Faculty Spotlight: Anne Phelps, MD

Thursday, October 9, 2014
Anne PhelpsThis week's faculty spotlight shines on Anne Phelps, MD, who works at the Duke Outpatient Clinic and at Duke Signature Care. Dr. Phelps talks us about teaching residents, getting to know her patients, and running into an octopus in Hawaii.

How long have you been at Duke? How long have you been at the Division?
I came to both Duke and the Division in 2001. I was at the Pickett Road clinic until 2012. One of my roles was to lead the outpatient teaching clinic at Pickett Rd for many years.

What are your responsibilities within the Division? What does a typical day for you look like?
For the Division, I teach at the Duke Outpatient Clinic. I often do ambulatory 1/2 day lectures for the residents. I also see patients at Duke Signature Care. On a typical day, my appointments are every 30 minutes. I will see 8 patients per 1/2 day. I’m also on call 24/7 for my patients. My phone lives with me now.

How long have you been with Duke Signature Care? What has that experience been like for you?
I have been at signature care for 2 years. It has been very satisfying for me personally. I have more time to see my patients and take care of all of their needs.
Before the move, I had given so much time and energy to my patients. I needed time to balance my work and family life. I have a much closer relationship with my patients now. There were so many personal issues I never knew about my patients that I learned once I had the time to sit down and just listen. Now, I feel like I have time to wrap up my patients and hand them off well cared for.

In your Duke Medicine profile you talk about focusing on your patients’ physical as well as mental health. How do you do this? How do these two tie together?
This is a difficult question to answer because it depends on the individual. You need to be able to take the time to listen to your patient. You need to incorporate their non-verbal cues and their complaints. Together when you combine all of these elements you will be better able to handle a patient's physical and emotional needs. Often, I can tell how stressed a patient is by how much they sigh when talking to me.

You also talk about enjoying both snorkeling and golf. What’s the most exotic thing you’ve seen underwater? Where did you play your best game of golf?
I love snorkeling. I got to see a Hawaiian day octopus. It has been one of the coolest things I have seen. Snorkeling with wild dolphins in a cove in Hawaii was also pretty cool.
My favorite round of golf was the Prince Course on the island of Kuai in Hawaii. My best round was the Ocean Course at Kiawah Island, South Carolina.

[youtube https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oXPb8oLLSCA?rel=0&w=560&h=315]