Since he became the chief resident of Internal Medicine for Duke University Hospital, Krish Patel, MD, has learned first-hand the many logistical details in the Internal Medicine Residency Program.
“There’s a part of my role that ends up being scheduling and maintenance of schedules for the various services in the hospital,” Dr. Patel said. “Much of that is troubleshooting the small things that could make the educational experience on those services better.”
While Patel and his team keep all the different parts of the program at Duke University Hospital moving, he also is responsible for weekly Chair’s conferences, Resident Report sessions that residents on the General Medicine service attend four days a week, and a similar didactic small group session for interns that meets once a week. These sessions are teaching opportunities and chances for Patel to see what parts of the program need improvement.
Going into his chief resident year, Patel knew one way he would like to improve the residency program is through technology.
“I’m interested in trying to find ways we can use the power of Maestro Care to increase the efficiency of our work and find a way for our housestaff to spend less time on the less fruitful and rewarding tasks that come with medicine, and try to buy back more time for them for things like teaching, conferences and chalk talks,” Patel said.
In addition to bringing more technology to the program, Patel would like his chief resident year to be one that focuses on learning and having fun.
“I’m very lucky to be a chief resident along with three other people who I consider to be friends. We wanted to start the year in a very positive manner and bring excitement and enthusiasm to the program,” he said. “We want to have fun and challenge the residents, but also remember what made this a great experience for all of us – the fun we had, the friends we made, the shared learning and experiences we had.”
Patel said he finds one of the best ways to teach the residents is to talk about his own experiences.
“I think everybody has moments that are difficult to navigate through, and one of the hardest things about being in medicine is that people are their own worst critics,” he said. “I think, as chief resident, sharing your own anecdotes always helps because whether right or wrong, the residents view you in a different light and have a very different perception of your fallibility. Being able to share those things is very helpful.”
Patel said that he hopes he is able to emulate some of the teachers whom he benefited from during his time as a medical student and resident at Duke.
“Duke has a great tradition of training excellent leaders who are great people to work with and have brilliant minds, but who also have this great sense of humility, collegiality and work ethic,” Patel said. “I think trying to capture those values that I have gained from the teachers and the faculty members who have been important to me and bringing those values back to the residents is something that really excited me about this opportunity and is something that I hope I can accomplish.”
A sports fan, Patel said he fell in love with Duke partly through basketball. He grew up in London and Florida, and came to Duke University in 2001 as an undergraduate. He remained at Duke for medical school and residency.
“Each step of the way where I’ve had an opportunity to think about leaving and training elsewhere, I’ve always thought about the things that I have really savored about Duke, and it really comes back to the people,” Patel said. “People here have always been invested in my career and my learning, and I’ve never visited anywhere else where I felt that same type of investment.”
After his chief resident year, Patel will complete his fellowship in Hematology/Oncology, where he is interested in studying hematological malignancies. In his down time, Patel enjoys playing soccer.
Meet the chief residents: