Connect with Current Students

2022-2023 Admissions Liaisons

Please find below a directory of current students that make up our Admissions Liaisons Program.  They are eager and excited to speak with you!  Their bios shine light on topics that they are especially interested in discussing, and we are confident that they will be able to answer any questions you may have.  Do not hesitate to reach out to anyone of our Liaisons at any time- they are here to help!

Headshot of Ethan Agritelley

Ethan Agritelley (He/Him/His)

Email: ethan.agritelley@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Portland, OR

Specialty Interest: Surgical, Medical, or Radiation Oncology

I grew up on the west coast, but decided to travel east for undergrad. I attended Cornell University, where I was a part of the Varsity Football team. After graduating, I took one gap year, where I researched pancreatic cancer at Oregon Health & Science University. I came out to Duke after falling in love with the Durham area. After ending my football career, I transitioned into running. I enjoy all types of running, but especially enjoy exploring new trails around the Durham area and across North Carolina. There is a great network of runners both in the School of Medicine and in the Durham community. I also love to explore the incredible restaurants the Triangle has to offer. I am more than willing to further discuss why I chose Duke, how I've managed at a school across the country from my home, ways I've balanced school and life outside medicine, etc.


Student Sage Atkins in White Coat & Stethoscope in front of wooden door

Sage Atkins (He/Him/His)

Email: sage.atkins@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Laurel Hill, North Carolina

Specialty Interest: Undecided

Hello, my name is Sage, and I am an MS2! I grew up in a small town in North Carolina with a population of around 1000 people. After high school, I went to community college, obtained my associate's degree, then transferred to the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I majored in Biology. Although my route to medical school was slightly non-traditional, I did not take any gap years. In my free time, I love exploring coffee shops, restaurants, and breweries around the Durham/Triangle area. I am happy to talk about interviews, why I chose Duke, deciding between schools, or any other questions you may have!


Portrait of student Meg Barlet with dog

Meg Barlet (She/Her/Hers)

Email: mhb44@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Specialty Interest: Neurology

I am an outdoor-loving, cupcake-baking former rugby player who grew up in Denver, Colorado. I majored in physics at Swarthmore College and spent a gap year doing infectious disease research at WashU in St. Louis before moving to North Carolina for medical school. I took an extra third year to work on a qualitative research project about the way clinicians and family members talk about death, so I'm happy to talk about extending medical school beyond four years and/or non-traditional research projects. Since coming to Durham, I’ve adopted a 90 lb lab-shepherd mix named Bo and gotten married, so I am happy to chat about making time for life outside of the classroom and clinic as well!


Headshot of student Franz Belz in front of stone wall

Franz Belz (He/Him/His)

Email: ffb6@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023 (MS3+)

Hometown: Gaiberg, Germany

Specialty Interest: Psychiatry

Hallo! Howdy. I hope y’all are doing well. I’m Franz a German-transplant to Austin, Texas. Growing up as the child of a physical therapist and a physics professor, I naturally ended up curious about the intersection of the natural sciences and health. Between my own experiences of concussions and mental health challenges, I debated between majoring in biomedical engineering and psychology for undergrad at UT Austin. My undergrad experiences refined my interest towards mental health. Together with two classmates, I began a mental health committee for our major. In medical school, I continued this interest, helping build the Duke Medical Student Wellness Committee with my first-year co-chair Chanel Zhan. This work has continued to date, helping our MD program develop a student-informed approach at addressing medical student wellness. Professionally, I’m interested in the intersection of primary care, mental health, and public health, which is currently leading me towards a residency. Aside from nerding out about mental health, I strive to first lead a life outside medicine. You can catch me hiking, cooking, climbing, tubing, or playing music or sportsball on any given weekend. Cheers!


Student Matthew Bergens wearing Stethoscope in front of wood door

Matthew Bergens (He/Him/His)

Email:  matthew.bergens@duke.edu

Class year: 2025

Hometown: New Orleans, LA

Specialty Interest: Everything so far!

I graduated from NC State with a Political Science & Spanish double major in 2013 and subsequently commissioned in the US Army as an Infantry Officer. My last duty station was with the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, NC. In 2017, I decided to switch careers to medicine. In my transition, I completed a post-baccalaureate research internship at the National Institutes of Health and a Master of Physiology. My passions are woodworking, Latin dancing, Olympic lifting, and anything outdoors. Happy to answer any questions you may have!


Portrait of student Srijan Bhasin

Srijan Bhasin (He/Him/His)

Email: srijan.bhasin@duke.edu 

Class Year: 2025 

Hometown: Reston, VA

Specialty Interest: Neurosurgery?

Hi, everyone! My name is Srijan, and I’m a current MS2. Here at Duke, I'm involved in the Anatomy Drawing Program and the Advanced Anatomy Interest Group. Before coming to medical school, I attended the College of William & Mary, where I studied Mathematical Biology. After graduating, I spent two years at the NIH as a post-bac researcher in a computational neuroscience lab. I love my dog, food, dancing Bhangra, and driving. I’m happy to answer any and all questions but am particularly suited to talk about getting back into school after taking a few years off, virtual interviews, or what led me to Duke. I'm excited to get to know you!


Headshot of student Monica Bodd wearing Blue zip-up jacket

Monica Bodd (She/Her/Hers)

Email: mhb43@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: San Jose, CA

Specialty Interest: Otolaryngology, Palliative Care

Happy to chat about my DukeMed experience, particularly re: dual degree, Duke basketball, medical humanities/non-traditional research, moving from out-of-state. I grew up in the Bay, attended Rice, and have been at Duke for the past four years. During my two third-years, I pursued a dual degree in Theology (Duke Divinity School) and did ethnographic and clinical research in palliative care + surgery. I also make it a priority to spend time with friends and family, ushering for Duke basketball, and checking out the food + bouldering/running trails here.


Portrait of student Erin Bush

Erin Brush (She/Her/Hers)

Email: esb43@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Cincinnati, Ohio

Specialty Interest: Plastic Surgery

My name is Erin and I'm originally from a town outside of Cincinnati. I graduated from Johns Hopkins in 2019 with degrees Molecular Biology and Psychology and then took a gap year working at a dermatology clinic in D.C.
I decided to come to Duke because of the laid-back people and the dedicated research time. Durham is a such great place to live and I've met amazing friends here! My specialty interest is in plastic surgery and I am studying tissue regeneration for my third year project. Teaching is another interest of mine so I'm a TA for the first-year anatomy course and involved in HEY Durham. Outside of school, I like to run and to bake things for my housemates.


Headshot of student Kylie Calderon in front of white wall

Kylie Calderon (She/Her/Hers)

Email: kec87@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Tucson, AZ

Specialty Interest: Not sure yet!

Hi! My name is Kylie and I'm an MS2. I grew up in Southern Arizona and stayed there for college at the University of Arizona, where I studied Neuroscience and Molecular and Cellular Biology. After graduating in 2020, I worked as a research tech in a lab studying stroke and Alzheimer's disease. Outside of school, I love playing video games and watching movies. I'm happy to chat with you about why I chose Duke, moving across the country, and anything else!


Portrait of student Vivian Chen wearing White Coat

Vivian Chen (She/Her/Hers)

Email: vivian.w.chen@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Dusseldorf, Germany 

Specialty Interest: Undecided

Hi, my name is Vivian! My family has been living in Germany for the past decade, which is where I call home, but I grew up moving around the States and Canada. I studied Neuroscience in undergrad (c/o 2020). I spent my gap year in Germany working at a pharmaceutical company, tutoring, and working at a summer camp for high schoolers interested in STEM. For fun, I love yoga, group fitness classes and trying new food in Durham. Very happy to chat about anything, including the interview process, making school decisions, returning to Duke for medical school, and more.


Portrait of student Anna-Maria Dagher

Anna-Maria Dagher (She/Her/Hers)

Email: annamaria.dagher@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Veazie, Maine

Specialty Interest: Orthopaedics/Sports Medicine, OB/GYN, but undecided!

Hello! My name is Anna and I am an MS2! I was born and raised in Veazie, Maine and graduated from the University of Maine in 2019 with a degree in Biochemistry. At UMaine, I was a student-athlete on the women’s soccer team. Following graduation, I worked as a medical scribe and for the CDC COVID-19 Pandemic Response Team. At Duke, I am part of HEY Durham, Root Causes, and orthopaedic sports medicine research. I have an initial interest in orthopaedics and OB/GYN, but am very open to all specialties! Outside of academics, I am a personal trainer, and love sports, going for walks, traveling, and trying the amazing restaurants Durham has to offer! I am happy to talk about all things related to medical school and life as a medical student - from coming to Durham from New England, life after college athletics, staying active as a medical student, the application process, our first-year curriculum, second year rotations, and more. I look forward to meeting you!


Student Kate Daniel wearing white coat standing under archway

Kate Daniel (She/Her/Hers)

Email: katherine.daniel@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Richmond, Virginia

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics

Hi everyone! After growing up in Richmond, Virginia, I attended the University of Virginia, where I completed my undergraduate and master's degrees in statistics before coming to Duke. I am now a MS2 and am happy to answer any questions, especially about why I chose Duke, the first year experience, the humanities scholars program, quality improvement research, Durham's amazing run clubs and restaurants, and how to navigate cheering for two ACC basketball teams at once!


Rachel Donaldson (She/Her/Hers)

Email: rad45@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Boston

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics

I was a Duke undergrad and did consulting for my gap years.


Student Santita Ebangwese in white coat standing in front of tree

Santita Ebangwese (She/Her/Hers)

Email: santita.ebangwese@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Rochester, NY

Specialty Interest: Undecided

I am a first generation Cameroonian American and the youngest of four. I have many intterest outside of medicine that keep me balanced; they range from baking to fitness to friends. I'm excited to see what the future has in store.


Student Amika Ekanem in white coat and stethoscope standing under archway

Amika Ekanem (She/Her/hers)

Email: aae21@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: New Martinsville, WV

Specialty Interest: Surgery


Hi everyone, I’m Amika!

I grew up in New Martinsville, West Virginia, and I’m Nigerian and Trinidadian American. I went to Duke University for undergrad and majored in Biology and minored in Chemistry. After graduating in 2020, I spent a year working at a COVID-19 diagnostic lab in Henderson, NC before starting medical school. I'm an Ensign in the US Navy through the Navy Health Professions Scholarship Program (HPSP). In my free time I like to play tennis, roller-skate, workout, and try out local restaurants. I am happy to talk about anything, Duke, Durham, my Triangle restaurant recommendations, and HPSP.


Headshot of student Raquel Garcia wearing white shirt with hair over one shoulder

Raquel Garcia (She/Her/Ella)

Email: raquel.garcia@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Orange County, California

Specialty Interest: Uncertain (some current interests include EM, trauma, neuro, ortho, ICU, etc.)

Hi everyone! My name is Raquel, and I'm from Southern California. I studied public health with a chem minor at San Jose State University, focusing on community health education and health disparities work primarily in Black and Brown communities. I took two years off between undergrad and medical school, working on qualitative and community-based participatory research projects at Stanford, including topics like physician-patient communication, anti-racism meded, physician burnout/wellness, disparities in rare disease diagnosis, and team-based serious illness care. I love spending time with loved ones, being active (running, hiking, lifting, climbing, etc.), reading, and cooking. Happy to talk about anything related to the application/admissions process, deciding on a right fit for a school, moving to Durham, research, being Latina at Duke (so far as an MS1), or anything else!


Student Melissa Greene wearing white coat over pink dress standing under archway

Melissa Greene (She/Her/Hers)

Email: mg421@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Pinehurst, NC

Specialty Interest: OBGYN, surgery

Hi, I am a current second year medical student at Duke interested in surgery and OBGYN! Please feel free to reach out with any questions about first year at Duke Med, living in Durham, or anything else that comes to mind.


Headshot of student Victoria Gregorio in white coat and stethoscope

Victoria Gregorio (She/Her/Hers)

Email: vrg6@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Bethesda, MD

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics

I grew up in the DC area and went to UNC CH for undergrad! I am comfortable discussing anything with applicants and would love to connect with people who might be interested in joining LMSA or are interested in talking about pediatrics!


Student Katrina Huft wearing red sash around neck standing in front of tree

Kat Guardino (She/Her/Hers)

Email: katrina.huft@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Orange County, CA

Specialty Interest: Pediatric Neurology

Hey everyone! My name is Kat, and I am originally from Southern California. I studied neuroscience and theatre at the University of Southern California and graduated in 2020. I then took a gap year and taught STEM at a private high school in the Bay Area before coming to Duke Med in 2021. If you have any questions - whether about owning pets, moving across the coast, managing a long-distance relationship, or anything else you can think of - I'm happy to answer!


Student Megan Happ wearing white coat and stethoscope standing under archway

Megan Happ (She/Her/Hers)

Email: megan.happ@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025, MS2

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

Specialty Interest: OBGYN, surgery

Hello! My name is Megan and I am an MS2 participating in the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) program and am currently interested in surgery and OBGYN. I graduated from UNC Chapel Hill (go heels!) in 2020 with degrees in Anthropology and Global Health. After undergrad, I moved home to Denver for a year where I worked for Planned Parenthood as a medical assistant. At Duke I've enjoyed getting involved in research, co-leading our chapter of Med Students for Choice, and teaching sex ed with some of my classmates at a local high school through the HEY Durham program! When I'm not studying or doing medicine-related things I enjoy reading, hot yoga, and exploring Durham.


Student Jamie Karl wearing floral long sleeve dress standing in front of flower bed

Jamie Karl (She/Her/Hers)

Email: jjk51@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Myrtle Beach, SC

Specialty Interest: Ophthalmology, cardiology, but also open to anything!

Hi!! My name is Jamie Karl, and I am a second year medical student at Duke. I grew up in Myrtle Beach, SC, and I went to Duke for undergrad (go Blue Devils!!). I studied biology and English in college, and during my gap year, I worked as an assistant clinical research coordinator in radiation oncology. Here at Duke Med, I'm involved in Duke MedMAP, APAMSA (Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association), and the Ophthalmology Interest Group. If you have any questions about gap year, research, medical school applications, Durham in general, or just want someone to talk to, I'm here to chat :)


Student Isabel Koolik wearing white coat and stethoscope in front of brick wall

Isabel Koolik (She/Her/Hers)

Email: isabel.koolik@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Boca Raton, FL

Specialty Interest: Not sure yet!

Hi everyone! My name is Isabel and I’m an MS1 here at Duke. I grew up in Monterrey, Mexico and then moved to South Florida when I was twelve. I graduated from Yale College in 2021 and spent one gap year in New Haven conducting research in a microbiology lab. For fun, I love working out, going on walks, trying new restaurants, and cooking. I am happy to chat about all things medical school, including the application process, deciding on a school, my experience so far at Duke Med, or any other questions you might have!


Portrait of student Annika Kruse in White Coat

Annika Kruse (She/Her/Hers)

Email:  Annika.kruse@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Swarthmore, PA

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics

Hello! I am a MS2 who grew up outside Philadelphia and then went to undergrad at Princeton and majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. During my gap year I worked as a COVID-19 case investigator and contact tracer for Pennsylvania. Here at Duke am set on pediatrics as a speciality and am a part of the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship program, Pediatric Interest Group, and HEY Durham a program that teaches health class at a local high school. Outside of school, I love to play pick up soccer, pickleball, and tennis, go on hikes at the Eno and Falls Lake, watch sporting events like Durham Bulls and Duke Basketball, go to the farmers market every weekend, and of course eat my way through Durhams amazing food scene. I currently live in house with several other medical student in Old West Durham and have really loved becoming more integrated with the community. I am happy to speak about the weekly class schedule, curriculum, and moving/adjusting to Durham.


Student Anivarya Kumar wearing striped top with hair falling over one shoulder

Anivarya Kumar (She/Her/Hers)

Email: anivarya.kumar@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

Specialty Interest: Oncology

Hi everyone! My name is Anivarya and I’m an MS2 here at DukeMed. I grew up in Phoenix, Arizona and graduated with a BA in Medicine, Health, and Society at Vanderbilt University. During undergrad, I conducted research on illness narratives, worked as a medical journalist, and competed on an acapella team. At Duke, I’m involved in the LIC program, Chronic Health Conditions Storytelling Group, Oncology Student Interest Group, and Root Causes. In my free time, I love singing, working out, and checking out new restaurants in the Triangle. Feel free to reach out to me if you have any questions about the application process, medical humanities at Duke, med school right after undergrad, work-life balance, or anything else! Good luck and hope to see some of you here!


Headshot of student John Leschisin wearing blue suit with blue tie

Jack Leschisin (He/Him/His)

Email: jjl63@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Mound, MN

Specialty Interest: Family medicine

Hello! My name is Jack and I’m a fourth year student here at Duke. I am originally from a small town in Minnesota and attended the University of Minnesota for college before moving to North Carolina in 2019. I will be applying in to family medicine and am so excited for a career in primary care! Please feel free to reach out to discuss anything related to the Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT), rural health, social drivers of health, or local BBQ restaurants.


Headshot of student Danielle Levinson wearing blue shirt

Danielle Levinson (She/Her/Hers)

Email: DLL45@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Syracuse, NY/West Palm Beach, FL

Specialty Interest: Family medicine, rheumatology, neurology

I am a second-year student in the Primary Care Leadership Track (PCLT). After graduating from Wesleyan University in 2019, I served as a care coordinator in the National Health Corps in Jacksonville, FL and as an AmeriCorps reading tutor in West Palm Beach, FL. I'm interested in reducing socially-driven health disparities, particularly in rural, tribal, and Hispanic communities. In my free time, I enjoy creative writing, reading, and language learning.


Linda Li (She/Her/Hers)

Email: linda.w.li@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: New Orleans, Louisiana

Specialty Interest: Psychiatry, Medicine/Psychiatry

I’m a New Orleans native who graduated from Emory (in Atlanta) in 2019 with a double major in biology and creative writing, and completed a Fulbright ETA grant in Taiwan before coming to Duke. I’m interested in medical humanities, narrative medicine, Asian American mental health, med student wellness/burnout, and health literacy/patient education, and I ultimately plan to apply into psychiatry and combined med/psych. I dabble in art, writing, and travel in my free time. Happy to talk about doing qualitative research for MS3 year, the second-year Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship (LIC) track, the medical humanities scene at DukeMed, mental health resources and wellness support, the best Asian food in Durham, or really anything you would like to ask!


Student Shweta Lodha sitting at table drinking coffee out of white mug wearing green shirt

Shweta Lodha (She/Her/Hers)

Email: sl382@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: New York

Specialty Interest: Cardiology

Hi! My name is Shweta, and I am an MS2. I studied Neuroscience and Ethics at Duke University ('19) and am thrilled to be back. Prior to medical school, I spent two years researching the role of genetic therapy in cardiovascular disease at the Mount Sinai Icahn School of Medicine. In my free time, I love exploring the food scene in Durham, cooking, working out, and spending time with friends. Right now, I'm interested in pursuing a career in Cardiology. At Duke Med, I help run the Health Policy Interest Group, Cardiovascular Student Interest Group, and SAMoSA (South Asian Medical Student Alliance). Feel free to reach out if you have any questions about being a two-time Dukie, entering medical school after taking time off, pursuing interests in health policy or cardiology, living in Durham, or anything else!


Student Victoria Lue wearing white coat standing under archway

Victoria Lue (She/Her/Hers)

Email: victoria.lue@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Raleigh, NC

Specialty Interest: Palliative Care/Oncology

Hi everyone, I’m Victoria. I graduated from UNC in 2020, spent one year working in COVID-19 response for a nursing home company, and I’m now a second year here at Duke! Since matriculating, I’ve been involved in the BEC Senior Support Program, Duke Health CARES, Duke Med for Social Justice, and the medical humanities course. My academic interests include narrative medicine and the intersection of palliative care and oncology.

I spend my free time outdoors, visiting downtown Durham’s breweries and restaurants, and exploring non-medical interests. It’s incredibly important to me to have a life outside of medicine, so I’d love to talk about that balance. Happy to answer any and all question you have about Duke Med, Durham, the first year, and the application process. I look forward to talking with you!


Headshot of student Nathan Luzum wearing white coat & Stethoscope in front of a tree

Nathan Luzum (He/Him/His)

Email: nathan.luzum@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Leawood, KS

Specialty Interest: Undecided

I graduated from Duke in 2020 as a neuroscience/history double major before spending a gap year in Massachusetts working as a medical assistant in a dermatology clinic. Since returning to Duke for med school, I've gotten involved with Class Council, The Aesculapian (DukeMed's yearbook), Admissions Recruitment Committee and various interest groups. I've continued my interest in writing, serving as a columnist for The Chronicle (Duke's independent student-run newspaper) and a member of its alumni Board of Directors. When not doing something school-related, I enjoy baking desserts, going to baseball games, finding bar trivia nights around Durham and playing pickleball. Happy to answer any questions about the interview process, the culture at DukeMed, my experience returning to Duke for med school or anything else!


Portrait of student Jane Marryat

Jane Marryat (She/Her/Hers)

Email: jem142@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Waxhaw, NC

Specialty Interest: Psychiatry and Pediatrics

I am a current MS3 at Duke from Waxhaw, North Carolina; I graduated in 2020 from the University of South Carolina after studying biology, neuroscience, and political science. My primary interests are in psychiatry and pediatrics. I'd be happy to talk about why I chose Duke for med school, my experiences as an MS1/MS2, what it's like living in Durham, or anything else--please feel free to reach out!


Portrait of student Lexy Medema

Lexy Medema (She/Her/Hers)

Email: alexis.medema@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Sioux Falls, SD

Specialty Interest: General Surgery / Interventional Radiology

I graduated from Duke in 2017 with a major in Chemistry and a minor in Education. Following undergrad, I finished a master’s in Genetics & Molecular Medicine at the University of Edinburgh and then worked as a clinical research coordinator in aortic surgery at Penn. My career interests are in surgery, IR, and medical education, while outside of school, you’ll often find me traveling or in a yoga studio. I would be happy to talk about anything regarding the Duke experience (including basketball!), living in Durham, gap year experiences, the DukeMed curriculum, medical school admissions, and anything and everything else. Between undergrad and medical school, I really consider this university home, so please feel free to reach out!


Headshot of student Cathlyn Medina wearing white coat and stethoscope in front of a wooden door

Cathlyn Medina (She/Her/Hers)

Email: cathlyn.medina@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Eugene, OR

Specialty Interest: Pediatric Congenital Cardiology

Hey all! Just some quick info about me: I am a current MS3. I went to undergrad at Brown and did a gap year doing research in NYC before coming to Duke for medical school. I absolutely love the outdoors and trying new food so please feel free to ask me about restaurants/dining in Durham!

I will be doing surgical research next year with the Congenital Heart surgeons here at Duke and will be doing continuity clinic with some of the Pediatric Cardiologists. I am also newly involved with Duke Heart for Honduras and will be traveling to Honduras this coming year with the team. I am also involved with Duke LMSA and Fremont Clinic (a student-run free clinic in Fremont, NC). Please feel free to reach out about anything! Always happy to chat!


Portrait of student Aden Pepe Haskell-Mendoza in White Coat

Aden Mendoza (He/Him/His)

Email: aden.mendoza@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Sacramento, CA

Specialty Interest: Neurosurgery

I studied Neuroscience and Philosophy at UC San Diego, where I also completed my Master's thesis in Biology. I then took another gap year to work in brain tumor immunology at UC Davis Medical Center prior to Duke. I am interested in novel neurosurgical technologies and am looking forward to spending my MS3 year in the laboratory of Dr. Peter Fecci, where I will study laser ablation for gliomas and brain metastases. I am also passionate about equity within neurosurgery.

Don't hesitate to reach out for any questions you may have! Mentoring is very important to me, and I'm always happy to discuss gap years/non-trad experiences, moving cross country, research, or being Latino/URM at Duke.


Student Ellen Mines wearing white coat and stethoscope in front of brick building

Ellen Mines (She/Her/Hers)

Email: evm8@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Wichita KS

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics

Hi there! My name is Ellen Mines, and I am a current M1 at Duke Med. I was a Duke Undergrad and then stuck around Durham for my gap year, so I'd be happy to chat about what it is like to live here and be a student at Duke! I am also interested in Pediatrics and LGBTQIA+ healthcare! In my free time, I like to boulder, skate, and buy new plants for my fish tank. :) Looking forward to meeting you!


Headshot of student Julia Mook in front of white background with hair over one shoulder

Julia Mook (She/Her/Hers)

Email: jmm278@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Apex, NC

Specialty Interest: Emergency Medicine or Otolaryngology         

Hello! My name is Julia and I am originally from Houston, Texas. My family moved to North Carolina when I was young and I have lived here ever since! I went to Clemson University for undergrad and studied microbiology/biomedicine before pursuing a Master of Public Health in Epidemiology at Columbia University. In my free time I love to play music (I play the piano and kalimba), hike, kayak, sketch/paint, play table tennis, and explore the many restaurants and breweries in Durham. I would love to talk to you about life as an MS1, fun things to do in Durham, gap year experiences, and the general transition to medical school. Go Duke!


Nick Morriss (He/Him/His)

Email: Nicholas.morriss@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Hastings on Hudson NY

Specialty Interest: Ortho

Specialty choice, Durham, housing, why Duke , culture, everything else


Portrait of student Kelly Owens

Kelly Owens (She/Her/Hers)

Email: kelly.owens@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Greenville, NC

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics, Internal Medicine

Hi everyone! I was born and raised in Greenville, NC, and I hope to live here for the rest of my life! My entire family lives in NC, and NC is a special place to me. I hope and feel confident that you will love it here too! I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill and had the best college experience in the neighboring city to Durham. Go Tarheels! I worked as a nursing assistant in the Cardiac Intensive Care Unit for almost two years before starting at Duke. I love dancing, reading, working out, going to the beach, and being outside, and now, I love DukeMed, too. I am happy to talk about Durham, NC, DukeMed, transitioning to medical school, and anything else. Please don’t hesitant to reach out to me. I utilized the student ambassador page during my admission cycle and found all of my conversations reassuring.


Portrait of student Madhura Pande

Madhura Pande (She/Her/Hers)

Email: madhura.pande@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Florence, SC

Specialty Interest: Internal Medicine, Cardiology

I majored in Biology and Spanish in the Honors College at the University of South Carolina but switched Carolinas for med school! I am happy to chat about coming to Duke from a state school. I also did a gap year in renal clinical research at the University of Colorado School of Medicine. I’m passionate about service, specifically in Latine communities, and would love to share about my experiences in ACCES (a medical Spanish course here), in the Holton Clinic (a free medical clinic), and on exec for Duke MSFC (medical students for choice). Feel free to ask me about anything- the unique curriculum, work/life balance as an MS1, finding community here, seeking mental health care, etc.


Portrait of student Katherine Penvose

Katie Penvose (She/Her/Hers)

Email: knp26@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: New Bern, NC

Specialty Interest: General Surgery or OB/GYN

Hi everyone! I grew up in the Midwest before relocating to New Bern, NC in 2016. I went to Washington University in St. Louis where I studied biochemistry and medical humanities. After graduating from WashU in 2019, I worked as a medical assistant in a dermatology office for my gap year. I'd be happy to talk to you about why I chose Duke, the transition back to school after taking a year off, moving from the Midwest, or any other questions you have! I recently completed my clinical rotations, so I'm happy to talk about Duke's unique curriculum as well.


Student Raquel Perry wearing white coat and stethoscope standing in front of brick wall

Raquel Perry (She/Her/Hers)

Email: rap68@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Carver, MA

Specialty Interest: Leaning ENT or Anesthesia

Hi! I graduated from UMass Amherst and took one gap year before applying. Still undecided about what I want to do for a specialty. I am an academic resource committee member, a stop the bleed leader, and am doing neuroscience/microbiology research in my gap year. I was previously involved in the COVID social support program. I've enjoyed medical school thus far and would love to talk about the Duke experience. Happy to chat about navigating medical school while undecided, the duke curriculum, moving too and living in durham, work life balance, or anything else.


Headshot of student Isabel Prado wearing suit jacket with hair over shoulders

Isabel Prado (She/Her/Hers)

Email: isabel.prado@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Sugar Land, TX

Specialty Interest: Orthopaedic Surgery

Hey applicants! I am originally from Texas, went out to California for undergrad, then lived in Connecticut for two gap years getting a masters and doing clinical research before coming here for medical school. I enjoy hanging with my dog, playing tennis, and exploring the many coffee and ice cream shops Durham has to offer! Happy to chat about anything.


Portrait of student Alessandro Racioppi in White Coat

Alessandro Racioppi (He/Him/His)

Email: alessandro.racioppi@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Rome, Italy

Specialty Interest: Oncology

I was born in Rome, Italy and raised there until I was 13 when I made Chapel Hill, North Carolina (9 miles from Durham) my home. I am a dual citizen of Italy and the United States and am happy to share my experiences with any fellow students that are immigrants, bilingual, or bicultural. I attended Elon University for my undergraduate studies, pursuing degrees in the areas of Biology and Neuroscience. I experienced a period of significant medical hardship during my time as an undergraduate and am glad to share my experience with anyone experiencing personal health struggles. I subsequently completed a Pre-Health post-baccalaureate program at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2019 and a Master of Biomedical Sciences program from Duke University School of Medicine in 2020. For the year prior to my medical school enrollment, I worked as a clinical research specialist at the Duke Cancer Institute. I love being involved in the process of scientific discovery and have been a part of cancer research teams at different institutions. I am also an avid football player/fan (the original football, aka soccer here) and captain an adult competitive team in a local league, which helps me stay active and grounded in my hobbies. Please reach out if you have any questions about the area, graduate/medical school, and sports/activities around here!


Headshot of student Julia Ralph wearing white shirt in front of white background

Julia Ralph (She/Her/Hers)

Email: julia.ralph@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026 

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Specialty Interest: Sports medicine, orthopedic surgery, general surgery

Hi everyone, my name is Julia and I am a MS1 at Duke! I grew up in San Diego and spent my whole life there before moving to Massachusetts for college. I majored in Spanish at Amherst College and graduated in December 2021. I also played soccer there! During my 6 months in between college and med school, I traveled around Europe for almost 4 months, but am now happily settled in Durham. My passions are sports, languages, traveling, and fitness! Happy to talk about moving to North Carolina for the first time, transitioning from a small liberal arts school to a big research university, social life/balance at Duke, choosing between medical schools, college athletics, and much more!


Student Janel Ramkalawan wearing white coat, holding small brown dog in front of trees

Janel Ramkalawan (She/Her/Hers)

Email: jrr51@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Orlando, FL

Specialty Interest: Undecided—something surgical!

Hey there! My name is Janel. I’m from Trinidad, but spent most of my childhood in Orlando, FL. I went to undergrad here at Duke and majored in English. I’m always trying to make time for the humanities in my life—I love drawing, creative writing, and playing the piano! Apart from that, I’ve gotten into playing tennis recently and, whether I like it or not, I spend tons of time hanging out with my sweet and hopelessly needy dog, Misu. The application process is so overwhelming, and I’d love to offer any help I can. I can also speak to what it’s like to be a Durham resident, a medical student with a less STEM-heavy background, a pet owner, a URM/first-gen college student, and someone striving for a bit more school-personal life balance! I promise to give you my most honest answers, always!


Headshot of student Jay Rathinavelu wearing navy suit and crimson tie in front of grey background

Jay Rathinavelu (He/Him/His)

Email: jay.rathinavelu@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Erie, PA

Specialty Interest: Ophthalmology

I graduated from Duke in 2017 with a major in Biomedical Engineering. I then took 2 gap years to study the transcriptional regulation of Parkinson's disease at Johns Hopkins. I am currently entering my second research year to study pediatric retinal diseases. Outside of medicine, I love exploring restaurants in Durham, playing piano, hiking, playing board games, and cooking! Please feel free to reach out about any topics including coming back to school after gap years, living in Durham, work/life balance in medical school, Duke's unique curriculum, ophthalmology, or medical school in general.


Hannah Riedy (She/Her/Hers)

Email: hannah.riedy@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: San Diego, CA

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics

Hi! My name is Hannah, and I am an MS2. Before coming to medical school, I studied biology at UC Berkeley. After graduating in 2020, I spent my gap year in San Diego, where I worked as a waitress and hospital assistant. Here at Duke, I've been involved in the Holton Clinic and Duke Med for Social Justice.

In my free time, I love hiking, trying new restaurants and breweries, and playing with my cats. I’m happy to answer any questions about moving across the country, my favorite parts about Duke and Durham, and anything else!


Student Andreas Seas wearing purple latex gloves holding a brain, wearing purple T shirt and yellow face mask

Andreas Seas (He/Him/His)

Email: andreas.seas@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Akrotiri, Cyprus; Raised in Baltimore, MD

Specialty Interest: Neurosurgery

Just your friendly neighborhood MD/PhD student, always happy to talk your ear off about research and clinical translation. Some quick info about me: I went to the University of Maryland, Baltimore County where I studied chemical engineering, and landed at Duke in 2017. I am happy to share my experiences at Duke on the clinical and the research sides, as well as my experiences living in Durham for the past 5+ years!


Headshot of student Reef Shah in front of grey background wearing lilac shirt and purple printed tie

Sharrieff Shah (He/Him/His)

Email: sharrieff.shah@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Salt Lake City

Specialty Interest: Orthopedic Surgery, ENT, Urology, plastic surgery, sports medicine

Hi and congratulations on making it this far into the admissions process. My name is Sharrieff Shah, and I graduated from the University of Utah with a degree in Exercise Sport Science with a nutrition minor. My current specialty interests revolve primarily around surgical specialties (orthopedics, ENT, Urology, plastic surgery). I was a collegiate athlete and currently like to stay active during medical school. I am African-American and Tongan. Please reach out with any questions that you may have. Best of luck, and I hope to see you in Durham!


Headshot of student Sydney Sheffield in front of white background wearing green shirt

Sydney Sheffield (She/Her/Hers)

Email: sydney.sheffield@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Mountain View, CA

Specialty Interest: OB-GYN

Hello! My name is Sydney, and I'm a current MS1 in the PCLT program. I grew up in the Silicon Valley, CA, but got my Bachelor's degree in Public Health and Chinese from Tulane University in New Orleans. Between undergrad and med school, I spent a gap year working as a medical assistant at Planned Parenthood. My academic interests include qualitative research, OB-GYN, abortion care, and palliative care. Outside of class, I enjoy reading, hiking, camping, playing water polo, drinking coffee, and talking to my plants. Happy to answer any questions about PCLT, the transition to med school, first year, etc.! Looking forward to meeting you!


Student Eden Singh wearing purple sweater with hair over both shoulders

Eden Singh (She/Her/Hers)

Email: eden.singh@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Seattle, WA

Specialty Interest: OBGYN, Ophthalmology, ENT

I am originally from Seattle, WA and graduated from Vanderbilt in 2021. I took one gap year doing AmeriCorps in New York City. I am happy to talk about taking a gap year, choosing to attend Duke from the west coast, or making school decisions.


Student Michael Snider wearing whitecoat & stethoscope in front of Duke Chapel

Michael Snider (He/Him/His)

Email: michael.snider@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

Specialty Interest: Oncology/Internal Medicine

Hello everyone! I’m a current MS2 interested in oncology, bioethics, and narrative medicine. I am originally from Columbus, Ohio. I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, majoring in Quantitative Biology/Neuroscience and minoring in Medicine, Literature, and Culture. I then spent a year doing research in a Urology lab at the Durham VA. In my free time, I love hiking/camping, board games, pickle ball, cooking and checking out Durham’s awesome food and brewery scene. I would love to answer any questions you have about Durham, work-life balance in medical school, or my experience so far at Duke Med!


Portrait of student Jacob Sperba

Jacob Sperber (He/Him/His)

Email: jes148@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: New Jersey

Specialty Interest: Neurosurgery

Hello! My name is Jacob and I was born and raised in New Jersey. I went to Williams College where I studied psychology and neuroscience, and launched a cooking club. I then spent a year in Madrid working in a neuroscience lab followed by a year in NYC working for a small biotech company probing the gut-brain axis. I am happy to chat about anything and everything related to medicine or gap years, but I am also always excited to talk about my passions for cooking, food, coffee, reading, any type of physical activity, and guitar. Looking forward to connecting!


Student Kyle Steinbock smiling at camera holding golden medium-sized dog

Kyle Steinbock (He/Him/His)

Email: kas223@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Prosser, WA

Specialty Interest: No clue

I was born and raised in rural Washington State. I studied neuroscience at UW in Seattle. I then joined the Peace Corps immediately after graduation to serve as a community health educator in Peru. I returned to Washington two years later to work in clinical research in the ED and now I am at Duke! I like sports, cooking, exercise, thrifting, befriending other people's dogs (see photo for proof), and eating PB&J's after a good hike. I am a MS1 so I don't have too much insight into clinical rotations, third year opportunities, applying to residency programs, etc. But I think I can offer some helpful advice on applications, choosing a program, and making the transition into medical school!


Headshot of student Spencer Sumner wearing white coat and stethoscope in front of wooden door

Spencer Sumner (He/Him/His)

Email: sfs26@duke.edu

Class Year: 2026

Hometown: Gainesville GA

Specialty Interest: ED, Surgery

Hello! My name is Spencer Sumner, I grew up in Gainesville Georgia, a smaller to mid sized city in the northwest corner of the state. For college, I attended the University of Georgia, graduating in May of 2022 with degrees in Anthropology and Biology. Currently, I am a MS1 (first year med student) interested in specializing in surgery or emergency medicine. My outside of school interests are hiking, carpentry, chess and indie movies. Talk to me about applying to medical school, first year life at duke, social life in durham, coming from the southeast or anything else you want to talk about!


Student David Sykes wearing white coat and stethoscope in front of brick wall

David Sykes (He/Him/His)

Email: david.sykes@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Reisterstown, Maryland

Specialty Interest: Neurosurgery

Hello, my name is David Sykes, and I'm a student in the Duke Med Class of 2024. I'm from just outside of Baltimore, and I graduated from WashU in St. Louis in 2020, where I studied biochemistry and music. I'm interested in neurosurgery - predominantly spine, but with other interests in skull base and vascular/endovascular neurosurgery! I'm also an executive for our annual Student Faculty Show, so reach out if you love music!

To all of you prospective students: Please feel free to contact me; I would be happy to talk to you about Duke Med and why I think it is such an amazing place! I am a big believer that the most important thing when choosing a medical school is that it fits your needs and facilitates your goals, and Duke's unique third year really allows you to get that perfect fit!


Student Julie Thamby smiling at camera wearing black blazer over white shirt

Julie Thamby (She/Her/Hers)

Email: jmt114@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Gilbert, AZ

Specialty Interest: Pediatrics or Surgery

Hi! I’m Julie and I'm an MS3 originally from Arizona. I went to Rice for my undergrad and majored in Cognitive Science. In college I was involved in various mentoring roles, dance teams, and loved learning about and being a part of social justice and service clubs. Currently, I am pursuing my dual degree (MD-MBA) through Fuqua at Duke. I am still undecided about what I want to do in medicine but have been enjoying exploring my options and conducting pediatric and surgery research. At Duke, I'm part of a social determinants of health club called Root Causes, have performed in our annual Student-Faculty show, am involved in the South Asian cultural club, and am part of the student Wellness committee. Outside of school, I love to dance, check out new restaurants, go on hikes, and explore the city with friends! I’m more than happy to chat with you about the application process, moving to NC, life in Durham, work/life balance, pursuing a dual-degree, and any questions you may have about about the 1st/2nd/3rd year at DukeMed!


Portrait of student Steven Thornton

Steven Thornton (He/Him/His)

Email: steven.thornton@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Camden, NC

Specialty Interest: General Surgery (Pediatric Surgery & Cardiothoracic Surgery)

My name is Steven, and I am an MS4 at Duke. I grew up in Eastern North Carolina and have spent most of my life in the state. I graduated from NC State with a B.S. in Civil Engineering in 2016 before completing a post baccalaureate premed program at Johns Hopkins. I then spent the next couple of years as a high school teacher back here in NC! I am applying into general surgery with specific interests in pediatric and cardiothoracic surgery. I'm happy to discuss non-traditional paths into medicine, choosing a school, the Duke curriculum, or anything else. Duke is a wonderful place to study medicine and I am happy to call Durham home. I hope you'll reach out as you explore this exciting stage of your career.


Student Bruno Valan wearing white coat over blue shirt in front of a tree

Bruno Valan (He/Him/His)

Email: bruno.valan@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: San Francisco

Specialty Interest: Surgery, critical care, emergency medicine

I am a MS3 currently completing a dual degree program with the Pratt School of Engineering. I am interested in global and public health and am still figuring out what residency I want to match into!


Headshot of student Daniel Wang wearing white coat and stethoscope

Daniel Wang (He/Him/His)

Email: dw325@duke.edu

Class Year: 2025

Hometown: Plano, TX

Specialty Interest: Ophthalmology, Oncology

I am a MS2 interested in Ophthalmology/Oncology and Health Economics. I majored in Economics at Rice University in Houston and am happy to chat with anyone who pursued a non-traditional major in college. I love to bake and cook and love to talk about the food scene in the triangle area. If applicants have questions about moving to Durham from another state, the Health Economics scene at Duke, AAPI identity in medicine, the first year, etc, I would be happy to chat with them!


Student Marilyn Yamamoto wearing mustard coloured beanie holding a brown dog in backpack in front of bare trees

Marilyn Yamamoto (She/Her/Hers)  

Email: Marilyn.yamamoto@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Kapolei, HI

Specialty Interest: Emergency Medicine

My name is Marilyn Yamamoto and I am an MS3! I am originally from Kapolei, Hawaii and went to the University of Hawaii at Hilo for undergrad, majoring in Cell and Molecular Biology. I took a gap year before coming to med school where I worked as a ED Scribe and volunteered at various hospitals across Hawaii. Feel free to reach out to me if you have questions about moving to Durham from far away, gap year, what it’s like to be in med school, or anything really!


 


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