Sarah Palacio, PharmD, BCPS Sarah Palacio, PharmD, BCPS

Duke Family Medicine Center is a place of learning. This fact is evident by the smiling pictures of family medicine residents that line the hallway, the warm introductions of new rotation students, the sound of educational programs from the conference room, and the voices of attendings and preceptors mentoring their students and residents on procedures and treatments.

Learning is essential in health care. In pharmacy, there is always a new study published or a new drug that was just approved by the FDA; lifelong learning comes with the territory.

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Adeola Awodele, MD, MSc Adeola Awodele, MD, MSc

Starting residency comes with a lot of expectations. Developing great clinical aptitude requires constantly learning skills and techniques to deliver great patient care, for example learning and applying evidence-based medicine. Outside academia, there is the need to balance personal, family, religious and social commitments. There is also the daily emotional struggle that many of us face at the beginning of a new career; for some it’s dealing with impostor syndrome or struggles with political discord and global conflicts that can negatively affect our patients and/or community.

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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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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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Donna Tuccero, M.D. Donna Tuccero, M.D.

While home visiting family for Christmas this year, my husband discovered a gem while poking through one of the old glass-lined book cases which were original to the house. “Look at this!” he exclaimed, and handed me a two-inch-thick volume covered in blue-faded linen.

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