4 Questions with Cindy M. P. Duke, MD, PhD, FACOG
Physician Founder, Medical Director, and Lab Director of the Nevada Fertility Institute
Caribbean born and raised, Dr. Cindy M. Duke (she/her) is a Johns Hopkins and Yale-trained Physician Scientist and entrepreneur who is Board-certified in Gynecology and Obstetrics, as well as Fellowship-trained in Reproductive Endocrinology and Infertility (REI).
Dr. Duke is the Physician Founder, Medical Director, and Lab Director of the Nevada Fertility Institute, a full-service reproductive clinic and surgical facility in Las Vegas. She is also a Ph.D. trained and award-winning Virologist, whose research interests center on the interplay of viruses with the human immune system.
Dr. Cindy is a Clinical Assistant Professor at the University of Nevada, Las Vegas School of Medicine, where she plays a role in Resident and Medical Student Education. Her current research efforts have focused on the intersection of healthcare delivery and technology, and how that can be used to close gaps in accessing medical care.
1. Where’s your hometown?
Argyle Village Tobago, Trinidad & Tobago.
2. How did you get into STEM?
My love for STEM started as a child growing up in the Caribbean, where in high school I focused on physics, chemistry, biology, and math. At age 18, I immigrated to the US and started college, where I was a chemistry major. I went on to do an M.D.-Ph.D. program funded by the National Institute of Health.
Today, I’m a practicing physician scientist with my own clinic, Nevada Fertility Institute, while still serving as a clinical faculty member at my local medical school. I am also the lead for research conducted out of my Institute, as well as a medical influencer and subject matter expert.
3. What’s a challenge you’ve faced, and how did you get through it?
Immigrating as a teenager from a village of less than 50 households on an island of 50,000 people to New York City presented a steep learning curve! I overcame it by immersing myself in this new culture while also applying to college. I worked as a sales girl, then cashier, at a $10 store in the Bedford-Stuyvesant area of Brooklyn in the mid 1990’s. Upon successfully matriculating into City College of New York / CUNY, I found further support; the student population there was very diverse, including many immigrant students like me.
4. What’s something you’ve done that you are immensely proud of?
I successfully opened and run my own Reproductive Health and Fertility clinic and surgical facility in a town to which I previously had no ties, Las Vegas. We now employ over 12 women and growing!