Family Med applicants must read!!!!!

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Family Med applicants must read!!!!!

Postby DavidMCHH » 30 Sep 2005, 07:40

I hope all of you read the AI eval of Duke Family Med program. As a recent former resident there I can confirm everything in it is accurate. Below are two letters that demonstarte the destructive nature of the program and its current leadership. Please heed this warning and warn your friends interested in Duke Family Medicine, it is simply not a good place to get an education.

This letter was written by the Graduates of the 2004 class to the head of Graduate Medical education at Duke. It was also forwarded to the Chancellor of Duke’s Medical center and the ACGME.


"Dear Dr. Weinerth,

We, the Family Medicine Residents, are writing to express our deep concern over the current state of affairs in the Duke Family Medicine Residency program. As our GME representative, we feel it is imperative that you are aware of our concerns. This is a difficult letter to write. We wish to express our concerns without name calling or disparaging the characters of those involved. Events that have led to this communication have occurred over several years, but over the past year a tremendous lack of appropriate and truthful communication from program leadership has resulted in an escalation of events. Morale among the residents is at an all-time low.

We recognize the fact that the position of Residency Program Director is difficult. We also realize that programs need to be flexible in response to changes in the healthcare system. In our program, the number of residents has been reduced to six from eight. We are moving our inpatient service from Durham Regional to Duke. Second and third year residents will now be required to do an additional four week Emergency Department rotation despite the fact that our current curriculum already meets RRC requirements for 200 hours of ED rotation. We feel that there has been insufficient resident notification and resident input into changes made to our curriculum--changes that may affect career plans of some residents. These changes have altered the very nature of the program. The program is now different from when resident contracts were signed. Efforts to discuss our concerns have been met with great resistance and statements to the effect “that is the way it is.” No discussion, no communication.

Communication between the Family Medicine program leadership and the residents has long been a problem. Our two chief residents routinely meet with the program director in an effort to improve communication, but they are as surprised as the rest of the residents when announcements regarding changes to the program are made.

Accusations of unprofessional behavior have been made regarding numerous residents of late. They have been reprimanded, and in some cases their time in residency prolonged. The balance of power in our department is such that residents feel they have no recourse when treated poorly. Residents who are vocal about issues are singled out for punishment. Leadership reactions to harmless behavior by these singled-out residents are swift and vindictive. There is an atmosphere of fear and resentment on behalf of the residents. Residents who have been singled out over the past three years and who actually left the program have flourished elsewhere.

Morale among the faculty also seems quite low. Three members of our faculty and our faculty fellow are leaving the Family Medicine program. Our faculty is spread very thin. Teaching in our department, as a rule, does not even begin to compare with that found elsewhere at Duke. We are concerned about the future of the program and our preparedness for clinical practice upon completion. Residents play a large part during the recruiting season and many of us feel at present that we cannot recommend the program to prospective candidates.

We would ask of our program leadership a more cooperative environment with an atmosphere more respectful of adult learners. We request the opportunity to voice our opinions about candidates interviewed for faculty positions. We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you to discuss our concerns further and develop a strategy to improve the working environment.

This letter is representative of the sentiments of the PGY-2 and PGY-3 classes and the 2004 Graduates. A majority of the residents have read and endorsed this communication. We sincerely appreciate this opportunity to express our concerns, and look forward to discussing this further.

Please see the attached review of our program which can be found on which we feel both validates the fact that our concerns are not new and proves little has changed in the last several years at Duke Family Medicine"

From November 2001
Editor: this resident has been verified to be from this residency program, but has now left the program) **** I filled out the first review and would like to change my position. The program director is unethical and inconsistent in her treatment of residents. She is not a resident advocate and will frequently threaten indviduals whom she knows have no choice but to stay with her program. She has been known to bad-mouth her senior residents to prevent them from getting jobs. She gives out inappropriate personal information in telephone conversations that are "not on the record" and writes letters that are not supportive or damning, but asking to call for more information on the resident.

As to the hours, they tend not to be too bad (80-90 per week), but there is little flexibility and fatigue is a major factor. There is more call in the second and third years than they advertise and more than most other FP residencies. Scut is variable and dependent on the hospital. Usually not too bad although there is a lot of pandering to the whims of attendings.
Teaching is OK, usually outside presenters. It is rare for anyone in the department to present. It is also rare for them to provide actual reading material or discuss recent data. They, as a whole, like to talk off the top of their heads about their same pet topics over and over.
Really enjoy the other residents. Good camaraderie on the whole. However, there is often pitting of one resident against the other in fault finding missions by the faculty, especially led by the program director who thrives on such activities. This is very destructive and the residents are frequently forced to be defensive and 'blame' others or risk attack by the program director. Several of the faculty are nice people, but most of them are under the disturbed thumb of the program director and abide by her inconsistent unilateral rulings despite what they may truly feel. They are afraid to stand against her for some reason. One of the attendings is a real pain in the ass and so bad that I would never choose Duke again just because of his egotistical and sexist behavior.
In conclusion, there is no way I would go to this program again. Duke offers a lot of great teaching and experiences, but not in the family medicine residency training program. Duke on the whole is very family unfriendly and the psycho-pathology in the family medicine residency is disgusting, unsupportive and stressful.


This letter was written by a 2005 Graduate from the Duke Family medicine program. It was also sent to the head of Graduate Medical education at Duke and forwarded to the Chancellor of Duke’s Medical center and the ACGME.

"In the setting of complete anonymity, I am writing to
inform you of the current state of affairs at the Duke
University Family Practice Program. I am under the
impression that the ACGME will partake in an onsite
visit for routine evaluation of the program this
spring. With this in mind, I feel obligated to relay
to you the severity of the problems that presently

I do not know if you have heard from my colleagues.
It is not my intention to spell out each individual
problem with this letter. I can do that in the
future. I simply want you to know what you are up

I fully realize that every program has its problems.
Personalities clash. Curriculums change, sometimes
for the worse. Some residents perform substandard and
some leaders lack essential interpersonal skills.
With that said, everyone can usually point their
finger at the next person, and the problem is swept
under the rug for the time being.

There is no way I can relay to you in words, the
tremendous problems that exist here. I can tell you
that without question, the problem is Dr. Margaret
Gradison. However, that is easier said. When you
meet with her, she will likely smile, and tell you:

"We have had a few problems, but we are working
through them. We have a new program director!" She
will probably continue to emphasize the good things
with the program, the community medicine curriculum,
and all the changes that she has helped to institute
to further the education here. Her strong point is
convincing people to "sweep the problems under the
rug." How does that keep happening you ask? She is
vindictive. Anyone that speaks up is persecuted. It
is the "whistle-blower" theory to the fullest extent.

This is not new. If it were possible to have past
residents and faculty, current residents and faculty
speak in complete anonymity you would find that this
is not coming from a few people. It is not only from
a few troubled residents or misdirected faculty, but
from EVERYONE. I will tell you that the challenge is
convincing everyone that they will NOT be persecuted
for their honesty. If you can indeed accomplish that
feat, then all of your "he said - she said" problems
will be solved. You will here in unison the many
problems, and the sole cause of these problems, being
Dr. Margaret Gradison.

Why bother lifting up the nicely laid rug, exposing
all of these problems which may only cause more
short-term controversy and ruffle the foundation of
the political dictators here at Duke? Because here at
Duke University their truly is opportunity for one of
the best Family Practice training programs in the
United States. There is a fantastic relationship
between Family Practice and the entire tertiary
medical center here at Duke. The multi-faceted
opportunities that exist here are like no other. We
need to save the Duke Family Practice Program.

In conclusion, do not take anything said by Dr.
Margaret Gradison at face value. Do not take anything
said by a resident or faculty at face value (UNLESS
lastly, the fact that a new program director has been
hired will NOT change things, despite her smiling
reassurance. A few "dings" against the program will
only irritate and aggravate the spiteful and malicious
Dr. Margaret Gradison."

"This is a cry for help. The Director of Graduate
Medical Education ignored us. You are our last hope."

Thank you for reading this letter.

More to come!!!

Has this letter been forwarded to ACGME??

Postby Ikea » 30 Sep 2005, 20:53

Has this letter been forwarded to ACGME??
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Family Med applicants must read!!!!!

Postby DavidMCHH » 01 Oct 2005, 15:17

These letters and more have gone to the ACGME. Stay tuned other's will be posting ther letters soon!

Med student from NC school

Postby triboy1 » 02 Oct 2005, 07:45

I have heard nothing but bad things about the Duke family Medicine program. I guess these letters pretty much confirm that.

Duke Family Med.

Postby lizzy » 03 Oct 2005, 11:16

Man, sounds like the residents who are still there could use a good lawyer.

Duke Fam Med

Postby MagG » 04 Oct 2005, 12:17

I'm a current residents at Duke FM. It is amazing the lack of respect we get. Check out. Several residents have been to our GME office and the office of institutional equity to complain about the harrassment they have experienced and all it has done is brought them more problems mainly from the Division Chief. It blows my mind that this lady has all but destroyed the integrity and goodwill of this once great program and she is still here. If anyone important is out there can you get her fired???? Please.

program director FOS

Postby halstater » 05 Oct 2005, 17:51

Our program director (at Duke Family Medicine) shared with us today a letter he has written the ACGME concerning the 12, 12 violations we had during a recent RRC visit. He would not give us a copy of this letter stating he was worried it would show up in a newspaper somewhere but did show and tell us a few of the lies he put in the letter. This guy is in such denial it hurts. He sucks as a program director and the man is scared of his shadow. He did offer for us to come by his office and read the letter. come on! guess who would be the next resident to be put on Corrective Action. This program sucks so bad why the hell the RRC did not put it on probation or close it I will never be able to figure out. STAY FAR, FAR AWAY from this place

Postby OSU student » 07 Oct 2005, 05:52

Do other programs at Duke share these problems, like IM, or is it mostly just family practice. I'm at Ohio State and will be looking in the NC area, but I'm starting to be a little worried about Duke.
OSU student

Duke Programs

Postby DukeMedStudent » 07 Oct 2005, 16:17

The only program I have heard negative things about at Duke is the Family Medicine Program. Ironically the majority of the disparaging comments I have heard or been told have been from the residents and faculty in the program. They also don’t get a whole lot of respect from the other programs here at duke. Hope this helps. The Duke IM program is awesome in my opinion and is one of the better programs in the country for getting residents into cardiac fellowships. If you’ re really interested in Family Med try looking at programs out west.

Only the tip of the iceberg

Postby DFMSUCKS » 09 Oct 2005, 04:46

I am one of the many former Duke family Med. residents who has now moved on and is happy at another program. I would just like to confirm that all of this negative press is true. It is however, only the tip of the iceberg. This program is so very malignant and offers such a poor overall education. Please, Please stay away. The program has not come close to filling in at least the last 4 years, warn your fellow family med applicants and keep this trend alive. This may be the only way to affect any positive change in the future.

Thanks for the warning

Postby velodoc » 11 Oct 2005, 18:10

Feel bad for this years interns who probably didn't have this info when they were applying. Needless to say Duke's Family is off my list.

Family Med Residency Program List available

Postby fa » 12 Oct 2005, 10:13


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thanks for the warning

Postby guest345 » 17 Oct 2005, 09:00

Thanks, hey they are off my list now and the rest off my med school class

Postby Guest » 22 Oct 2005, 08:21

Are there any good Famil Med programs in NC? I heard good things about the Family Med program in fayetville. Is it good?

Anyone going to interview at Duke FM

Postby davezf » 25 Oct 2005, 10:29

Anyone planning on interviewing at Duke FM ???


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