Heather E. Whitson, MD, MHS

Associate Professor of Medicine
Associate Professor in Ophthalmology
Department / Division:
Medicine / Medicine - Geriatrics
DUMC 3003
Durham, NC 27710
Appointment Telephone:
Not accepting new patients
Office Telephone:
  • MD, Weill Cornell Medical College (New York), 2000
  • Master in Health Sciences, Duke University
  • Internal Medicine, Duke University Medical Center, 2003
  • Geriatrics, Duke University Medical Center, 2006
Clinical Interests:
Geriatrics, particularly multimorbidity, frailty, functional decline
Research Interests:
Dr. Whitson's research is focused on improving care and health outcomes for people with multiple chronic conditions.  In particular, she has interest and expertise related to the link between changes in the eye and brain (e.g., Why do cognitive and brain changes occur in the context of late-life vision loss?  Is Alzheimer's Disease associated with distinctive changes in the retina, and could such changes help diagnose Alzheimer's early in its course?).  Dr. Whitson is also interested in improving care delivery systems and intervention programs to better serve medically complex patients.  She has developed a novel rehabilitation model for people with co-existing cognitive deficits, and is part of a inter-disciplinary team seeking to improve peri-operative outcomes for frail or at-risk seniors who must undergo surgery. 
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