Christopher Beach, PA-S Christopher Beach, PA-S

The earth-shattering explosion pierced the crisp, early morning air. It was sunrise in the southern tip of Afghanistan and my platoon, consisting of a group of 16 U.S. Navy SEALs, was conducting a mission as part of Operation Enduring Freedom. Every movement had been calculated with the utmost precision and expertise. Yet, no matter how well practiced and equipped we were, the improvised explosive devices (IEDs) hidden inches below the surface of the ground were beyond our control.

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Dolores Villar, PA-S

“Congratulations on your admission to the Duke University PA Program” was the subject headline of the email I received on Oct. 19, 2015. Six months later, as I write this, I am amazed by the experiences and knowledge I have gained and I am excited for what lies ahead. 

So, what does it mean to be a Duke University PA student?

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Caroline Shore, PA-S

Staying Connected With Classmates

It is a well-kept secret that the most terrifying aspect of clinical year isn't your rotations. While you may quake and shake at the prospect of surgery or emergency medicine or women's health, the scariest part of the second year is actually being on your own.

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Joshua Davidoff, PA-S

2,562. 240. 90.

The Duke Physician Assistant Program’s admissions web page lays out just how selective the program is. For my class, 2,562 people applied, 240 were interviewed, and 90 accepted offers of admission. To be accepted, one has to have a remarkable story and numerous achievements. When I looked at those numbers, I thought “Why me? Am I good enough to survive and graduate?” I had imposter syndrome, but my story is one of overcoming adversity.

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Gustav Cappaert, PA-S

First impressions

During the first week of the didactic year, Lloyd Michener, M.D., chair of the Duke Department of Community and Family Medicine, almost breathlessly informed the class that he had just come from a meeting about health care reform in North Carolina. He said there was a role for us in those discussions, if we wanted one.

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