Faculty Spotlight: Linda Harpole, MD

Tuesday, May 21, 2019

Linda Harpole, MD, MPH, joined DGIM faculty in February of 2018. She's a clinician in the Duke Signature Care/Executive Health program with teaching and mentoring activities at the Duke Outpatient Clinic. In our interview below, she tells us all about her interests, both in and out of work.

What brought you to Duke? 

I came to Duke many years ago, as an undergraduate, wanting to get away from the cold winters in Boston.   With the exception of years away for both residency and a general medicine fellowship at Brigham and Women’s Hospital back in Boston, I’ve been in Durham, NC ever since. I attended Duke Medical School, took my first job on faculty at Duke in the Division of General Internal Medicine, before leaving for a stint in the pharmaceutical industry, where I ran a Global Health Outcomes group for many years. Whilst I loved my pharmaceutical career, I always envisioned coming back to clinical care, and was fortunate enough to be able to return to Duke last year, and to work with colleagues I had known from years before. 

What are your interests in the field?

Earlier in my career I focused on creating and testing health care solutions for treatment of chronic disease in the primary care setting.  During my time in industry my focus was on demonstrating the economic and humanistic benefits of medicines to help patients achieve access. Whilst I very much enjoyed creating health care solutions on the larger scale, at this juncture of my career, my focus is on the individual, and I am fortunate to be able to work in a setting where I can focus on developing meaningful relationships with my patients, to help them achieve the best outcomes possible.

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?

Much of my time over the years has been raising my three teenage girls, who are the source of so much joy.  Together with my husband, I like to travel, cook and take long walks with our dog.

Any recent books you’ve read that you’d like to share?

I love to read, and feel at a lost if I don’t have a book ready to read when I finish the one in hand. Whilst on a recent, extensive college search trip with my twins, I read Breakfast with Buddha, by Roland Merullo, which was fortuitously a great choice.  It tells the story of two individuals on the road across the heartland of America, and the self-discovery that evolves. It was the perfect book to read in the midst of an intensive travel schedule, providing some space for calm and introspection.

What is a fun fact about yourself?

I not only have three daughters, two of which are twins, but also a newest "child", my  3 year old Siberian Husky, Maya. Whilst she loves to live on the air conditioning vent in the summer, she is a great companion on many long walks when the weather is cooler!

What is your favorite food?

I love desserts, all desserts.  One of my daughters gave me a cookbook entitled  ‘American Cake’ by Anne Byrn and I’m baking my way through great American desserts from Colonial times to modern day. 

What is your favorite restaurant?

There are so many good restaurants in Durham that I enjoy; however a favorite is NanaSteak, which my husband and I frequent on DPAC nights, as we can always count on good food, wine and camaraderie.