Darren R Linkin, MD, MSCE

faculty photo
Associate Professor of Medicine at the Hospital of the University of Pennsylvania and the Veteran's Administration Medical Center
Department: Medicine

Contact information
Division of Infectious Diseases, Philadelphia Veterans Medical Center, 3900 Woodland Avenue
Philadelphia, PA 19104
Education:
BA
Wesleyan University, 1993.
MD
University of Chicago, Pritzker School of Medicine, 1997.
MSCE (Clinical Epidemiology)
University of Pennsylvania, 2006.
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Description of Research Expertise

Dr. Linkin's research interests are in hospital infection control, specifically influenza vaccination and the epidemiology of healthcare associated infections.

Key Words: Antimicrobial use/stewardship, hospital antimicrobial resistance, hospital-acquired infections, clinical epidemiology, patient-oriented research

Description of Clinical Expertise

Dr. Linkin is an expert inpatient infectious diseases consultant. In particular, he excels at (what are thought to be) "unsolvable" or difficult diagnoses/cases.

Description of Other Expertise

Infection control / hospital epidemiology.

Dr. Linkin is one of a handful of experienced, knowledgeable healthcare epidemiologists in Philadelphia, one of two in VISN4 of the VHA, and has extensive training (and served as faculty) in related courses including obtaining has masters degree and teaching in Penn's MSCE program. While healthcare epidemiologist is not well understood by many since most hospitals do not support these positions, Dr. Linkin's experience and consistent presence over decades and his work have made him a trusted source of expert opinion locally, an investigator who has settled "unsolvable" problems, often becoming an expert in others' fields to solve problems they could not, in particular when multidisciplinary or complicated, and often able to definitively determine that there wasn't a "problem." He also consults on a regional and national level within the VA and nationally and internationally through his research in particular on influenza vaccine. While many have spent one to three years in this position at the VA, Dr. Linkins nearly two decades have established him and his value of creating systems and doing investigations that improved reliability of safety and other systems and processes for staff and patients and their experiences. While saving the VA time and money by delineating or dismissing perceived problems with data, and solving problems that may have been previously dismissed out of hand as unsolvable, he's most proud of when he can save patients from what turn out to be unnecessary worry of potential exposures or medical interventions, preventing actual potential adverse events and further mental anguish. Finally, in doing this work, he's been an excellent steward of the institutions finances in avoiding unnecessary expenditures when problems weer solved based on his investigation alone, and prevented unwarranted institutional criticism the VA faces due to it's transparency, while also developing effective plans to mitigate or eliminate true problems when they do arise, as he did with multi-fold improvements in staff hand hygiene and influenza vaccination levels, as well as singificant decreases in healthcare associated infections.

Selected Publications

Smith JL, Banerjee R, Linkin DR, Schwab EP, Saberi P, Lanzi M: ‘Stat’ workflow modifications to expedite care after needlestick injuries.  Occupational Medicine Jan 2020 Notes: Full text published online Jan 5th 2021 ahead of print (https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/33399827/).

Cluzet VC, Gerber JS, Nachamkin I, Coffin SE, Davis MF, Julian KG, Zaoutis TE, Metlay JP, Linkin DR, Tolomeo P, Wise JA, Bilker WB, Hu B, Lautenbach E : Factors associated with persistent colonisation with methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Epidemiol Infect 145(7): 1409-1417, May 2017.

Reid MJA, Steenhoff AP, Thompson J, Gabaitiri L, Cary MS, Steele K, Mayisela S, Dickinson D, Ehrenkranz P, Friedman HM, Linkin DR: Evaluation of the effect of cellular SMS reminders on consistency of antiretroviral therapy pharmacy pickups in HIV-infected adults in Botswana: a randomized controlled trial. Health Psychol Behav Med 5(1): 101-109, Jan 2017.

Cluzet VC, Gerber JS, Metlay JP, Nachamkin I, Zaoutis TE, Davis MF, Julian KG, Linkin DR, Coffin SE, Margolis DJ, Hollander JE, Bilker WB, Han X, Mistry RD, Gavin LJ, Tolomeo P, Wise JA, Hu B, Fishman NO, Royer D, Lautenbach E, for the CDC Prevention Epicenter Program: The Effect of Total Household Decolonization on Clearance of Colonization with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 37(10): 1226-33, Oct 2016.

Cluzet VC, Gerber JS, Nachamkin I, Metlay JP, Zaoutis TE, Davis MF, Julian KG, Linkin DR, Coffin SE, Margolis DJ, Hollander JE, Bilker WB, Han X, Mistry RD, Gavin LJ, Tolomeo P, Wise JA, Wheeler MK, Hu B, Fishman NO, Royer D, Lautenbach E : Risk Factors for Recurrent Colonization With Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus in Community-Dwelling Adults and Children. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 36(7): 786-793, Jul 2015.

Richardson DM, Medvedeva EL, Roberts CB, Linkin DR, for the CDC Prevention Epicenter Program: Comparative Effectiveness of High-Dose versus Standard-Dose Influenza Vaccination in Community-Dwelling Veterans. Clin Infect Dis 61(2): 171-176, Jul 2015.

Morgan DJ, Braun B, Milstone A, Anderson D, Lautenbach E, Safdar N, Drees M, Meddings J, Linkin D, Croft L, Pineles L, Diekema D, Harris AD: Lessons Learned from Hospital Ebola Preparation. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 36(6): 627-631, Jun 2015.

Cluzet VC, Gerber JS, Nachamkin I, Metlay JP, Zaoutis TE, Davis MF, Julian KG, Royer D, Linkin DR, Coffin SE, Margolis DJ, Hollander JE, Mistry RK, Gavin LJ, Tolomeo P, Wise JA, Wheeler MK, Bilker WB, Han X, Hu B, Fishman NO, Lautenbach E : Duration of Colonization and Determinants of Earlier Clearance of Colonization with Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus aureus. Clin Infect Dis 60(20): 1489-1496, May 2015.

Cluzet VC, Lautenbach E, Nachamkin I, Cary MS, Fishman NO, Shih N, Morales KW, Linkin DR: Risk Factors for gyrA and parC Mutations in Pseudomonas aeruginosa. Infect Control Hosp Epidemiol 36(4): 387-393, Apr 2015.

Yates F, Janakiraman A, Headly A Linkin DR, Vinnard C : Attitudes Towards Latent Tuberculosis Among Physicians in Training: the Role of BCG Vaccination. J Community Health 40(2): 364-366, Apr 2015.

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Last updated: 01/08/2021
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