Carlton Moore, MD, MS, is associate professor of medicine and associate chief for research and quality improvement in the division of hospital medicine.
What brought you to UNC Medical Center?
I came to UNC in 2007 from Mount Sinai Medical Center in New York. After being in New York for over 10 years throughout medical school, residency training and then early careers as medical faculty, my wife and I were looking for a change. We both interviewed at UNC and really liked it here.
Where are you from?
I grew up in New Jersey, attended the New Jersey Institute of Technology and majored in Electrical Engineering. Upon graduation, I went to work at General Electric in the Communication Satellite Division. One of my first projects was working on a GPS satellite.
Did you always want to be a doctor?
As evidenced by my response to the previous question, I’ve always been torn between medicine and engineering. As a child, I was in and out of the hospital a lot with several medical and surgical problems, and I really looked up to my doctors as role models. I was quite the nerd and was the kind of kid who could sit down for hours looking at pictures in medical books. On the other hand, I loved engineering and physics and would never miss an episode of the TV show “Cosmos” narrated by Carl Sagan. I suppose I initially chose engineering because the career pathway was much faster. However, while working at General Electric, my interest in medicine only continued to grow and I began working as a volunteer emergency medical technician. I eventually decided to take the plunge and apply to medical school.
How did you choose your specialty?
I chose internal medicine mostly because I enjoy the diversity of the cases we see and treat, and the challenge of diagnosing patients based on symptoms, physical exam findings and diagnostic test results. In fact, I’m currently studying for my recertification Internal Medicine board exams and although managing my time can be challenging, I really enjoy doing practice questions. It has reminded me of how much I really like this stuff. In the end, I couldn’t really choose between engineering and medicine; therefore, much of my current research involves using health information technology (e.g., natural language processing, electronic medical records) to improve patient care. So, I get to have my cake and eat it too!
What are some of the new developments in your field of specialty?
I’m really excited about the projects I’m currently working on to use natural language processing to extract key finding from clinical notes and reports in electronic medical records. I also believe that health information technology and informatics will revolutionize the way we conduct quality improvement in healthcare.
Is there a particular achievement (professional or personal) that has been most gratifying to you?
Being able to serve as associate chief for the division of hospital medicine is a gratifying achievement as we work to turn our division into a national leader in quality improvement and research.
What is the best advice you’ve ever received?
It’s good to work hard, but it’s better to work smart.
If you weren’t a physician, what would you like to be doing?
If I had a higher IQ and didn’t have to make a living, I’d be a theoretical physicist. I would love to be paid to think about dark matter, gravitational waves and the origin of the universe.
What hobbies do you enjoy?
I’m a real nerd and love science fiction action adventure shows and learning about new findings in physics. A few months ago, my son and I went to hear Neil Degrasse Tyson speak at DPAC. Also, I think I’ve watched just about every episode involving the Marvel comic super hero universe on Netflix, including: Daredevil, Jessica Jones, Luke Cage, Iron Fist, and the Defenders.
Do you have a favorite quote or life motto?
The only person that can ever truly make you happy is yourself.