Meet Gregory Sawin, M.D., MPH

Welcome Gregory Sawin, M.D., MPH, as vice chair for education and faculty development in the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health. He joined the department on Jan. 1. Sawin earned his medical degree at the Morehouse School of Medicine in Atlanta, Ga., and he completed family medicine residency at the University of Virginia Medical Center in Charlottesville, Va. He later completed the Faculty Development Fellowship in the Department of Family Medicine at UVA and the National Institute for Program Director Development Fellowship. While at UVA, he also received a Master of Public Health with a focus in health care policy, law and ethics.

Where were you practicing/working previous to Duke? What was your role there?

Prior to my role here at Duke, I served as program director of the Tufts University Family Medicine Residency at Cambridge Health Alliance in Malden, Mass. for 10 years. I also held academic appointments in the Department of Family Medicine at Tufts [University School of Medicine] and the Department of Medicine at Harvard Medical School.

What will your role as vice chair for education and faculty development entail?

My role will entail both administrative and clinical elements. From an administrative standpoint, I’ll be supporting each of the department’s education-related programs. Some specific tasks on my plate will include supporting the PA program with its self-study, working on curriculum redesign for the master’s in clinical leadership, and continuing to improve procedures and infrastructure for the family medicine residency program. One of my first tasks will be to start and develop a department-wide education committee, which will bring together educational leads from each of the different divisions for collaboration. I’ll also be practicing clinically and precepting family medicine residents.

At what clinic/locations will you be working? 

My “home base” will be my office at Erwin Square, but I’ll be seeing patients at Duke Family Medicine North Duke Street two days a week. I’ll also be precepting family medicine residents at Duke Family Medicine Center one day a week.

Why did you choose to join Duke Family Medicine & Community Health?

I’m driven by a social justice mission, so I’m very interested in advocacy, equity and value-based care. As a result, a lot of my work has been centered on primary care transformation and creating health beyond health care. With so many different divisions housed under one roof, this department holds the critical building blocks—health care for all ages, the education of new providers and a strong emphasis on the community—to create this next generation of health that goes beyond the clinic. Having the opportunity to weave these divisions together sounded really exciting to me since my role will align with a lot of my passions. In addition, I’m excited to work alongside colleagues who share these passions and work together to improve the health of the Durham community.

Any other educational or research background information you want to share?

I am a part of a startup company called Synopteon that is working to build better, smarter assessment systems that are aligned with adult-educational theory. As adults, we do a lot better with high-frequency, low-stakes feedback, as opposed to low-frequency, high stakes feedback (i.e. getting your grade at the end of a semester in school). This system is more about defining and developing competencies to achieve career-related goals and connecting with mentors to assess progress. Ultimately, this plugs back into my big-picture mission: creating learning systems that make healthier populations possible.