Karen Scherr, M.D., Ph.D. Karen Scherr, M.D., Ph.D.

In the past few decades, the “patient revolution” has empowered patients to become informed, active participants in their own health care experiences. Strong patient-physician communication is at the heart of this revolution. Unfortunately, physicians may be inadvertently undermining this effort due to our underdeveloped communication skills. As part of my doctoral program in consumer behavior, I read more than 300 transcripts of conversations between patients and physicians to better understand how they communicate with each other.

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Grace Johnson, PA-S Grace Johnson, PA-S

Art was my earliest and greatest love. It defined and carried me through childhood, adolescence, and into early adulthood. As a young person I imagined a future where my fingers were trained to use paintbrushes, not scalpels. In high school I enrolled in all the art classes my disapproving guidance counselor would allow. I had solo art exhibitions, and I received commissions. Art seemed like the only future to me; I identified as an artist, and not much else.

[Grace Johnson] It came as no surprise to me, then, when I struggled in math and science in high school and had to be transferred into more remedial courses. It eventually came time to take the SAT and I spent the entire 180 minutes hunched over that piece of paper filling in bubbles with answers I did not know, fighting the urge to instead draw a picture over my Scantron. I believed my score was proof that I was not capable of pursuing a college degree. I accepted that score. After all, I was an artist, not an academic.

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

In late August, I received an email from Duke Family Medicine Residency Program Director Viviana Martinez-Bianchi, M.D., FAAFP, inviting residents to apply as a World Health Organization (WHO) young leader to attend the WHO/UNICEF Global Conference on Primary Health Care in Astana, Kazakhstan. After reading the application, I knew being accepted out of a global group of young health professionals would be a long shot, but the advice of a long-time mentor popped into my head. He told me to always shoot for 50 percent success in what I apply for, because if I am always successful, I will be missing many incredible opportunities. 

In early October, I was invited to experience one of these incredible opportunities as part of a group of 50 young global primary care health professionals invited to attend the conference, as well as special preconference. During the preconference, I met individuals across the spectrum of health professions to discuss issues facing primary health care in our countries and determine policy priorities to building a future that puts primary care at the center of our health care systems. It was stimulating and inspiring to work with people coming from backgrounds and professions so different than mine and to brainstorm solutions to problems as diverse as reliable power sources for rural African clinics to the need for comprehensive payment reform that better compensates primary and preventive care. While we each had unique challenges, we realized that we shared many of the same struggles to bring primary care to the forefront of our health systems.

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Tina Hyman Tina Hyman

Name: Tina Hyman       

Position: Staff Specialist

Division/Program in department: Research Unit

Start date: Oct. 15, 2018

Years at Duke: 2005-2016 and 2018-present

Where I worked prior to accepting this role: University of Maryland – College Park

What I will be doing in this role: Supporting the researchers and faculty members

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Hannah Hayes, PA-S Hannah Hayes, PA-S

The clinical year of PA school is fun and exciting, but also challenging and exhausting. As we finish our fifth rotation and are in the middle of the holiday season it seemed like a good time to reflect on the past few months and say thank you to all those who support my classmates and me.

The day before my first clinical year rotation began, I drove to Fayetteville — an hour and a half from Durham — to settle into my out-of-town housing where I would stay for the next month. I was lucky enough that being out of town was not too far away and I was able to go home on weekends, but it was still the most time I’d spent away from my toddler daughter. I video chatted with her twice a day but it was still so difficult to be far away from her. I wanted to hug and kiss her and felt like I was missing out.

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