This week’s spotlight focuses on a new member in General Internal Medicine, Dr. Patrick Hemming. Dr. Hemming’s home state is Maryland but he’s finding a niche at Duke that builds on his training as a clinician educator. Read about his unique focus on teaching psycho-social support of patients and about his commitment to parenting 3 young children.
How long have you been at Duke?
I have been at Duke and in the division since August, 2015. I recently moved from Baltimore, MD, where I attended medical school (University of Maryland), completed residency (Johns Hopkins Bayview), and GIM fellowship (Johns Hopkins). I have been a Marylander for most of my life, but am excited to explore North Carolina.
What are your responsibilities within the division?
I have a mixture of clinical responsibilities. I am building my own primary care panel at the Duke Outpatient Clinic. I precept the internal medicine residents in their continuity clinic, and I’m thrilled to be working alongside some phenomenal GIM educators here. I assist with the kidney/pancreas donation program, doing medical evaluations and acting as the independent live donor advocate for prospective donors, assisting them to navigate the process and options that present themselves in the decision to donate a kidney. Each Wednesday, I am at home caring for my young kids.
How did you get into internal medicine?
I think that I have instinctively sought out training that I saw as applicable to the people that I know and care about as much as possible. I contemplated doing geriatrics, but found that I really enjoyed caring for younger adults. I chose Internal Medicine because I wanted to stay in academics and develop an area of expertise, but not have an organ-specific focus. I love the time spent one-on-one with patients in the clinic, particularly counseling with them about struggles and aspirations.
What subject areas have you studied?
Prior to coming here I completed a fellowship in general internal medicine at Johns Hopkins University with a focus on medical education. I’m very interested in the ways in which we as a medical team provide psychosocial support to patients who experience a variety of mental health problems and strong emotions. During fellowship, I have developed several educational interventions to improve residents learning in the areas of geriatric depression, working with integrated behavioral health providers in the outpatient setting, and collaborating with chaplains in inpatient care. I’ve been busy presenting these at national and regional meetings and am in the review process for publishing these experiences. I hope to develop teaching psychosocial support as a focus in my future work at Duke with residents, medical students, and students from other professions.
What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the division?
I really enjoy playing, singing, and listening to music. I previously played guitar in a bluegrass band. I sold my Fender telecaster a few years ago, but enjoy punk rock and blues. I find that much of my outside time is spent parenting my kids, who are 6, 3 and 7 months old. At this point in my life, I’m really trying to prioritize my time for parenting. We have a new trampoline, and we enjoy bouncing and playing together.
Have you recently read any books that would be of interest to the division?
A book that I read recently was “Give and Take” by Adam Grant that examines people’s reciprocity styles, and is an excellent guide to approaching professional and personal relationships. As a fellow, we had a wonderful book group where we read books on a variety of topics with some applicability to our work with patients and learners. Books like this have really expanded my creativity and thoughtfulness about how I teach and practice medicine.