John Purakal MD

John Purakal Headshot

Core Faculty

John Purakal, MD

Dr. John Purakal is an Assistant Professor of Emergency Medicine at Duke University School of Medicine and a faculty affiliate at the Samuel Dubois Cook Center on Social Equity. His research interests include health equity, racial & ethnic disparities of emergency care, access to care, and screening for unmet social needs. Through his early career, Dr. Purakal has worked to advance Social Emergency Medicine, both at Duke University and across the country. He believes that the Emergency Department has a unique vantage point to the disproportionate role social determinants of health play in health outcomes in at-risk populations. His work aims to improve how we identify unmet social needs and address them, even when unrelated to their acute medical needs. With a passion for teaching, Dr. Purakal strives to find inventive ways to educate both trainees and his patients' communities. He serves as the founding editor for, a platform to educate and promote collaboration on initiatives advancing the field of social emergency medicine. He has a track record for developing interdisciplinary public health educational initiatives, geared at reducing gaps in health knowledge in underserved populations in Chicago and Detroit before joining Duke.