John W. Ragsdale III, M.D. John W. Ragsdale III, M.D.

As a family medicine physician who has been in practice for many years, I recently found myself dealing with the loss of five of my patients — all of whom were in my care for more than a decade — over the course of just four months. It was a bit of a shock and I have spent quiet moments reflecting on my care for them and relationships I had with them over time.

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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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Kim Nichols Kim Nichols

Name: Kim Nichols

Position: Program Coordinator, Learning Together

Division in CFM: Division of Community Health

Time in this position: I have worked as a program coordinator for 13 years.

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Jonathan Hedrick, M.D. Jonathan Hedrick, M.D.

Every Thursday morning I hop into my car with a fresh cup of coffee and drive northeast out of town. Usually dark outside, much of the “Bull City” is quiet and still in those early morning hours. The streets lead me past Duke University Medical Center and then by the Durham Veterans Affairs Medical Center. Merging onto Interstate 85 I pick up speed, passing an exit for a more popular outpatient clinic site and Durham’s very own local Federally Qualified Health Center. Just on the outskirts of town, I spot one of a dozen pharmacies where we often call in prescriptions. But, it isn’t long before the highway gives way to rolling green fields and dusky pine groves. Soon, I’m watching the sunrise over Falls Lake, sip a little more coffee, and find myself in an unmistakingly more rural climate with far less health care to offer.

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Bailey Bangerter Bailey Bangerter, PA-S

In July, I set out for my very first rotation: general surgery in Lumberton, NC. Still exhausted from the endless demands of didactic year, I tried to start clinical year with an open mind and a positive attitude.

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