Elvira Dixon Elvira Dixon

Name: Elvira Dixon         

Position: Staff Specialist

Division/Program in department: Division of Community Health, Walltown Neighborhood Clinic

Start date: 09/23/19

Years at Duke: 4 years.

Where I worked prior to accepting this role: I worked in the Patient Revenue Management Office as a customer service representative

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

“What does my soul need right now?”

“What does my body need right now?”

“What’s bringing me joy today?”

These are the types of questions I’ve learned to actively ask myself while studying every night and trying to make it through one exam and onto the next. Physician assistant education is challenging and time-intensive. The constant grind will affect your sleep schedule, diet, exercise, relationships, and general routine. However, PA school doesn’t have to negatively impact these areas of your life. If you’re applying to PA school (or even if you’re already in the thick of it!), I encourage you to consider how you will best care for yourself.

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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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