Faculty Spotlight: Jenny Van Kirk, MD

Thursday, August 10, 2017

Jenny Van Kirk, MD, finished up her internal medicine residency at Duke and joined the DGIM faculty this July as Medical Instructor in Hospital Medicine. Here's what we learned on a personal note:

I see you’ve been chosen as a Chief Resident at DUH for next year, are you excited for this next role?

I was extremely honored to be chosen as a Chief Resident for next year and could not be more excited to serve in that role.  The Chief Resident is an educator, clinician, advocate for the residents and so much more.  I absolutely love medical education and will enjoy working with the residents in that capacity.  The chief year will be an opportunity to give back to the program that has given me and taught me so much during the course of my training.

"I was blown away by the passion, intelligence, and warmth of each person I met (at Duke) and knew that I wanted to be a part of the magic of the program."

What are your interests in the field?

As I've mentioned, I am passionate about medical education.  While I love taking care of patients and this will always be my top priority, working in medicine is more meaningful when sharing the joy of learning and patient care with others.  The team aspect of medicine is incredibly enjoyable for me, as each member of the team is able to contribute to the learning of others and enhance the care of the patients.  

How did you get in to this specific field?

During medical school and residency, I found that I liked everything a little too much to give up anything.  Thus, I chose a broad field in which I am able to care for patients with diverse problems.  Hospital medicine allows me to care for very sick patients with complex presentations.  

What brought you to Duke?

Throughout medical school, I thought I'd move back to the Midwest for residency.  However, I interviewed many places, and fell in love with the internal medicine residency program here at Duke.  I was blown away by the passion, intelligence, and warmth of each person I met and knew that I wanted to be a part of the magic of the program.  It truly is a family and the people here are the main reason I decided to stay at Duke after residency.  

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?

Outside of the hospital, I like to take advantage of the local restaurant scene, amazing hiking trails, and more!  If I am able to spend time with family and friends, then it doesn't matter so much what we are doing as long as we are doing it together.  I enjoy staying active in any way, including playing sports such as basketball and golf. I definitely spend a large amount of time on FaceTime with my two-year-old niece, Blake, who is back in Minnesota (see photo above). 

Have you taken any trips recently that you would like to share?

A few months ago, I went to Utah and visited all five of the national parks there.  It was incredible!

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I have been chased by a moose while riding horseback.  You'll have to ask me for the details in person on that one!

What is your favorite food?

My mom's chocolate chip cookies.

What is your favorite restaurant?

My favorite local restaurant is Panciuto in Hillsborough.