Kiarash Rahmanian, PA-S Kiarash Rahmanian, PA-S

Marie Curie famously wrote, “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.”

But, people come up with the ideas and these ideas may be about people, so what did she truly mean by this? I think she wrote these words to encompass that ideas or theories draw our curiosity at first, and should be the foundation of any new research. But, she did not delineate that curiosity about people is what drives scholarly investigation. In my case, this has held to be true.

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Alice Curchin, PA-S Alice Curchin, PA-S

Prior to PA school, I worked in a high school teaching health literacy. I loved working with my students to help them reach their academic and personal dreams, but I often found my knowledge base coming up short when they needed me to provide information on more complex medical issues. I did not have the tools to help them process their history of trauma, their new diabetes diagnosis, or how to treat their three-month old infant’s rash. Working with these students, I shared in their confusion and felt paralyzed by our combined lack of medical knowledge.

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Yaying Wang Yaying Wang, PA-S

When I was applying to PA schools, one of the more important traits for me was the opportunity to have a clinical rotation abroad. Receiving my acceptance to the Duke PA program was one of the most joyous moments of my life, and having the opportunity to go on an international rotation was icing on the cake. Duke offers training sites in Sri Lanka, Tanzania, Bolivia, Ecuador, and possibly the United Kingdom in the future.

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Jessica Veale Jessica Veale

How many of you are thinking, “I don't have a chance of getting into Duke; I shouldn’t even apply”? Well, you are not alone; I felt the same way. As a second-time CASPA applicant, I had little hope that I actually would get into the program. Self-doubt stopped me from applying to Duke the first cycle and almost stopped me the second cycle, too. I came up with every excuse why I shouldn’t apply: My grades were not high enough, my health care experience was not competitive enough, and to top it all off I am a Tar Heel. However, with some encouragement from my family, I finally decided to apply.

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Jose Carlo Esteban Jose Carlo Esteban, PA-S

An elderly woman from China, who spoke little English, sat across from me and listened attentively to my counseling points of her new diagnosis of diabetes mellitus type 2. Her teenage grandson sat beside her and listened just as attentively.

He was writing down almost everything I said — which medications his grandmother would be on, how often she would need to check her blood sugars, what specialty visits she would routinely need to attend, what labs needed to be monitored, and what red flags to look out for that warranted urgent medical attention. It certainly was a frenzy of information, yet the grandson confidently spoke up with any questions that came to mind, and then translated anything his grandmother needed to address.

As I listened to the boy, his active yet mature engagement sparked memories of my own earliest footprint in health care. It was not too long ago that I, too, was wearing the same shoes as the patient’s grandson for my own grandmother.

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