International patient center

Duke University Hospital meets the special needs and concerns of international patients. Our International Patient Center is dedicated to assisting you before, during, and after your stay in the United States. We ensure you have a positive experience at Duke.

International patient center services

We help you be as independent and comfortable as possible during your stay. From the time you contact us, our specially trained patient representatives will act as your main liaison with Duke and ensure effective communication between you and your providers. Non-English-speaking patients will be accompanied by medical escorts who help patients and Duke staff establish comfortable, supportive relationships that promote the best possible medical care.

Interpreter services

We offer interpreter services for several languages. Our medical interpreter staff is bilingual and bicultural. We are trained to interpret in a medical setting according to accepted national standards while remaining sensitive to the cross-cultural issues of our patients. Our services include representatives fluent in Arabic, French, and Spanish. If we don't have interpreters on-site for a language, Duke University Hospital uses a telephone service provided by Cyracom that offers 150 languages for your convenience.

We will translate Duke’s letters of consent, discharge instructions, and other medical documents for treatment into the appropriate language for your use.

For more information about this free service, please call 919-681-3007. Advance notice is recommended to ensure that we can best meet your needs of the patient. 


When you contact us, you will be asked to provide a copy of the most current medical information related to your clinical condition. We require medical information be provided in English in order to complete the review and scheduling process. Highly qualified staff who are fully acquainted with Duke University Hospital’s various departments and specialties will refer each inquiry to the appropriate department and schedule the earliest appointment convenient for you and the appropriate physician.

Medical information may be faxed directly to the International Patient Center at 919-684-5192.

Visas and passport information

Duke University Hospital will support your medical visa application by working with United States embassies or consulates in your country to provide documentation of your pending medical treatment and appointment. We make every effort to expedite the processing of your visa. However, only the embassy or consulate concerned can approve a visa application. Duke University Hospital requires a copy of your passport upon arrival and before your first scheduled appointment.

Travel and transportation

The staff can advise you of the most convenient connections to reach Raleigh-Durham International Airport. A Duke representative will meet you and your accompanying family members upon your arrival.

Although shuttles to and from Duke are available from some local housing facilities, many visitors prefer the convenience of their own transportation. Therefore, we strongly recommend that patients, family members, and escorts bring international driver’s licenses with them. Your Duke representative can assist you in renting a car.


In addition to our own lodging facilities, the Duke International Patient Center maintains relationships with nearby hotels and residential businesses. After you arrive, a Duke representative will work with you to identify accommodations that best suit your needs.

Patient and family services

Duke representatives meet with you and your family shortly after arrival to discuss your stay. This extensive orientation covers the immediate medical plan, financial arrangements, and an introduction to the Durham community and resources on Duke's campus. Our representatives are also familiar with particular ethnic, religious, and cultural customs, including dietary and religious observances.

Cost estimates and billing inquiries

International patient referrals are examined and assessed by a specialized medical staff so that cost estimates for treatment can be provided before you travel to Duke. In order to improve the accuracy of quotes, please provide your most recent medical records or diagnosis in English. The clinical coordinator will provide estimates and deposit information to ensure your understanding of charges and costs. A deposit in the full amount of the estimate is required in order to schedule your first appointment. In addition, the center makes a special effort to clarify the scope of coverage for patients sponsored by government or embassy agencies.

Contact us

Duke International Patient Center
120 Baker House
Duke University Hospital
Trent Drive
Durham, NC 27710

Voice: 919-684-5191 or 919-681-3007
Fax: 919-681-5192