Associate Professor Dr. John K. Roberts Appointed New Director of Undergraduate Medical Education

The Duke Department of Medicine (DOM) extends congratulations to Associate Professor John K. Roberts, MD, MS, MEd, who has been appointed as the new director of Undergraduate Medical Education (UME) effective July 1, 2024.

Dr. Roberts brings a wealth of expertise, experience, and a deep commitment to the role, which will work to strengthen existing and solicit new opportunities for medical student education in the DOM. Having earned his MD from the University of Alabama at Birmingham, Dr. Roberts completed his internal medicine residency and nephrology fellowship at Duke before joining the faculty in 2015. His dedication to teaching has been remarkable — he actively engages with medical students, residents, and fellows, demonstrating a passion for imparting knowledge and fostering growth.

His contributions have been recognized with several prestigious awards, including the 2017 William and Sandra Bennett Clinical Scholar Award from the American Society of Nephrology. Notably, he has been the driving force behind Duke’s first-year medical school curriculum as the inaugural clinical correlations course director since 2019, receiving accolades such as the Eugene A. Stead Teaching Award in 2019 and the School of Medicine Golden Apple awards for preclinical and clinical teaching in 2021 and 2023, respectively.

DOM sincerely thanks Poonam Sharma, MD, for her invaluable service as the previous director of Undergraduate Medical Education. Dr. Sharma’s contributions have been pivotal in advancing our educational initiatives, particularly in the domains of the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship and the successful establishment of the PIONEER clerkship. Her dedication to the success of PIONEER as its new director reflects her unwavering commitment to innovative education.

With Dr. Roberts assuming the role of UME director, DOM anticipates continued excellence and innovation in medical education within the DOM. His expertise and dedication will undoubtedly elevate our UME program to new heights.

Dr. Sharma will step down from her role effective December 31. Effective January 1, 2024, Dr. Lisa Criscione-Schreiber will serve as interim course director and primary contact for the medicine clerkship. She will work closely with the two associate directors of UME, Drs. Gwendolen Buhr, PIONEER director, and Jenny Van Kirk, sub-internship director, to ensure an exceptional clerkship experience for all second-year students during this transition.