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.Read More
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.Read More
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.Read More
I couldn’t help but think of the great irony I was embarking on during my first day working as a nursing assistant in a nursing home during college. The residents that wheeled and shuffled around before me were a far cry from the young, healthy athletes I dreamed of working with as a physical therapist when I started college. I chose the field of health care because I looked forward to seeing sick people get healthy again, and, being an athlete myself, I couldn’t think of a better way to help people than to see injured athletes healed and returning to their active lives again.Read More
The plant was passed down to me from a graduating Duke PA student only days after I first arrived in Durham. Its tortuous limbs and countless vibrant green leaves caught my eye. I requested plant care instructions. “Just water it once a week!” she suggested.
I took the plant home and placed it on my desk. Only shortly thereafter, it started to lose leaves. Just a few at first, but soon they started to fall off in droves. The leaves would accumulate on my desk overnight, quickly turning yellow and curling up. I tried adjusting the watering schedule, but the leaves kept falling. I started to feel guilty about the plant. It was in perfect condition when I received it, so why was it dying? What had I done wrong?Read More