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John David Purakal

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine
Emergency Medicine


John David Purakal, MD, MS, is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Emergency Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine. He holds appointments with the Duke-Margolis Center on Health Policy and Samuel Dubois Cook Center for Social Equity. Dr. Purakal's educational roles include serving as the Emergency Medicine Clerkship Director for the Duke University School of Medicine Outpatient Integrated Longitudinal Experience (PIONEER), and Core Faculty within the Department of Emergency Medicine Residency Program. Dr. Purakal has been an invited speaker locally, nationally, and internationally on topics related to health equity, racial disparities in care, and cardiovascular disease. His medical career started as a student at the Wayne State University School of Medicine, where he created a public health education initiative to provide multidisciplinary health education to at-risk populations around the city of Detroit. This work led to his receipt of the Arthur Johnson Leadership Award, Ralph Wadley, MD Scholarship, and the Crain's Detroit Business "Twenty in their 20's" Award. Dr. Purakal completed his emergency medicine residency at The University of Illinois - Chicago, and served as chief resident in his final year. He then started his academic career at The University of Chicago as an Assistant Professor in the Section of Emergency Medicine. 

Since joining Duke University School of Medicine, Dr. Purakal has worked to address unmet social needs in the emergency department patient population through development of a social needs screening program utilizing student volunteers and cross-sectoral collaborations with platforms such as NCCare360. He created the Health Equity Curriculum for the Emergency Medicine Residency Program, and serves multiple teaching roles within the School of Medicine, including emergency medicine clerkship director for the novel PIONEER curriculum. Additionally, he advises multiple Duke University student organizations that address health inequities in the Durham community. He has been awarded multiple departmental awards for this teaching and leadership, and was the recipient of the 2022 American College of Emergency Physicians (ACEP) National Junior Faculty Teaching Award, the 2023 Duke University Presidential Award, the 2023 Triangle Business Journal "40 in their 40's" Leadership Award, and has been invited to the White House multiple times as a recognized health equity leader.

Current Appointments & Affiliations

Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine · 2021 - Present Emergency Medicine, Clinical Science Departments
Core Faculty Member, Duke-Margolis Center for Health Policy · 2022 - Present Duke-Margolis Institute for Health Policy, Initiatives

Education, Training & Certifications

Wayne State University, School of Medicine · 2014 M.D.
Wayne State University, School of Medicine · 2008 M.S.
Michigan State University · 2007 B.S.

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