Named for former Duke Department of Medicine Chair Eugene A. Stead, MD, the Stead Societies provide a support system for Duke’s 150 internal medicine residents so that they may master the research, clinical and social skills required of today’s physicians. Duke’s five Stead Societies are made up of about 35 residents, with 11-12 residents from each class, and are lead by former Duke Chief Medical Residents. Each society supports current residents by offering opportunities for mentoring, teaching, developing academic-oriented projects and building a sense of community. The societies are each named for a past leader of Duke Medicine, and each society has elected five faculty members, who serve as mentors.
“We developed the Stead Societies out of a desire to make a big program feel smaller, so residents across different classes could work together, mentor each other and have close contact with a small group of faculty members,” said Aimee Zaas, MD, MHS, associate professor of medicine and director, Internal Medicine Residency Program.
Eugene A. Stead, MD
Dr. Stead was Chairman of the Department of Medicine from 1947 to 1967. Stead received his undergraduate and medical degrees from Emory University in Atlanta. He served on the faculty of Harvard University and then returned to Emory as chairman of the Department of Medicine from 1942 to 1946 before coming to Duke. At Duke, Stead developed the Department of Medicine into one of the country’s leading academic medical programs by integrating teaching, clinical work and research. Stead founded the Duke Cardiovascular Disease Research Database, which today serves as the resource for the Duke Clinical Research Institute, and he also founded the nation’s first physician assistant program at Duke in the 1960s.
“His impact on medicine is really not just Duke; it’s national,” said Mary E. Klotman, MD, Chair of Duke Department of Medicine. “He really integrated all three missions in an academic department. He was an outstanding teacher, an outstanding clinician and an investigator.”
And it is Stead’s emphasis on patient care and training that the societies honor:
“Dr. Stead was arguably the most influential chair at Duke, and his legacy was training residents,” Zaas said. “We felt his emphasis on patient care and training was a legacy for residents to continue to aspire to.”
Learn more about Duke Internal Medicine’s Stead Societies:
This society is named for Walter Kempner, MD, who joined Duke’s Department of Medicine in 1934. Dr. Kempner was a nephrologist and invented the Rice Diet Program (still in existance today), which he used to treat severe hypertension and congestive heart failure at a time when there were no effective treatments. Kempner was nationally recognized for his research, and his work contributed to the recognition of hypertension as a modifiable cause for many complications.
Society events and projects: In addition to mentoring, social gatherings and occasional trips to Hanging Rock State Park, Kempner Society organizes the annual Stead Tread 5K walk/run. Since the first Stead Tread in 2012, Kempner Society has raised more than $25,000 for Lincoln Community Health Center.
About the society: “The main thing I want to pass onto Kempners is that Duke is a great place to be for residency and engaging with the Duke community really enhances the residency experience,” said Kempner leader Matt Crowley, MD. “I think that’s what the Stead Societies are all about — helping the house staff get as much as they can from residency in terms of accessing great clinical and research mentoring and engaging with patients and the community. And maybe most of all, creating an avenue for more interaction with the amazing group of Duke residents on a social level. The people I worked with were probably the best thing about my residency and chief year - some of my favorite people ever are colleagues from residency. Because Duke just attracts a great group of people, a primary goal for the Stead Societies is making sure residents have the chance to step back, recognize that and make the most of it.”
Contact: Matt Crowley, MD, assistant professor of medicine, Division of Endocrinology, Metabolism and Nutrition. Dr. Crowley was Chief Resident at Duke in 2008-09.
Stead Tread 2013 raised more than $6,000 for Lincoln Community Health Center.
The Kerby Society is named for Grace Kerby, MD, the Department of Medicine’s first female chief resident (1948) who went on to become the first female professor of medicine and the first female Division Chief (Rheumatology). Dr. Kerby began her career as a microbiologist at Johns Hopkins University, where she was the head of the clinical bacteriology lab before entering medical school at Duke at age 31. She graduated first in her class and, as a faculty member, Kerby was best known for overseeing the residency program. Kerby also ran the fluorescent antinuclear antibody lab, co-founded the arthritis clinic and pioneered trial collaborations between Duke and industries in the evolving Research Triangle Park.
Society events and projects: The Kerby Society has hosted dinners, happy hours and lunches for members. Two of our honorary faculty, Ralph Corey, MD, (Infectious Diseases), and Richard Riedel, MD, (Oncology), conduct mock interviews each fall to help JARs and SARs prepare for fellowship or job interviews. Each spring, our members contribute to the organization of the house staff Annual Charity Auction. In the summer, Kerby Society hosts a program-wide outing for residents, faculty and their families to enjoy a Durham Bulls baseball game.
About the society: “In the Kerby Society, we strive to emulate Dr. Kerby’s courage as a trailblazer, her dedication to medical education and practice, her spirit of service to her colleagues and department, and her brilliance as a clinician and scientist,” said past Kerby Society leader Heather Whitson, MD.
“The best part of my experience as a resident and chief resident was the relationships I developed with my colleagues,” Whitson said. “They inspired me to be a better doctor and scholar. They made it really fun to go to work every day and at the same time, made me work harder. I think our ‘work hard, play hard’ approach is a uniquely Duke trait, and I love that about this place. I really see that in the Kerby Society residents and it makes me proud.”
Contact: Joel Boggan, MD, MPH, assistant professor of medicine, Division of General Internal Medicine. Dr. Boggan was Chief Resident at Duke in 2013-14.
The Orgain Society is named in honor of Edward S. Orgain, MD, who joined Duke University School of Medicine in 1934 as an instructor in medicine and physiology after training at Massachusetts General Hospital, where he published one of the first scientific papers about atrial fibrillation. In 1945, he became founding director of the Cardiovascular Diseases Service and started the Cardiovascular Diseases Fellowship Program. Dr. Orgain developed Duke’s first cardiovascular diagnostic unit and joined the Division of Cardiology when it was established in 1967. He retired in 1975 and an endowment was established in his honor in 1982 to support clinicians working to improve heart disease treatment.
Society events and projects: The Orgain Stead Society continues to be active in multiple hospital and community activities and hosted a ‘Funbruary’ event for the faculty and residents last February.
The Warren society is named for James Warren, MD, a physician who truly reflects the greatness of Duke Medicine. Dr. Stead recruited Warren from Emory University to become the first chief of medicine at the Durham VA Medical Center in 1952. Warren then became the chief of the Division of Cardiology in 1955. He later left Duke to become the chair of medicine at Ohio State University, thus initiating the Ohio State-Duke recruiting pipeline that has so benefited Duke over the years. Warren was one of the first physicians to use cardiac catheterization for diagnosing heart problems, and, along with Dr. Stead, helped to define the mechanisms of congestive heart failure.
Society events and projects: In recent years, Warren members have prepared and served dinner at the Ronald McDonald House each spring. Social events have included a Stead Society trivia night at Bull McCabes each summer and a gathering at the Crowley household in the spring. The Warren Society offers fellowship interview preparation to its members and any other counseling that its residents find helpful.
About the society: “My experience has been to benefit from solid and continuous mentorship throughout my career at Duke, running from medical school all the way through my current position on faculty, and I hope to give back to the residents in Warren Society,” said Warren leader Steve Crowley.
The Martin Society is named after Samuel Preston Martin III, MD, who was born in rural Missouri in 1916 and attended medical school at Washington University in St Louis. Dr. Martin completed medical school in 1941, where he began his residency training in Internal Medicine. During World War II, Dr. Martin joined the United States Army Air Corps where he led a team that parachuted into a dense forest in Newfoundland to rescue civilian survivors of a transatlantic airliner that had crashed, earning him the esteemed Order of Leopold, which he wore on his lapel the rest of his life. In 1947, Dr. Martin came to Duke to complete his residency and begin his academic career in Infectious Diseases. He was recognized as a Markle Scholar and a research fellow in microbiology and immunology at the Rockefeller Institute. At the young age of 39, he created Duke’s Internal Medicine Residency program, making It the best of the country, and later joined the faculty of the University of Florida at Gainesville and the University of Pennsylvania, where he championed innovative programs for students in health, management and social sciences and established the MBA Program in Health Care Management at Penn’s Wharton School. Dr. Martin was revered by colleagues and students, and was admired as a visionary of his time. The 6-foot, 4-inch son of a Missouri country doctor and great grandson of a Revolutionary War physician, Dr. Martin’s natural charm and unassuming dignity enabled him to prod the careers of scores of gifted young men and women in medicine and health care. A born teacher and a storyteller in the tradition of Mark Twain, he seemed never to impose his own beliefs on others. Instead, he excelled at motivating young people to understand and cultivate their own special talents and was a master at catalyzing groups of strong-willed professionals into reaching constructive consensus.