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Faculty Spotlight: David Ming, MD

Friday, June 21, 2019
David Ming

David Ming, MD is a med-peds hospitalist and spends his clinical time at Duke University Hospital. He splits that time caring for hospitalized adults and children on the general medicine and general pediatric services. He is an assistant professor in both Departments of Medicine and Pediatrics, director of Duke Children’s Complex Care Service, and associate director of Quality Improvement and Research for Duke Hospital Medicine Program. 

What are your interests in the field?
In addition to the clinical care of hospitalized children and adults, I am interested in children with medical complexity, population health, transitions of care (particularly from hospital to home), and implementation science. During my career so far, I’ve also been active as a medical educator, including a prior role co-directing the Capstone course for fourth-year medical students at Duke.

How did you get in to this specific field?
My unique role as a med-peds hospitalist has allowed me to “live the med-peds dream” and care for everyone from newborns to the elderly. As far as getting into the med-peds hospitalist field, I wish that I could say that it was the culmination of detailed planning and preparation. But the honest truth is that I was fortunate to be in the right place at the right time and thanks to the vision of multiple leaders who had faith in me (including Tom Owens, David Gallagher, Clay Bordley, Joe St Geme, and more), I had the opportunity in 2011 to become one of the first combined med-peds hospitalists at Duke. Ever since, I’ve found the field to be extremely rewarding clinically and it has allowed me to pursue all kinds of non-clinical interests from education to QI to research. 

What brought you to Duke? 
I’m a native of Fort Worth, TX and did all of my growing up (including undergrad and medical school) in the Lone Star State. I came to Duke in 2006 for med-peds residency training, then completed a year as a peds chief resident, and have been a hospitalist ever since. Because of the unique combination of a world-class academic health center, the opportunity to interact with faculty and learners who are uber-talented yet humble and grounded, and the wonderful life outside of work offered by Durham, I’ve chosen to stay at Duke, cultivate my career, and lay down family roots in the area.

Is there any research you are doing or plan on doing?
Most of my research has been focused on improving care for children with medical complexity (CMC). This is the highest needs, highest cost pediatric population and they typically have multiple complex chronic conditions, rely on medical technology for daily living (e.g., feeding tube, ventilator, tracheostomy), and require multi-subspecialty care. As a result of their complex health needs, they are often in and out of the hospital and require a great deal of care coordination. As a hospitalist at a tertiary care center like Duke, CMC are often hospitalized on our service lines, yet it’s evident our usual systems of care are not ideal to support their unique needs. In late 2014, I helped establish a new care model, the Duke Children’s Complex Care Service, which has grown into an interdisciplinary tertiary care hospital-based medical home that provides longitudinal, wrap-around care for the most complex CMC who have their specialty care centered at Duke. The work of the Complex Care Service and the story of two of our families we’ve had the honor of serving were recently highlighted in the Duke Children’s Stories magazine.

Though much of my work has focused on children, my hope is that the lessons I’ve learned and future training I’ll receive in implementation science can be translated to support similar work for adults. It’s true that “kids aren’t just little adults;” however, I also believe that there is so much that we can learn from one another and that there are often more similarities than differences!

What are your hobbies or interests outside of work?
I enjoy running, cooking, traveling, and eating…and I can almost always be convinced that eating should take priority over everything else! My family and I love to take in all the fun activities both indoors and outdoors that Durham and the surrounding area offer. I particularly enjoy running on Thursdays at Ponysaurus, which provides me the opportunity to cancel out the health benefits of running by eating food and drinking a beer immediately afterwards.

Any trips you've taken recently that you would like to share?
This past year, we took several family trips to places like Washington DC, the beach, and Florida. Also, my wife and I celebrated our 10th wedding anniversary during a long weekend where we ate our way through New Orleans and enjoyed the music, sights, and local color that makes that city so unique. Plus, it was one of the only trips we’ve taken without kids in almost 8 years, which just so happens to be the age of our oldest daughter!

What is your favorite food?
I eat everything and can go on and on, but if I had to pick one, it would be Asian food, particularly Taiwanese, Korean, and Vietnamese. I’m also a big fan of BBQ (Texas style beef brisket >>> pulled pork) and Mediterranean.

What is your favorite restaurant?
There are so many places to choose from, it’s really hard to narrow down. M Kokko for the best ramen in the area (by far), Cha House, Meet Fresh, and Quickly in Chapel Hill for Chinese comfort food, Q Shack has my favorite BBQ, and Guglhupf gets my vote as the best all-around restaurant “pound for pound” in Durham.

Is there anything else you’d like to share?
I am proud to be married to my lovely wife, Janet Tcheung, who is a practicing dermatologist at Triangle Dermatology Associates in Durham. I’m also honored to be a dad to three talented, fearless, and wonderfully mischievous daughters (Emma 8, Evelyn 6, Eleanor 3) who already speak more Chinese than me and continue to amaze me with their ability to play constantly and never get tired! My wife and I are exhausted…. :)