Former OEM Division Chief Sam Moon, M.D., MPH, Retires After Over 30 Years at Duke

Friday, July 17, 2020
By Courtney Decker
Sam Moon, M.D., MPH
Sam Moon, M.D., MPH

Effective July 1, 2020, Sam Moon, M.D., MPH, former division chief of the Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, transitioned to associate professor emeritus after over 30 years at Duke.

Moon received his M.D. from Virginia Commonwealth University in 1975. He then spent nine years as a primary care physician in rural Washington state. His interest in the biopsychosocial approach to both general health and pain management led him to complete two mini-fellowships at the Emory Pain Center in Atlanta, Ga. After completing the fellowships, he practiced at the Pain Control and Rehabilitation Institute of Georgia for four years.

In 1989, Moon came to Duke to participate in the Occupational Medicine Residency Program. While in the program, he also earned a master’s degree in public health from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Upon completing occupational medicine residency in 1991, Moon joined the Division of Occupation and Environmental Medicine as a full-time faculty member.

During his time with the division, he held numerous positions at Duke and beyond. He initially served as medical director, and later as head of quality improvement, at the Duke Occupational Medicine Research Triangle Park Clinic. He also served on Duke’s Clinical Sciences Faculty Council on Academic Affairs, the Department’s APT Committee, and the Division of Community Health’s faculty. Beyond Duke, he served on the board of the Ergonomics Center of North Carolina and received adjunct professorships at UNC-Chapel Hill and N.C. State.

From 1998 to 2005, Moon served as division chief of occupational and environmental medicine. As division chief, he represented the division and the Department of Family Medicine and Community Health as a member of a steering committee led by Chancellor Ralph Snyderman, M.D., to create an integrative medicine center at Duke. After the establishment of Duke Integrative Medicine, he stepped down from his role as OEM division chief to work at the center on a full-time basis. Since then, he has practiced clinically, mentored learners, and served in a number of different roles, including associate director, director of education and executive committee member. Prior to retirement, he was Duke Integrative Medicine’s longest-practicing clinician and sole original employee.

Throughout his career at Duke, Moon studied ergonomics and occupational pain disorders, which led to numerous research projects, published works, and national and international presentations. His notable contributions to the OEM field include leading a multidisciplinary workforce investigation of cumulative trauma disorders (CTDs) for Blue Cross Blue Shield of North Carolina, presenting co-authored research on multiple sclerosis-related disability to the United States Social Security Administration, and hosting a National Institute of Occupation Safety and Health (NIOSH)-sponsored meeting at Duke. This meeting led to the publication of the book Beyond Biomechanics: Psychosocial Aspects of Musculoskeletal Disorders in Office Work, which Moon co-edited. Moon is also credited with creating a quality assurance/improvement oversight and case review process for non-M.D. licensed acupuncturists (LACs) at Duke.