Internal Medicine Residency News, December 19, 2014

Friday, December 19, 2014

From the Director

DUKE.RESEARCH.NIGHT.03 (1)It’s the last MED RES NEWS of 2014!  While some of the days (or nights) may have been long, the first half of the year seems to have flown by.  This is absolutely a credit to you all – there are so many people who benefit from your hard work and your care on a daily basis, and it is much appreciated by us all.  I hope that you get a chance to relax over the Christmas or New Year’s break with family and friends.

Things to note before the holiday time starts…..THANK YOU to everyone who donated to the Toys For Tots drive! We were able to deliver a very nice donation of toys to make the holiday brighter for kids in the Durham area.  From We Care Wednesdays to Thanksgiving to Christmas toys, we’ve done some good here this year!  Looking forward to our annual Charity Auction in 2015 as well as the 4th annual Stead Tread to extend our reach into the community.

Kudos this week to Jordan Pomeroy from Dr. Galanos for fantastic care in the CCU, and to Jason Zhu from Dr. Oddone for his work on VA Gen Med, and to our awesome ACRs John Wagener, Christine Bestvina and Iris Vance.  Other thanks to our “Resident Share/My Take” team of John Musgrove, Sajal Tanna and Ben Peterson on Monday.

Things to think about over the holidays (other than spending time with friends and family)…work on your schedule requests for next year (rising JAR and SAR), register for your boards (current SARs) and ask your family about coming to the FIRST ANNUAL DUKE MEDICINE RESIDENCY PARENTS’ WEEKEND! May 28-31, 2015!  We look forward to showing off for your parents with Resident Research Night, the State of the Residency Grand Rounds, a look into what exactly you do all day, as well as social events including dinner, a Bull’s game and brunch.  Please send us suggestions of anything you would like to add to the weekend.

This week’s Pubmed from the Program goes to your awesome DRH/ambulatory Chief Bonike Oloruntoba whose paper was just accepted!

Have a great week and a very happy, healthy, restful and rejuvenating holiday.

We’re back on the blog in 2016!


Toys for Tots Donation!




What Did I Read This Week?


Submitted by: Aimee Zaas, MD

"The Darwin Awards: Sex Differences in Idiotic Behavior” from BMJ 2014; 349;g7094

What Did I Read? “The Darwin Awards: Sex Differences in Idiotic Behavior” from BMJ 2014; 349;g7094.

Why Did I Read This?  If you aren’t familiar with the British Medical Journal’s holiday edition, then you should be.  Nerd humor at its finest, responsible for classics such as comparing chicken soup recipes for their neutrophil killing properties, evaluating if James Bond had essential tremor, and an observational study of why Rudolph’s nose is red, the BMJ made headlines again this year with statistical support to show that men are more idiotic than women.

What Did the Authors Do?  The authors sought to evaluate whether or not the epidemiology around risk related illness and injury (men are far more likely to have sports related, occupational and accidental injuries than women) extended to “idiotic” risks — the type where the payoff is negligible and the outcome is often, as they say, final.  Researchers evaluated the winners of the Darwin Award for the past 20 years.  For those of you not familiar, the Darwin Award is given to the per on who dies in such an idiotic manner that “ their action ensures the long term survival of the species, by selectively allowing one less idiot to survive.”  (Representative samples can be seen on shows such as MTV’s Jack***). Examples of winners include a terrorist who posted a letter bomb with insufficient postage and then OPENED his letter when it was “returned to sender” and someone who dropped a large steel item on themselves while attempting to steal it.

Sample was the past 20 years of winners (1995-2014).  Excluded were urban legends that were not verified by the Darwin committee and those who, while demonstrating idiotic behavior, did not eliminate themselves from the gene pool. A chi square test was used to compare the observed vs expected male vs. female winners with the null hypothesis of “no difference”.  Of the 318/413 eligible Darwin awardee winners, 282 (88.7%) were males and 36 (11.3%) were females — chi square = 190.3, p < 0.0001).

Limitations of the study include its retrospective nature, as well as the inability to verify the role of alcohol in making the subjects feel “bulletproof”.  In fact, perhaps differences are explained by alcohol use differences between males and females, but this cannot be verified.

Ultimately, the authors conclude that this study supports the truth to “Male Idiot Theory”, and they plan to evaluate the role of alcohol in idiotic behavior in a semi-naturalistic holiday party setting.






From the Residency Office

The MedRes office would like to thank Randy Heffelfinger, and congratulate him on his retirement!  Randy has led our team for six years, and has been a part of the Duke family for 12 years.  His contributions to medical education have been immeasurable and his dedication to the program, it's residents and staff has been constant and inspiring.  While it is with heavy hearts that we say goodbye, we are all so thrilled and excited for Randy, Mindy, Erin and Abby as they embark on their next adventures!  We love you Randy, and you will be so missed!

randy and mindy

(In case you didn't recognize him without his tie!)


ABIM Summer 2015 Examination Dates

 Please see the attached flyer for information on dates and registration!


Uniforms Ordering Closes December 31

All continuing trainees will be able to order uniforms one time,online through the Medical Center Bookstore. Orders must be placed by December 31, 2013.

Each individual department and/or program selects the style and quantities available to you and is provided to you at no cost by the GME Office.

Go to to place your order.

You will need to use the email address that is in MedHub to be able to log into the dukestores web site.

Do No Harm Project

The Lown Institute, in collaboration with the Do No Harm Project, is calling for applications to the first Do No Harm Project Vignette Competition.

The top two vignettes will be eligible for up to two scholarships ($1200/person in reimbursements in accordance with the Scholarship Policy). They will participate in the third annual Lown Institute Conference, March 8-11, 2015 in San Diego, CA AND will give an oral presentation during the Do No Harm Project workshop session on March 10, 2015 at the conference. To learn more about the eligibility and selection criteria, click here.

We are seeking clinical vignettes written by trainees describing harm or near harm caused by medical overuse. We want to hear about tests and treatments that are commonly performed and seen acceptable rather than errors or obvious malpractice.

We hope you will apply, or encourage your colleagues to apply, for this award to help improve clinicians’ awareness of the harms patients may experience because of overuse and to share ideas about how the delivery of care may be improved in the future.

Applications are due by January 7, 2015, and grant recipients will be announced in late January. Apply here today. This program is made possible through the generous support of the Robert Wood Johnson Foundation.

We look forward to receiving the many applications and we expect launching the creative projects will take us a step closer to restoring effective, compassionate and thoughtful medical care. Should you have questions, please do not hesitate to let us know at

Thank you,

Vikas Saini, MD                        Shannon Brownlee, MSc
President                                  Senior Vice President
Lown Institute                            Lown Institute



Evidence-Based Medicine: A Cross-GME Course

Open to all Duke residents and fellows

January 7 – February 11

Wednesdays 5:30 – 7:00 PM

(Duke Medicine Pavilion Conference Rooms)

Dinner Served

Evidence-based medicine provides the necessary foundation for clinical practice in this new era of accountable care and is recognized by the ACGME as an important educational outcome. However, many programs lack the time and resources to provide a solid EBM curriculum to their trainees. EBM training remains an unmet need at this institution: in a 2012 survey of trainees, we found that 78% highly value EBM, but only 28% are extremely confident in the ability to find the evidence and only 16% are extremely confident in appraising the evidence they find.  We have a way for you to fill this gap!

This interactive six session course will be presented by expert EBM faculty from across Duke Medicine and will provide the opportunity for residents to interact with others outside their programs.

We invite you to identify and send residents from your program or forward this notice to individual residents who may wish to participate.

Registration available at the following link:

For questions, please contact Megan von Isenburg (




Sign up to receive a complimentary e-subscription to The American Journal of Medicine in 2015! All you have to do is to complete the online form by December 8, 2014.  The subscription starts in January.

Hospitalist Opportunity

Internal Medicine Opportunities

Physician Recruiting Services - Beck & Field

Upcoming Dates and Events

February 18, 2015 - Duke vs UNC @ Tyler's Tap Room

February 27, 2015 - Charity Auction

March 3, 2015 - Duke vs UNC

Useful links