David Lee Simel, MD

Professor of Medicine
Vice-Chair for Veterans Affairs in the Department of Medicine
Campus mail Room C8010, Durham VA Med Ct., 508 Fulton St, Durham, NC 27705
Phone (919) 286-6941
Email address david.simel@duke.edu

Chief, Medical Service, Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center

Appropriateness of diagnostic test use, including not just traditional laboratory and radiographic tests, but also the clinical examination. Editor of the "Rational Clinical Examination Series" published in the Journal of the American Medical Association.

Metaanalysis of diagnostic test studies

Education and Training

  • Fellowship in Hematology-Oncology, Medicine, Duke University, 1985 - 1986
  • Chief Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1984 - 1985
  • Medical Resident, Medicine, Duke University, 1981 - 1984
  • Fellowship in Hematology-Oncology, Medicine, Duke University, 1981 - 1981
  • M.S., Duke University, 1990
  • M.D., Duke University, 1980


Ostrovsky, D. A. “Update: Pneumonia, Infant and Child.” In The Rational Clinical Examination: Evidence-Based Clinical Diagnosis, edited by D. Simel and D. Rennie. McGraw Hill Professional, 2008.


Goldberg, Kenneth C., Stephanie D. Melnyk, and David L. Simel. “Overcoming inertia: improvement in achieving target low-density lipoprotein cholesterol.” Am J Manag Care 13, no. 9 (September 2007): 530–34.


Ranji, Sumant R., L Elizabeth Goldman, David L. Simel, and Kaveh G. Shojania. “Do opiates affect the clinical evaluation of patients with acute abdominal pain?” Jama 296, no. 14 (October 11, 2006): 1764–74. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.296.14.1764.

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Detsky, M. E., R. McDonald, O. Baerlocher, G. A. Tomlinson, D. C. McCrory, D. L. Simel, and C. M. Booth. “Rational clinical exam: Does this patient with headache have a migraine or need neuroimaging?” Journal of General Internal Medicine 21 (April 1, 2006): 121–121.


Goldberg, K. C., S. D. Melnyk, and D. L. Simel. “Overcoming provider inertia: Improvement in LDL-cholesterol management.” Journal of General Internal Medicine 21 (April 1, 2006): 200–200.


Khan, Nadia A., Sherali A. Rahim, Sonia S. Anand, David L. Simel, and Akbar Panju. “Does the clinical examination predict lower extremity peripheral arterial disease?” Jama 295, no. 5 (February 1, 2006): 536–46. https://doi.org/10.1001/jama.295.5.536.

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Goldberg, K. C., D. L. Simel, and E. Z. Oddone. “Effect of an opioid management system on opioid prescribing and unscheduled visits in a large primary care clinic.” Journal of Clinical Outcomes Management 12, no. 12 (December 1, 2005): 621–28.