Faculty Spotlight: Virginia Wang, PhD

Last October 2015 we wrote about Dr. Virginia Wang’s new appointment to the editorial board of Health Care Management Review. We thought our readers would be interested to read more about her career as a health services researcher as well as her work-life experiences. Spoiler alert: Dr. Wang was a long distance runner in high school and college! Read further to learn about her focus in research and how she chose this field.

How long have you been at Duke?
I have been in DGIM since 2010, when I completed my post-doctoral fellowship at the Durham VA’s Center for Health Services Research and Development.

What are your responsibilities within the division?
I am a health services researcher and study phenomena and policy in healthcare from an organizational perspective.  For several years, I have been examining the organization of care in the dialysis industry and its association with outcomes.  I am Principal Investigator on NIH and VA-funded studies and serve as co-investigator on several Duke and VA projects. I spend my days preparing for and attending meetings, reading papers, learning about what can and cannot be done with administrative data, writing papers, and batting around research ideas with colleagues.  When I can, I try to pair this work with music fit for the task at hand.

Dr. Wang with Faculty/Fellow Conference

Dr. Wang with Faculty/Fellow Conference

How did you get into health services research?
I was a research assistant in a department like ours and accompanied a faculty member to an all-day expert panel session about the goals and methodological challenges of surveying nursing home patients about their experience of care. The discussion had me hooked.  I decided then that I could see myself enjoying the kind of work she was doing, on a daily basis.

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of the division?
I enjoy spending time with my family and friends and getting outside.  I was a distance runner throughout high school and college.  My racing days are over but I still love running, which now provides the added bonus of clearing my head and exploring neighborhoods and trails. With work and an active toddler, it’s a victory if I get out for runs half of the week.


Virginia Wang, PhD, with daughter, Delaney

Have you recently read anything that would be of interest to the division?
Did I mention I have a toddler?  I look forward to curling up with a good book and not passing out within 5 minutes of opening it…again one day.  For work-related reading, I enjoy blog posts from the Incidental Economist.

What is a fact about you that people may not know
I like to look – aimlessly and habitually – at real estate listings.


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