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Spotlight: Letter from Suzanne Woods, MD

Tuesday, December 12, 2017
By Suzanne Woods, MD
Suzanne Woods

This is the final time I will be sending my greetings from the Med-Peds program as I transition to a new opportunity.

The Duke Med-Peds program was started in 1986 by Dr. Ralph Corey. Leadership was a combined effort by both categorical program directors. Since then, we have enjoyed tremendous success with the recruitment of outstanding trainees and are currently in the midst of our 33rd season of applicants. We have graduated 135 residents to date, and I am proud to say I worked with the last 83 as program director! While perhaps biased, I believe we have one of the top combined medicine-pediatrics training programs in the country and have excelled in the retention of many graduates over the years.

When I joined the faculty, I was the first combined Med-Peds physician to practice combined disciplines at Duke. We now celebrate many Med-Peds faculty who contribute to the missions of our health system--from clinical work in primary care, hospital medicine and subspecialty practice, to education at the UME and GME levels, to research efforts in a variety of fields and advocacy locally and globally.

I strongly believe the people--collaborative, supportive and hard-working--paired with a rigorous training environment affording exposure to a broad range of patients, diverse cultures and variety of disease compositions, make us stand out as a place to train and work. These features are what attracted me to Duke in 1994 as I embarked on my residency and what has kept me at Duke all of these years. As I contemplate my upcoming transition outside of Duke, I will certainly miss the people and patients. I have accepted a position with the American Board of Pediatrics as the Vice President for Credentialing and Exam Administration. I am very much looking forward to this opportunity as it will have a host of new challenges and experiences. The people at the ABP are wonderful, and their mission to promote excellent standards of care that result in the delivery of high quality care to all patients is in line with my own principles. I believe strongly in honesty, integrity, transparency, consistency and clear communication as those of you who have worked with me know are my core values.

There are many outstanding people I have worked with over the years at Duke, and I am thankful for the wonderful experiences I have enjoyed.  I have had many department chairs, colleagues in the clinical and education programs, students, residents and staff assistants who have taught me a great deal, and whose friendship I have benefited from greatly. I will certainly miss the current residents, and I wish them all great success, both personally and professionally, in the future.

Thanks to Ralph Corey, who trusted the transition of the Med-Peds program leadership to Tom and me--I have enjoyed being in this role for 16 years. Thanks also to Dennis Clements who allowed me the autonomy to bring my visions of a Med-Peds clinic, faculty section and a truly combined joint ambulatory practice come to fruition. Thanks to all of the wonderful graduates I have worked with over the years, and I trust the program to the able leadership of two of them--Jane Trinh and Colby Feeney.

Suzanne Woods received her M.D. from the Medical College of Ohio and pursued residency training in Medicine-Pediatrics at Duke. Following her residency, she spent a year on the faculty in the Department of Medicine at Emory University and was then recruited back to Duke in 1999 to join both the Department of Pediatrics and the Department of Internal Medicine.

Dr. Woods has a passion for clinical medicine and is an extremely talented and dedicated teacher. She has made major contributions to the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program, the Pediatrics Residency Program, and the Internal Medicine Residency Program throughout her time at Duke. In addition to her faculty positions as an associate professor in Pediatrics and Medicine, she is currently director of the Medicine-Pediatrics Residency Program and chief of the Section of Medicine-Pediatrics.