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

A Warm Welcome to PA School

When I started PA school at Duke, I felt the normal flurry of excitement and anxiety that accompanies starting any new chapter of life. I was excited to meet my classmates and become a student again after a couple years working as a medical assistant, but I was slightly worried about the large size of the program. I came from a university with a small class size and real community feel and was concerned I would be just a number in a class of 90 students. However, orientation week allayed my fears and surpassed my expectations, as the faculty welcomed us into the Duke family and introduced us to the rich resources now at our fingertips. My classmates and the faculty are the friendliest, most accomplished and diverse group of people, and I am thrilled to have joined the Duke community. 

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Ann Lin, PA-S Ann Lin, PA-S

The things you don’t learn in the classroom

When I think back to didactic year, it’s a blur colored by a mad dash of learning pathophysiology, clinical guidelines, and diagnostics. You name it, we learned it. Outside of lecture, we even had the opportunity to learn different skills for interviewing and the theory behind effective clinical encounters through standardized patients. It was hectic, to say the least. But by the end of the year, I felt ready for clinical rotations.

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Melanie Rogers, PA-S Melanie Rogers, PA-S

"Education is our passport to the future, for tomorrow belongs to the people who prepare for it today" — Malcolm X

Last fall, I stayed behind during a tour of a Duke building after seeing the above quote displayed on a wall. I felt goosebumps run down my back, as I knew the start of PA school marked a substantial personal and academic milestone. Everything I had worked for up until this point served a purpose, and this was it. Challenging and rewarding moments were yet to come.

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Ambre Fatima, PA-S Ambre Fatima, PA-S

I left for the 2018 conference of the American Academy of Physician Assistants in New Orleans the day after of our pediatrics exam, along with 45 other classmates. We were off for a whole week to attend the conference and I could not wait for this much-deserved short break. As I was looking through the conference schedule, I learned that Kenneth F. Ferrell, PA, would be making an appearance at the Physician Assistant History Society booth. Mr. Ferrell is one of the first PAs in the nation, having graduated in the Duke PA program’s first class in 1967. Dr. Eugene Stead, founder of the PA profession, had personally interviewed and selected him.

 

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Anne Kure, PA-S Anne Kure, PA-S

As the plane gently touched down at the Havana airport, a fellow passenger turned to me and said, “Welcome to a whole other world.” I looked out the window to see tarmac, swaying palm trees, and airport workers hurrying about. So far, this was looking a lot like Florida. However, once I stepped out of the airport and saw several American classic cars cruise by, I knew that he was right. Cuba is a unique place that remains a bit of a mystery to most people in the U.S. I knew I was not likely to encounter another opportunity to explore Cuba and its health care system, so I jumped at the chance to travel there with my classmates in the Duke Physician Assistant Program.

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