Name: Donna S. Parrish, LCSW

Position: Counselor

Division/Program in department: Division of Occupational and Environmental Medicine, Personal Assistance Service (PAS)

Start date: 05/28/2019

Years at Duke: 1 and ½. I worked as a student intern at Duke while in graduate school at Chapel Hill and then as a psychiatric social worker.

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Janaka Lagoo Janaka Lagoo, M.D., MPH

A 5-year-old boy and his parents came into my clinic recently. The family had just immigrated to the U.S. The boy had been in and out of hospitals for much of his early years, and his mother was concerned that he was having trouble adjusting to his new home. "He's been through a lot and he’s a little scared of doctors," she said. So, I put away my stethoscope and let the computer stay in sleep mode. I was glad to be wearing a fleece and not a white coat. The little boy and I exchanged greetings and then we spent a few minutes looking out the window at the cars going by.

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Mariah Leroux, PA-S Mariah Leroux, PA-S

It finally happened one January afternoon. Four long, difficult and often disappointing years of applying and reapplying to  physician assistant programs finally ended when I received my first acceptance letter from Duke University. It’s difficult to describe the flood of emotions I felt in that moment, but a mixture of pure joy and gratitude prevailed. The years of frustration and rejections had resulted in a better outcome than I ever could have imagined, and I couldn’t stop the tears as I reflected on everything it took to get here.

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Gabriela Plasencia, M.D., MAS Gabriela Plasencia, M.D., MAS

Perspective From the Other Side

My first  

On Valentine’s Day 2018, my husband and I went for our first primary care appointments since we were in college. We were both medical students, had recently turned 26 and were freshly kicked off our parents’ insurance plans, and obtained insurance through our medical school. As an aspiring family medicine physician, I was excited to have my health evaluated by someone other than another medical student and catch up on whatever was needed for health maintenance based on my age.

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Kate Hauler, PA-S Kate Hauler, PA-S

The idea of practicing medicine has long enthralled me because I love science, people, and a good challenge – where else do these meld more perfectly? But there was always one thing in my way, not external but rather internal: my squeamishness.

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