Faculty Spotlight: Elizabeth Hankollari, MD

Monday, June 21, 2021

Elizabeth Hankollari, MD, joined our division in 2014. She is a hospitalist at Duke University Hospital. Learn more about her in our interview below.

What brought you to Duke?

I had visited the area when applying for residency and really liked it (I interviewed at UNC; I didn't apply to Duke, but based on how talented their residents are, I'm pretty sure they would have chucked my application in the round file!). When I interviewed at Duke, I met with Dr. Cara O'Brien who had started the procedure service and was working on starting a simulation program to train IM residents in medical management of rapid response events in the hospital. These were both interests of mine so it seemed like it would be a good fit. Once I got here I found myself surrounded by really bright and collegial people. I have made some good friends in our group. I love the flexibility and variety of my schedule.

What are your interests in the field?
I love bedside procedures and simulation in medical education. I have my X-waiver for buprenorphine prescribing, and I like my work on the COMET consult service line (Caring for Patients with Opioid Misuse through Evidence-Based Treatment; inpatient consult line to assess and treat opioid use disorder or withdrawal). I also really like consultative medicine though I don't get the chance to do as much of it as I would like.

How did you get in to this specific field?
I had some leanings towards a fellowship in Pulm/Critical Care but I was also tired of being in training! I was looking for a hospitalist job in a place where I could consider hospital medicine as a career. I figured I could give it a year or two and if I didn't love it, I could apply for fellowship. The variety, flexibility and job security of hospital medicine cannot be beat, in my opinion - so I never reconsidered fellowship.

Is there any research you are doing or plan on doing?
I've been very slowly finishing the manuscript for our simulation curriculum that I worked on with some of my colleagues (Jenny Van Kirk, Nilesh Patel, Cara O'Brien) - I have to push it across the finish line but we hope to publish it somewhere this year. We studied how our simulation curriculum impacted resident confidence in assessing and treating patients with acute medical decompensation.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
I need more of these - besides hanging out with my kids (Leona, age 8, Mateo, age 4) and husband (Lulian) and pandemic puppy, German Shepherd Bulina, I like hiking, trying new restaurants, and traveling. I discovered a new home-based fitness cult called Street Parking (if you work out in your garage, you have to park in the street) and have been super grateful for it during the pandemic since the gyms were closed.

Any recent books you've read that you would like to share?
Life After Life by Kate Atkinson (for myself); I just finished reading Little House in the Big Woods to my kids (we read a couple chapters each night at bedtime).

What is your favorite food?
I couldn't choose one; it's like picking a favorite child. I love food! There might be a special place in my heart for cheese. Hopefully in the metaphorical sense and not an actual place, like my coronary arteries.

What is your favorite restaurant?
M Sushi in Durham. Have never been disappointed there.

Is there any thing else you would like to share?
I can't wait to travel again - in June 2019 we took our two kids to Albania (see photos), where my husband was born and raised (he moved to the US when he was 14). We stayed for 4 weeks - thanks to the flexibility of my work schedule - and it was an unforgettable trip for everyone.