GIM Faculty Spotlight: Michelle Perkons, MD

By Clare Il'Giovine


Meet Michelle Perkons, MD, who joined our GIM division as a Medical Instructor in July of 2022 and is a hospitalist at Duke University Hospital. Learn more about her in our interview below!

What brought you to Duke?

Perkons Hiking

My husband and I were in Philly for 8 years while I did med school and residency and he completed his MD-PhD. We loved the city, but we were ready for a change and knew we wanted to be somewhere with great hospitals, delicious food, a strong community, and lots of outdoor activities - plus, my parents retired to the Triangle a few years ago and they love it here. My husband (Nick Perkons) is now an Internal Medicine prelim intern here at Duke on his way to the Integrated IR residency program - say hi if you see him around! 

What are your interests in the field?

Clinically, I love taking care of hospitalized patients and working with students and residents in all capacities! I am truly a generalist at heart, and I am happiest doing a little bit of everything. On the academic side, I am passionate about the intersection between Quality Improvement/Patient Safety (QIPS) and health equity, as well as the ways that physicians from varying backgrounds can support each other’s growth through mentorship, sponsorship, and allyship. I have been happy to get involved with the Mortality Review Team here at Duke and am working on finding my niche in med ed.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?

Perkons Wedding

My favorite place to be is hiking with my husband and our dog, whether it’s locally or on a trip. We’ve started to explore Umstead, Eno River, and some trails in Western NC, and have loved all of them. We recently had our belated (due to the pandemic) honeymoon in Greece and enjoyed some spectacular hiking there along the E4 European trail. We also love to cook elaborate weekend dinners, and when we lived in Philly we would prepare an annual Thanksgiving meal for about 20 friends – we’re looking forward to continuing that tradition here in Durham! 

What is a fun fact about yourself?


I got married on the roof of my house at the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. Our wedding was planned for June of 2020, so a few months before that we knew we’d have to postpone the festivities, but we still wanted to get legally married on that date. So, we signed a self-uniting marriage license (a Pennsylvania Quaker tradition, as we found out) and got married on our roof deck with friends and family watching via Zoom. The computer streaming it was propped up on a chair with an umbrella and some textbooks; very fancy. Also, contrary to popular belief, my name is not pronounced "perkins" but rather "pair-cones" - I blame my husband for any confusion. My maiden name was easy and phonetic.

What is your favorite food? 

I once ate nachos so vigorously that my Apple Watch asked if I was doing a swimming workout. I am embarrassed by this fact, but willing to publicize it if it means my new colleagues might share amazing nacho destinations in the Triangle with me. 

Is there anything else you would like to share?

I’m just very excited and grateful to join Hospital Medicine and GIM here at Duke and I’m really looking forward to continuing to meet everyone!