Jennifer Vu PA-S Jennifer Vu PA-S

A large part of my transition to living away from my family and moving to North Carolina has been figuring out what diversity means to me. As a child, I would sit beside my dad and hear him quietly say, “I would love to go home.” I did not understand this; home seemed to be America. This was where I was born and where my friends, house, and family were.

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Shelby Neil, PA-S Shelby Neil, PA-S

Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine I would end up at the Duke Physician Assistant Program. I submitted my application, thinking, “What if they accidentally let me in?” I could not believe my eyes when I saw an email inviting me to an interview.

Whatever it took, I would be there

The entire process was amazing. I felt more welcomed by the staff and faculty than at any of the other PA programs; I walked out of the interview, called my mom and told her that this was exactly where I wanted to be. Soon after, I found out that I would be attending my dream school.

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Rachel Solomon, PA-S Rachel Solomon, PA-S

“What does my soul need right now?”

“What does my body need right now?”

“What’s bringing me joy today?”

These are the types of questions I’ve learned to actively ask myself while studying every night and trying to make it through one exam and onto the next. Physician assistant education is challenging and time-intensive. The constant grind will affect your sleep schedule, diet, exercise, relationships, and general routine. However, PA school doesn’t have to negatively impact these areas of your life. If you’re applying to PA school (or even if you’re already in the thick of it!), I encourage you to consider how you will best care for yourself.

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Mariah Leroux, PA-S Mariah Leroux, PA-S

It finally happened one January afternoon. Four long, difficult and often disappointing years of applying and reapplying to  physician assistant programs finally ended when I received my first acceptance letter from Duke University. It’s difficult to describe the flood of emotions I felt in that moment, but a mixture of pure joy and gratitude prevailed. The years of frustration and rejections had resulted in a better outcome than I ever could have imagined, and I couldn’t stop the tears as I reflected on everything it took to get here.

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Kate Hauler, PA-S Kate Hauler, PA-S

The idea of practicing medicine has long enthralled me because I love science, people, and a good challenge – where else do these meld more perfectly? But there was always one thing in my way, not external but rather internal: my squeamishness.

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