan Cain after my sister got me a copy. Its starting off as a great read.

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