Second Year PA Student Blog: Pooja Parmar, CCRP
Friday, February 15, 2019
Without hesitation, I happily call the Raleigh-Durham-Chapel Hill area, often referred to as “The Triangle,” my home. I was born and raised in Raleigh and spent my last two years of high school attending the North Carolina School of Science and Mathematics in Durham where I grew my thirst for knowledge, which only continued as I completed my undergrad at UNC-Chapel Hill. I moved away for a few years, and yet, somehow, I found myself back in Durham working, and shortly after, accepted into the Duke Physician Assistant Program.
After almost seven clinical rotations into my second year of PA school, it feels like an impossible task to take stock of everything that has happened in the last year and half. I have learned more information than I ever imagined possible. The Duke faculty, distinguished guest lecturers, my fellow classmates, and my rotation preceptors have all contributed to my education, and it is now my turn to utilize my education and pass on the benefits to patients I encounter.
I have begun to do this most frequently with patients during my primary care rotation. By some coincidence, this primary care clinic is only two blocks away from where I graduated high school in Durham. The Walltown Neighborhood Clinic is run through the partnered efforts of the federally funded Lincoln Community Health Center and the Duke Department of Community and Family Medicine. This clinic accepts all patients: those with private insurance, Medicaid, Medicare, no insurance, and those that cannot afford to pay.
During my rotation, I spent time with children during well-child checks, educating them and their parents on appropriate anticipatory guidance. I connected with adult patients, whom had both acute and chronic conditions, while demonstrating the importance of taking an active role in their health care management to produce positive results. My fondest memory of this rotation is when I explained to a patient in detail her chronic condition, which she later exclaimed she never fully understood. There was this precise moment when I could see in her eyes that she realized she did not have to be defined by her diagnosis. That within her, she had the power to take charge of her health. It was her “A-ha” moment that to me is forever priceless.
This primary care clinic has given me the ability to not only assist in diagnosing and treating patients, but to take time and truly provide education to patients on the importance of taking charge of their health and how it can make a difference in their life. The exciting realization that I am now educating patients in cities where my educational foundation was forged is a full circle feeling. The Triangle — where I earned my high school degree, my undergraduate degree, and in a few short months will earn my master’s degree.
I cannot wait to see what is next on the horizon for me, but you will likely still find me somewhere in The Triangle — my home.
Pooja Parmar is a second-year student with the Duke Physician Assistant Program. Email email@example.com with questions. Editor’s note: Duke Physician Assistant Program students blog twice a month. Blogs represent the opinion of the author, not the Duke Physician Assistant Program, the Department of Community and Family Medicine or Duke University.