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Zachary Ginsberg, MD

Medical Instructor in the Department of Surgery

My clinical work is conducted in Duke's SICU and Emergency Department as I am dual boarded in Emergency Medicine and Surgical Critical Care being Duke's first to span both departments. Clinical success to me is delivering top quality care to give someone the best possible outcome from the moment of injury through the ED through to the ICU care.

With prior training in Public Policy and Public Health with a focus on behavioral economics, implementation sciences and human factors, my research, education and practice interests focus on value-driven healthcare to improve the quality of care delivered to patients for the betterment of health outcomes, stewardship of resources and humane decision-making. I believe in compassionate and collaborative decision-making involving inter-disciplinary provider teams, patients and their families about which everyone can feel comfortable with the final decision and outcome. On the delivery side of healthcare, my research is focused on surge capacity planning as it relates to ED-ICU utilization and boarding as well as scaling delivery in the setting of disasters such as pandemic influenza.

Key interests: Critical care, health administration and public policy, health services research, quality improvement and operations management, palliative care and communication, healthcare economics value-driven healthcare, disaster planning and preparedness, and behavioral psychology and decision analysis research.

Education and Training

  • Surgical Critical Care Fellow, Trauma & Critical Care, University of Maryland, Baltimore, 2013 - 2015
  • Emergency Medicine Resident, Emergency Medicine, North Shore University Hospital, 2010 - 2013
  • M.P.P., Harvard Kennedy School of Government, 2010
  • M.D., Brown University, Warren Alpert Medical School, 2010
  • B.A., Brown University, 2004


Mohr, Nicholas M., Brian T. Wessman, Benjamin Bassin, Marie-Carmelle Elie-Turenne, Timothy Ellender, Lillian L. Emlet, Zachary Ginsberg, et al. “Boarding of Critically Ill Patients in the Emergency Department.” Crit Care Med 48, no. 8 (August 2020): 1180–87.

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Mohr, Nicholas M., Brian T. Wessman, Benjamin Bassin, Marie-Carmelle Elie-Turenne, Timothy Ellender, Lillian L. Emlet, Zachary Ginsberg, et al. “Boarding of critically Ill patients in the emergency department.” J Am Coll Emerg Physicians Open 1, no. 4 (August 2020): 423–31.

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Vasilyeva, Katia, Michael J. Widener, Samuel M. Galvagno, and Zachary Ginsberg. “Spatial methods for evaluating critical care and trauma transport: A scoping review.” Journal of Critical Care 43 (February 2018): 265–70.

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Ginsberg, Zachary, Paul Thurman, Thomas Scalea, and Deborah Stein. “Extracorporeal liver support for trauma-induced hepatic dysfunction.” Journal of Trauma and Acute Care Surgery 80, no. 6 (June 2016): 1039–44.

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Widener, Michael J., Zac Ginsberg, Daniel Schleith, Douglas J. Floccare, Jon Mark Hirshon, and Samuel Galvagno. “Ground and Helicopter Emergency Medical Services Time Tradeoffs Assessed with Geographic Information.” Aerospace Medicine and Human Performance 86, no. 7 (July 1, 2015): 620–27.

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