Alexa Mieses, M.D., MPH Alexa Mieses, M.D., MPH

While in the emergency department a man was brought in by ambulance for agitation. After introducing myself, he told me his story. He witnessed his brother be shot to death by police. He now felt targeted, which is what prompted his visit to the emergency department. He was worried he was being followed. Were these paranoid delusions? During a brief encounter in the emergency department, it is hard to know for certain. However, after taking a thorough history from him, one thing was clear: This man was suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder following the violent death of his brother.

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Viviana Martinez-Bianchi Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, M.D., FAAFP

We gathered June 17, 2018, to celebrate the achievements of six amazing people who are now alumni of the Duke Family Medicine Residency Program. The past three years were special for all who were involved in their training. We started with five who joined us in June of 2015 — Brian Blank, Sam Fam, Jonathan Hedrick, Jonathan Jimenez, and Everlyn Perez — and then Kenetra Hix joined us the following year. 

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Clayton Cooper, M.D., MBA Clayton Cooper, M.D., MBA

The residency application and Match process is an exhausting but exciting time that occurs during the fourth year of medical school. It involves applying to programs in which a graduating medical student is interested, hoping they are granted an interview at those programs, and then ranking all these programs in order of preference in hopes that their top-ranked program also listed them at the top of their list. On Match Day, medical students across the country open an envelope at the same time to determine where they will pursue their residency training. I explained this process to my Grandpa no less than five times, and on Match Day he was still confused that my fate was determined by opening an envelope!   

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Will Bynum, M.D. Will Bynum, M.D.

During some personal soul-searching a few years back, I discovered the concept of the vulnerability gap. A vulnerability gap exists between two people when one person is more willing to be vulnerable — to let him/herself be seen in an open and authentic manner — than the other. For many, being vulnerable is risky and difficult at baseline, even when it’s returned by another person. Engaging in unrequited vulnerability? That’s particularly rough, and in my experience, the gap created by disparate levels of vulnerability can create self-doubt, impair open and honest communication, and lead to missed opportunities for connection. Conversely, self-confidence, trust, and connection can flourish when two people share the same willingness to be vulnerable. 

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Anna Afonso, M.D., MPH Anna Afonso, M.D., MPH

It is a typical clinic day at Duke Family Medicine. Sitting across from a patient in clinic, my mind jumps between differential diagnoses, charting, placing orders, an unanswered page in my coat pocket, the emotional visit that came moments before, and the patient waiting for me in the next room. As my last patient walks out the door, I feel my mind settle. I realize for the first time that I did not eat or drink anything today, much less take a bathroom break. I feel the pressure of a full bladder, the dryness in my throat, and I’m suddenly starving.

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