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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Jarod Green, PA-S

White coat? Check.

Stethoscope? Check.

Camera? Check.

My camera has been almost as essential to me this past year-and-a-half as my medical equipment. As historian of the Class of 2018, it has been my responsibility to chronicle our journey through PA school at Duke. Through my camera lens, I have seen the joys, struggles and triumphs that the 89 of us have experienced. I have seen my amazing classmates learn medicine, practice clinical skills, debate important issues, participate in community service, and study, study, study. Almost as importantly, I have seen us interact with one another — teaching, learning, supporting, laughing, crying — as we have developed friendships that will last far beyond our two years of school. Being historian has been one of the highlights of my Duke PA experience.

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Maurice Paquette, PA-S

It takes a village to raise a child.

Growing up in a small town in northern Vermont, I was lucky enough to be the beneficiary of this proverb. Going to high school less than two miles from home, my early years were predominated by a caring community that supported each of my endeavors, including school, sports and travel. College further echoed this. Saint Michael’s College, just two miles from my family’s restaurant, was a community which cared for the individual needs of each and every student. From small classes and philosophical discussions to international travel, and a group of biology professors who shaped me more than they could ever know, SMC was a wonderful place to grow and flourish, as not only a student, but also as a person.

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Valerie Mock, PA-S

What a whirlwind! Years ago, I felt like PA school would never come. As a business school graduate with an MBA, I had to start from scratch for every single prerequisite. I enjoyed the process — working during the day, taking science courses after work and volunteering in the NICU on the weekends. This became my life for years, and I was happy. Then all of the sudden, it was time for CASPA, then supplemental essays, and finally interview season. On Oct. 11, 2016, all my hard work paid off when I received my acceptance to the Duke Physician Assistant Program.

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