Clinical Excellence Society

An expansion of the Master Clinician Awards, the Clinical Excellence Society recognizes Duke Department of Medicine faculty who excel in clinical practice. Members of the Society are exceptional clinicians who have made contributions to the practice of patient care, clinical innovation, and training the next generation of physicians. They are widely considered to be "the doctor's doctor."


  • To recognize DOM faculty members who excel in clinical practice.
  • To celebrate our master clinicians, who are generally considered as “the doctor’s doctors.”  These are the clinicians we call for advice on the most challenging cases and the who we ask to take care of our family members.


  • Must have a primary appointment in the DOM and hold a regular rank appointment.
  • Have good standing in the DOM.
  • Engage in clinical practice for at least 50% of their professional effort. 
  • Active in clinical practice for at least 10 years with at least 5 years at Duke Health.
  • Selection criteria include:
    • Extraordinary clinical skills and bedside manner
    • Recognition by colleagues, referring physicians, trainees and patients
    • Evidence of leadership regionally and nationally


  • Active members can participate in selecting members and all business activities of the society.
  • Active members who transition to emeritus status can continue to stay engaged in the Master Clinician Society.  However, they will not be able to participate in the business of the society.  
  • Membership to the society will be evaluated by a membership committee.  Initially, this committee will be comprised of the 5 DOM members who were selected as Master Clinicians in 2022 and 2023 along with the DOM Vice Chair of Clinical Services. 
  • The membership committee will select a slate of candidates that will be put forward to a vote of the entire membership of the society after confirmation that all candidates are in good standing in the department.
  • The initial membership class for 2024 should ideally have at least one individual from each of the 12 divisions.
  • Nominations will occur once/year.  The nomination process will include a nomination letter with supporting comments from a range of evaluators.

2023 Master Clinician Award Recipients

Carl Berg, MD
Sangeeta Joshi, MD, MBBS
Shelley McDonald, DO, PhD

2022 Master Clinician Award Recipients

Drs. Fortin and Patel
​​​​​​Terry Fortin, MD, MS
Drs. Patel and Ortel
Thomas Ortel, MD, PhD