Connect with Current Students

 

2020-2021 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!


 

Med Student

LaMani Adkins (she/her/hers)

Email:  lamani.adkins@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown:  Detroit, MI 

I was born and raised in Detroit, Michigan. I received a Bachelor of Science in Biology from Spelman College in 2017. I am happy to discuss why I chose Duke, the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship track, study away opportunities for research, how to best navigate and access Duke’s resources (such as the Multicultural Resource Center), student community involvement, and the transition from an Historically Black College/University to a Predominately White Institution. Outside of medicine I am obsessed with mentorship, making a difference in my community (in Durham and my hometown, Detroit), power yoga, meditation, and my new found love: guacamole!


Sroda Agudogo (she/her/hers)

Email: Sroda.agudogo@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Accra, Ghana

I'm an international student from Ghana. I went to college at Duke and majored in BME. Would be happy to chat about life as an international student, BME, and global health!

 


Alexandra “Hunter” Aitchison (she/her/hers)

Email: aha19@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Scottsdale, AZ

Hello, my name is Hunter Aitchison. I grew up in Scottsdale, Arizona but my family now resides in Lexington, SC. I went to Duke University as an undergraduate where I was a student athlete on the swimming and diving team and majored in neuroscience with a minor in biology and chemistry.  At Duke, I did molecular research in a vascular biology laboratory, and I took a gap year after graduating to gain experience in clinical research. During that year I applied to medical school and worked as a research assistant for a pediatric orthopedic sports surgeon. I love cooking, being outside, drinking coffee, and exploring all that Durham has to offer. If you have any questions about Duke, Durham, taking a gap year, life post athletics, research, the application process etc, please feel free to contact me!


med studentMonica Alvarez (she/her/hers)

Email: monica.alvarez@duke.edu

Class: 2021

Hometown: Miami, FL

I was born in Mexico City, and raised in Miami, FL. Came to Durham in 2012 to attend graduate school. I started medical school (PCLT) six years after graduating undergrad so can talk about jumping back into school after a long break. I am a wife, a mom to a little girl and a mom to an eternally young at heart dog all while being a med student. Life is very busy but not impossible. Happy to chat about work life balance, being a Latina at Duke, life in Durham or any other questions you might have.


Med StudentMariam Ardehali (she/her/hers)

Email: mariam.ardehali@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Chicago, IL

Hi! My name is Mariam and I am from Chicago, IL. I graduated from Northwestern University in 2019 and conducted biochemical and epigenetic research for the past year in Chicago before starting at Duke. I stayed in Chicago a majority of my life and this is my first time moving away, so I’d love to talk about the experience of moving away from home and moving to a smaller city. I majored in Spanish and minored in Sociology, so feel free to ask me anything about transitioning from the humanities to a medical school environment. I am also Iranian-American, and speak Persian, Spanish and English. I am very passionate about social justice and hope to pursue a career in academic medicine with research focusing on health disparities. I’d love to answer any questions!


Sierra Atwater (she/her/hers)

Email: sa401@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Pittsboro, NC

My name is Sierra Atwater and I am a rising second year medical student here at Duke Med. I am from Pittsboro, NC and went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad (go Heels!). I took 2 years off before matriculating to medical school where I was a part of the NIH post-bac research program at the environmental campus in Durham, NC. I would love to talk to any prospective students about what its like living in NC, taking a gap year (or multiple like I did), and how it feels to be a Black student here at Duke. Please reach out anytime if you have questions!


Med StudentSandra Au (she/her/hers)

Email: sandra.au@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Rochester, NY

I took a couple years off before medical school working in patient care, traveling and taking a breather. Happy to chat about that transition back to medical school, the pros/cons of the curriculum, being a first-generation college/med student here and fostering work-life harmony. Passionate about psychosocial determinants of health, medical humanities, and brewing the perfect cup of coffee. Reach out anytime!


Med StudentCourtney Bair (she/her/hers)

Email: cab192@duke.edu

Class Year: (year you will graduate) 2024

Hometown: Columbus, Ohio

I graduated from Vanderbilt with a B.A. in biology in 2019. I did translational oncology research during undergrad and spent one gap year doing clinical orthopedic research at Vanderbilt. I love sports, running, and spending time outdoors. Feel free to ask me any questions.


Med StudentHelena Barber (she/her/hers)

Email: helena.barber@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Alexandria, VA

Happy to talk about any topic, including why I chose Duke, the condensed first year curriculum and feeling ready for the wards second year, and what it’s like living in Durham.


Med StudentKayla Blackburn (she/her/hers)

Email: kayla.blackburn@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Salisbury, North Carolina

I attended UNC Charlotte for undergrad. I am a member of the Primary Care Leadership Track. I’m happy to talk about the PCLT application process and will gladly try to answer any questions you have about applying to Duke Med or why I chose Duke! As I’ve lived in NC my entire life, I’m also happy to share my living experience in this great state! Additionally, I could speak on going directly from undergrad to medical school.


Med StudentMonica Bodd (she/her/hers)

Email: monica.bodd@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: San Jose, CA

I was born and raised in the Bay Area, and studied Sociocultural Anthropology at Rice University in Houston. I’ve been slowly, but surely, falling in love with North Carolina since starting medical school here in 2018. My academic interests lie at the intersection of palliative care, surgery and oncology. I will be pursuing a Masters of Theological Studies at Duke Divinity for the next two years – with a focus on ethics and healing. Outside of the medical school, I spend most of my time yelping the Triangle’s food/boba scene and cheering on the blue devils. I would be happy to chat about the transition from a humanities degree to medical school, dual degree options during third year, moving to NC from out of state, or really anything about the first or second-year DukeMed experience!


Med StudentMeg Bost-Aguilar (she/her/hers)

Email: margaret.bost@duke.edu

Class year: 2022

Hometown: Denver, Colorado

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 am in the primary care leadership track (PCLT), so I am happy to talk about outpatient medicine and what it’s like to participate in a longitudinal integrated clerkship. Since coming to Durham, I’ve adopted a 90 lb lab-shepherd mix named Bo and gotten engaged, so I am happy to chat about making time for life outside of the classroom and clinic as well!


Med StudentHannahSofia Brown (she/her/hers)

Email: htb6@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

I’m from Minneapolis, and after doing my undergrad in Nashville I realized I never wanted to shovel snow again and that’s how I ended up in Durham! I love being outside, going for runs, and walking my cat, Charles. He is a very unique cat and is one of my true passions. At the moment, I am really interested in GI, and will be doing research on Barrett’s esophagus for my 3rd year. As a fun fact, my favorite organ is the colon! I love to chat and if you have any questions feel free to reach out! 


Med StudentGrant Cabell (he/him/his)

Email: grant.cabell@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Chapel Hill

Born and raised North Carolinian; I did undergrad at UNC-CH and then switched colors of blue for medical school. I would be happy to answer any questions you have! Having lived in the Triangle my entire life, I can definitely answer any questions you have about moving to Durham, what makes it such a fantastic location to call home, and how welcoming the Duke Med and surrounding community is. Outside of medicine, I'm very passionate about basketball, music, and eating, and happy to talk about the work/life balance at Duke. Also happy to answer any questions pertaining to the first year curriculum or how our third year experience enhances medical training!


Shivy Chandramouli (he/him/his)

Email: shivram.chandramouli@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021 

Hometown: Munster, IN

I am an MS4 from the lovely midwest. Was born in India, grew up in Kentucky for a while, then moved to Indiana for high school. I went to Duke for Undergrad, and I am a huge Duke/Purdue/Chicago Bulls basketball fan. Did research in ophthalmology / emergency medicine, will be applying into internal medicine. Happy to chat about DukeMed, research, basketball, tennis, board games, or really anything!


Med StudentShivani Chandrashekaran (she/her/hers)

Email: svc@duke.edu

Class Year:  2023

Hometown: Fremont, CA

I’m originally from the Bay Area, California, but came to Duke for undergrad where I majored in Neuroscience.  I worked as a clinical research coordinator for a year doing palliative care research at Stanford, and then I returned to Durham for med school!  I’ve enjoyed exploring Durham more with my classmates this past year and getting involved in extracurricular opportunities, especially in youth education and outreach!  Happy to talk about anything and everything, including the condensed preclinical year, returning to Duke for med school after doing undergrad here, work-life balance, and of course, Duke Basketball.


Med StudentJennifer Chang (she/her/hers)

Email: jennifer.chang@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022 

Hometown: Miller Place, NY

Beijing-born, Long Island-raised, and Duke-ified since starting undergrad here in 2013. Throughout this time, I have been and continue to be passionate about a variety of service projects. I am happy to talk about how the Longitudinal Integrated Clerkship program has helped me navigate my interests in pediatrics and ophthalmology. I also enjoy playing badminton, discussing social justice with my book club, and baby-/cat-sitting. I would love to share my experience with prospective students before I start my research year(s) in Berlin, Germany!


Abby Clark (she/her/hers)

Email: abigail.clark@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Anchorage, AK

I am happy to talk about almost anything related to DukeMed/Durham. I have a specific passion for global health and spent my third year doing research in Singapore through the Duke-Singapore Student Scholar Fellowship. So if you are interested in global health/study abroad during med school, feel free to reach out to me!


Med StudentShannon Coats (she/her/hers)

Email: sd364@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Garner, NC

My name is Shannon and I am an NC native. I graduated from NC State in 2014, then took four years to complete a graduate degree and pursue research before coming to Duke. I would be happy to talk about anything including being a non-traditional med student, work-life balance, pursuing the MPH degree option, and North Carolina life in general. Feel free to reach out with any questions you might have!


Med StudentKathy Dai (she/her/hers)

Email: kathy.dai@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: New York City, NY/Chapel Hill, NC

Hi! My name is Kathy and I am a current MS2. I was born in Shanghai and grew up in NYC and Chapel Hill. I attended Duke for undergrad, where I studied Neuroscience, and did a year of research at the NIH before returning to Duke for medical school. I’m involved in the bioethics, global health, and Association of Women Surgeons groups on campus. Outside of school, I love spending time with friends, listening to podcasts, running (slowly), and being involved in the Duke and Durham communities. I’d be happy to chat about any of these topics, living in Durham, transitioning from Duke undergrad to Duke Med, or answer any questions that prospective students may have. Please feel free to reach out!


Med StudentRui Dai (she/her/hers)

Email: rui.dai@duke.edu

Class Year: MSTP (2022)

Hometown: Beachwood, Ohio

I was born in Yunnan, China, and raised in a smattering of places, including Heidelberg, Germany and the greater Cleveland area in Ohio. I went to Duke for undergraduate, and am currently a MSTP student studying immune mechanisms in the context of immunotherapy. As of last year, I temporarily moved to Columbus, Ohio with my PI to finish up research at the Ohio State University, and I would be excited to talk about anything research or non-research related. Happy to chat about any questions you have about Duke, Durham, medical, and graduate school.


Med StudentIsa DeLaura (she/her/hers)

Email: isabel.delaura@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Boston, MA

I’m interested in surgery and basic science research, particularly in immunology and cancer. I went to Harvard undergrad and took a gap year to do Dengue and Zika immunology research on a Fulbright grant in rural Colombia before coming to Duke. In my free time I like to work out and explore Durham’s food and brewery scene!


Med StudentAmanda Del Risco (she/her/hers)

Email: acd62@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Miami, Florida

I am a rising MS2. I am a native of Miami, Florida and am from a Cuban-American Family. I graduated with a BA in Chemistry from Florida International University in Miami in 2017. During my time in college, I worked full time as a dance instructor at a local studio teaching a variety of styles of dance to children ages 3-17 regardless of disability. During my gap year, U continued teaching dance as well as volunteered in a clinic serving adults with developmental disabilities. There, I became interested in addressing the health disparities underserved populations face in accessing health care and hope to reduce the barriers families face in looking for care as a physician. I was humbled to serve as the LMSA Culture chair my first year at Duke and am excited to be the treasurer of the AWS chapter this year. Outside of medical school, I love dancing, watching musicals and sharing my love of my Cuban culture, especially Cuban coffee, with my peers.


Med StudentJulia Denniss (she/her/hers)

Email: jmd137@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Atlanta, GA

Hey everyone, my name is Julia Denniss, and I'm an M1 here at Duke. I'm from Atlanta and graduated from Georgia Tech in 2015 with a major in biology. I spent a gap year working at the CDC in HPV research, where I developed an interest in infectious diseases. I'd be happy to talk about anything related to the med school experience! Apart from academics, I love art, music, and exploring both the city and the outdoors!

Thanks so much!


Med StudentRachel Ballantyne Draelos (she/her/hers)

Email: rlb61@duke.edu

Class Year: 2018/2022 (entered 2014)

Hometown: Redmond, Washington

I am a seventh year MD/PhD candidate currently working on a PhD in Computer Science in Lawrence Carin’s research group, focused on artificial intelligence. I develop AI models for medical applications, including automatic interpretation of CT scans, mutation pathogenicity prediction, and prediction of patient outcomes from EHR data. I grew up in Washington State, studied computational biology at Cornell, spent a gap year doing research at UPenn, and then came to Duke in 2014. I am married to another Duke MD/PhD candidate, Matthew. In my spare time I like to write, walk my dog Fluffy, play piano, and bike. Topics of Interest: combining computer science and engineering with medicine, artificial intelligence in medicine, living in Durham, dual degrees, work-life balance, and any general questions about Duke Med!


Med StudentDrake Edwards (he/him/his)

Email: drake.edwards@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Cedar Falls, IA

I’m an MS4 in the MD/PhD program at Duke applying into interventional radiology this year! I enjoy rock climbing, musical theater, and spending time with friends/family. I’m more than happy to talk about anything related to DukeMed or living in Durham! 


Rebecca Fairchild (she/her/hers)

Email: rjf27@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Bellingham, WA

I am from Bellingham, Washington and went to undergrad at Carleton College in Minnesota. I have loved my experience and Duke and living in Durham so far! At Duke, I have been involved in teaching elementary students science, teaching a health education class at a local high school, and have been part of the hot spotting program. I am really interested in the intersection of health and education and have loved the opportunity to explore this at Duke. Right now, I am most interested in pediatrics, but am looking forward to exploring all specialties during rotations. Outside of medicine, I love running, hiking, biking, camping, going to Duke basketball games, and cooking. I am more than happy to talk about anything related to Duke in general and especially about transitioning to medical school from a small liberal arts college. 


Med StudentAmanda Stephanie Farrell (she/her/hers)

Email: amanda.farrell@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Long Island, New York

I am an MS4 in the Primary Care Leadership Track passionate about women’s health, primary care, global health, and social justice in medicine. I’m originally from the West Indies but moved to New York when I was nine. I spent my MS3 year in Hanoi, Vietnam working on an influenza virus surveillance project. Before Duke, I attended Yale University where I majored in Molecular, Cellular, and Developmental Biology. I love travel, hiking, kickboxing, and going to storytelling events.


Med StudentAlex Fenn (he/him/his)

Email: aef38@duke.edu

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Fort Collins, CO

My name is Alex Fenn, and I’ll be a MS4 during the 2020-2021 school year. I am a Colorado native – I grew up in Fort Collins, CO, and then attended CU Boulder for my undergrad. After college, I did Teach For America and taught third grade for three years (also in Colorado). After three years of teaching, I enrolled in a formal post-bacc program at CU in order to obtain my med school prerequisites, and worked at a GI clinic during my application year.

 I am happy to talk about being a non-traditional applicant/student at Duke (and anything this encompasses, like doing a post-bacc program). I am also happy to discuss any aspect of my experience during the first three years of medical school. My (non-school) interests are: Running and being outside in general, reading, and anything of/relating to food/drink. I have kept up all of these interests while living in Durham, and I welcome any and all conversations about these topics!


Med StudentSammi Fernandes (she/her/hers)

Email: saf44@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Chapel Hill

Hi! My name is Sammi- I am a fourth year medical student and I’m from Chapel Hill. I went to college at NC State and went straight through to Duke. In college I majored in anthropology and human biology and spent a semester abroad in Chile. I came into medical school unsure about what exactly I wanted to go into, but knew I wanted to do something that enabled me to do both clinical medicine and research (though not bench work). For my third year I chose to work in the department of Medical Genetics and do clinical research regarding expanding the natural history of various rare diseases including Pompe Disease. I loved the rapid nature of inquiry of genetics and the fact that a research concept could go from the bench to the bedside in a matter of months. I am applying into med-peds for residency and am planning on specializing in an area of medicine focused on treating adults who are long-term survivors of previously fatal pediatric illnesses. 


Med StudentEtienne Flamant (he/him/his)

Email: etienne.flamant@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Saratoga, CA

Hello! My name is Etienne and I am an MS4 applying into orthopaedic surgery. I grew up in California, studied immunology in undergrad at McGill University, and then came straight through to Duke. In my MS3 year, I did basic science research on osteosarcoma and clinical research on upper extremity surgery. Happy to chat about any aspect of my experience here (e.g., transitioning to med school, the wards, research year, work/life balance, things to do in Durham, playing tennis with poor form, etc.). Please don't hesitate to reach out!


Med StudentBronwen Foreman (she/her/hers)

Email: bef23@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Denver, CO

Hi! My name is Bronwen, I am 24 years old and originally from Denver, Colorado. I went to Amherst College in Massachusetts, where I majored in neuroscience. After graduating from college I spent two years working in Boston as a clinical research coordinator at Massachusetts General Hospital. I then took a year off to travel! Although some of those plans were interrupted by COVID, I was still able to travel throughout Europe and Sri Lanka. I love hiking, baking, and gardening. I am also an animal lover and have volunteered with animals throughout my life. I would love to answer any questions about taking gap years before medical school, or questions about applying in general!


Med StudentBrittany Grace Futch (she/her/hers)

Email: bgf5@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Lytle Creek, CA

I am a non traditional student from a small rural community in southern California. I finished my undergraduate education in Psychology at the University of La Verne in 2014 and decided to pursue medicine several years later. I have a passion for anything related to outdoor hobbies including fishing, dirt biking, and western equitation. Given my personal love for the outdoors and my academic interests in medical research, Duke and Durham was the perfect fit for me. I’d be happy to talk about attending medical school while still enjoying my personal life (significant other, dogs, hobbies, etc). 


Med StudentDiego Galán (he/him/his)

Email: diego.galan@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Pamplona, Spain

I was born and raised in Spain. I am an international student on an F-1 visa. I moved to the US to attend Middlebury College, a small liberal arts college in Vermont. After graduating from undergrad, I did basic science research for two years. At Duke, I completed my third year at Duke-NUS in Singapore doing infectious disease research, which made me realize my passion for population health and lead me to take an extra third to complete a Masters in Epidemiology at the University of Cambridge (UK). I would be more than happy to answer any questions you may have. 

Topics I think I could be especially helpful with: Applying as an international student, taking time off before medical school, 3rd year away, taking extra 3rd years, completing a second degree.


Jared Gloria (he/him/his)

Email: jared.gloria@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Gulfport, Mississippi

Grew up in small southern city, Mexican-American, low socio-economic status, first generation college student (state school), overcame difficulty of transitioning to a high-tier medical school. Five years of medical school, explored basic and clinical research. Will be couples matching for residency. Happy to talk about any- and everything that a potential incoming student may have questions about.


Med StudentEmily Goins (she/her/hers)

Email: emily.goins@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Wellesley, MA

My name is Emily Goins and I am from Wellesley, MA. I am currently a second year medical student in the MD program. I attended undergrad at Middlebury College in Vermont, and I took one year off in between college and medical school to teach high school biology in Boston. I love DukeMed! This coming year, I will be the Social Chair for the student body, co-president of the Surgical Oncology Ambassadors Re-defining Recovery organization, and will help run Fremont Clinic, one of the free clinics affiliated with Duke. Currently, I am interested in doing something procedural, likely Ob/Gyn. Outside of school, I love to dance, and I teach Zumba classes at Wilson and Brodie recreation centers at Duke (when not in quarantine). I am so excited to talk to applicants about transitioning back into the medical/school world after a gap year, how much I love Durham (especially the food, drink, and nature opportunities), anyone interested in women’s health and surgery, activities you can participate in outside of the classroom, and in general why I chose Duke! 


Med StudentStacy Goins (she/her/hers)

Email: stacy.goins@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Wellesley, MA

Hello! My name is Stacy Goins and I am a first-year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine. I attended Middlebury College in Vermont where I majored in Molecular Biology and Biochemistry and minored in Mathematics. I took one year off before attending medical school to teach high school Mathematics in Boston. I would be more than happy to talk to anyone and about anything, including why I chose Duke, the daily life of a DukeMed student, and life in Durham!


Med StudentSara Grundy (she/her/hers)

Email: sara.grundy@duke.edu

Class year: 2022

Hometown: Montpelier, Vermont 

My name is Sara and I am originally from Montpelier, Vermont. I went to Wesleyan for undergrad where I majored in neuroscience and biology. After graduating I spent 2 years in Boston doing global health research before coming to Duke. I’m happy to talk about anything including life at Duke/in Durham, moving to the North Carolina, global health opportunities here, whatever you like!


Med StudentAlexander Gunn (he/him/his)

Email: alexander.gunn@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Davidson, NC

I am an NC native who took a non-traditional route to Duke Med. I majored in Anthropology at Northwestern University and worked for ~5 years before starting at Duke. Happy to talk about transitioning to medical school after working, getting married while in medical school, health policy research at Duke, and the pick-up basketball scene at Duke.


Christine Ha (she/her/hers)

Email: christine.ha@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Sylva, North Carolina

I grew up in rural North Carolina, went to UNC for undergrad, spent 2 gap years getting a master and doing research at Duke before starting medical school. At DukeMed, I was in the LIC program second year and continued to be involved as a third and fourth year. This experience helped me learn about various roles of the healthcare team in addition to the role of a physician, and helped me to better understand how patients interact with the healthcare system. I would be happy to talk to you about North Carolina, taking gap years, the LIC program, and any other questions you may have. 


Med StudentRonald Harris (he/him/his)

Email: rmh60@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Durham, NC

My name is Ronald Harris and I'm a MS1 from Durham NC. I went to UNC-Chapel Hill (don’t worry, still a Tarheel) for undergrad with a B.S. in Psychology and minored in Spanish for the Medical Professions and Creative Writing. After college, I worked at UNC in the Honors Program as a Dean’s Fellow. I spent my time helping to improve the student experience, as well as diversity & inclusion policies and best practices. At the same time, I received my Master of Management in Clinical Informatics (MMCi) from Duke School of Medicine. My specialty interests are still undecided but I want to examine how technology can be integrated into the care process. In in addition to further improving best practices in medicine, I'm interested in the overall system of healthcare in the US and how it can be reconfigured for a more globalized, digital, and data-driven society. Happy to chat about work-life balance, being black at Duke, gap years, or anything else on your mind!


Med StudentSavanah Harshbarger (she/her/hers)

Email: savanah.harshbarger@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Marblehead, MA

I came to Duke Med because of the unique way that our open 3rd year allows us to pursue a concurrent dual degree! I just graduated from The Fuqua School of Business at Duke in May 2020—it was one of the best things I’ve done while in medical school—and would be more than happy to chat with anyone interested in the dual degree MD/MBA route.


Med StudentJordan Hildenbrand (she/her/hers)

Email: Jordan.hildenbrand@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown: Blue Springs, MO

I attended the University of Kansas for undergrad and majored in Chemical Engineering. I love cheese and college basketball. I am interested in Medicine vs Med-Psych as a clinical specialty. I did my third year research in palliative care. I am taking an additional third year to complete a Certificate in Theology and Healthcare in the Duke Divinity School.  I’d be more than happy to talk to applicants about living in Durham, adjusting to medical school, what the DukeMed third year is all about, experience on the wards, and the interview process. Feel free to contact me with any questions you may have! I’m open to talk with you about almost anything.


Julia Isaacson (she/her/hers)

Email: jei11@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Cumberland, ME

I grew up in a small town in Maine and attended Dartmouth College where I majored in neuroscience. After college, I worked for three years as an EMT. At this point, I’m most interested in Emergency Medicine. Happy to talk and answer questions about anything!


Jennifer Jacobs (she/her/hers)

Email: jlj78@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Tolland, CT

I grew up in and spent most of my life in Connecticut! I went to Fairfield University and played four years of Division 1 soccer. I graduated with a B.S. in psychology and minors in Biology and Health Studies. After graduation, I moved to Boston to work for Dana Farber Cancer Institute in public health and community outreach. I love all things Boston sports, hiking, skiing, cooking, baking, and going to the beach! I am undecided on which specialty in medicine I will pursue, but am very interested in dermatology, oncology, and pediatrics.


Med StudentFabian Jimenez (he/him/his)

Email: fj17@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Johns Creek, GA

I am rising second year medical student at Duke University School of Medicine, but I have been here since 2014 since I went to college here too (Go Blue Devils). My home town is Johns Creek, GA. I am huge Duke Basketball fan, so if you want to talk basketball I should be your first contact.  I am still debating what residency to pursue, but I am interested in surgery. I also have a passion for global surgery and bioethics. I love Durham, I can’t think of a better place to live. Feel free to ask me anything about Durham, Duke, or life in general. I hope to see you around!


Med StudentBrian Ketterman (he/him/his)

Email: btk9@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

I’m Brian. I grew up in Pueblo, Colorado and attended the University of Denver (go Pioneers!) where I got degrees in biology and psychology. I stuck around Denver for a gap year scribing for an ophthalmologist in private practice. I am a 4th year student, and spent my third year doing research with the Division of Urology. This year, I will be applying into pediatrics (go babies!). I love Duke (and love talking), so please reach out. We can discuss the application process, how/why I decided to come to Duke, life as a med student, research, extracurricular activities...or anything else.  


Med StudentAhlam "Ameera" Khattab (she/her/hers)

Email: Ahlam.Khattab@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Raleigh, North Carolina 

Hello everyone! I was born in Virginia but grew up in North Carolina where I attended William Peace University for undergrad. After undergrad, I got a Masters in Biomedical Sciences at Duke and took a gap year to work full-time in Clinical Research here. I am happy to answer any questions about Durham, secondaries, the interview process, your application, or anything else you might think of! 


Med StudentRyan Kramer (he/him/his)

Email: ryan.kramer33@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Katonah, NY

Hey! I’m Ryan, a first year medical student here at Duke. I went to UNC Chapel Hill for undergrad and majored in philosophy, where I did research in bioethics and volunteered in STEM equity outreach programs. Feel free to reach out if you want to talk about what it’s like going straight through into medical school, the medical humanities, or why I chose Duke.


Med StudentTerry Lee (he/him/his)

Email: Terry.j.lee@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Salinas, CA

Hi all. My name is Terry, and I will be an MS3 for academic year 2020-21. I grew up in Salinas, CA and completed my undergraduate studies at Harvard, majoring in psychology. I will be pursuing ophthalmology, and for my 3rd year I'm doing research using deep learning algorithms and other statistical frameworks to develop tools for the detection of early-stage glaucoma. Outside of school, I’ve enjoyed rock climbing, exploring breweries, and reading.


Med StudentSunny Yang Liu (he/him/his)

Email: sl696@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Singapore, Singapore

Hello! My name is Sunny, and I'm from sunny Singapore! I did my undergraduate in the University of Chicago, where I majored in Chemistry and Psychology. I'm an MS1, so I am open minded to future medical careers, although I am partial to surgery. Outside of academia, my interests lie in bouldering, hiking, and exploring local breweries. 

Though I am a relative 'newbie' (I'd have spent at most a few months in Durham when you read this), the challenges associated with transitioning from college to medical school is still fresh in my head. This may provide a more 'current' perspective, so to speak, if somewhat limited - but I promise to find the answers for your questions if I'm unable to answer them myself! I'm also happy to talk about transitioning straight from college, moving from big cities (Chicago) to Durham, as well as applying as an international applicant. 


Med StudentAmanda Mathews (she/her/hers)

Email: Amanda.mathews@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Reading, PA

I am a 4th year medical student planning to apply into Emergency Medicine. I did my undergrad at West Point and was an active duty Army officer for five year before coming to Duke. My spouse is still in the military and we have three dogs. I’d love to talk to you about why I chose Duke, coming back to medical school after years away from academics, being married in medical school to a non-medical partner, and anything else you are interested in!


Med StudentParker Mathews (he/him/his)

Email: parker.mathews@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Kansas City

I did my undergraduate degree at Duke and worked in a hematology/oncology lab at Duke for my gap year. I’ve been living in Durham since 2015 and have loved it. I consider myself to be a mostly traditional pre-med, but I had some interesting jobs during college, including as an EMT for a fire department/rescue squad and as a consultant for a large telemedicine company. Hobbies include tennis, running, the Triangle food/drink scene (pre-COVID!) and Duke basketball. Happy to talk about my experiences or anything else!


Med StudentMirai Matsuura (she/her/hers)

Email: mirai.matsuura@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Cresskill, NJ

I am originally from Japan and grew up in northern NJ. I studied psychology for undergrad at Duke, then worked for a year with the Duke College Advising Corps as a college advisor at a high school in Durham. I am in the PCLT program and my interests include primary care, adolescent medicine, and medical education. I would be glad to talk about PCLT/primary care, food in Durham, being a cat mom, or about Duke Med in general!


Med StudentHusam Mikati (he/him/his)

Email: husam.mikati@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Boston, Massachusetts 

Hello all, I am Husam, a current MS1 here at Duke. I was born in Boston but lived most of my life in Beirut, Lebanon. I moved to Chapel Hill in 2008 for high school, and subsequently attended Loyola Chicago where I majored in Biology. I then completed the Masters of Biomedical Sciences program here at Duke. I am a huge soccer fan and an avid runner. 

I am more than happy to talk to anyone about Duke’s curriculum, life in Durham, the application process, gap years etc.


Med StudentDelaram Mirzania (she/her/hers)

Email: delaram.mirzania@duke.edu

Class year: 2021

Hometown: Rockville, MD

Hi! My name is Delaram and I am a current fourth year at Duke. I am originally from Maryland and got my Bachelors in Psychology at the University of Maryland (go Terps!). After graduating I took a year off to work as a medical assistant (and travel!). I am interested in ophthalmology and improving access to vision care. I spent my third year at Duke working on clinical projects at the Duke Eye Center and would be happy to chat about the Duke third year. Although Maryland will always hold a special place in my heart, I absolutely love Duke, Durham, and North Carolina! I would also be happy to talk about gap years and re-acclimating to being in school again, Duke, Durham, and answer any other questions you may have. Please reach out!


Med StudentNia Mitchell (she/her/hers)

Email: nia.m.mitchell@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Lilburn, GA

Hi there! My name is Nia, and I am an MS1 at DukeMed. I graduated from Georgia State University in Atlanta, GA in 2019 with a B.S. in Biology and a Spanish minor. I spent one gap year working as a medical assistant, so I would be happy to talk about that decision and my transition into medical school. I also love to play volleyball and travel. Feel free to reach out with any questions!


Med StudentNathaniel Neptune (he/him/his)

Email: nsn11@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Salisbury, NC

I’m a non-traditional and first-generation college student applying to ENT residency this school year. If you want to discuss the dual-degree MD/MBA program, returning to medical school after a few gap years, being married while in medical school, motorcycles, or anything else reach out!


Kira Niederhoffer (she/her/hers)

Email: kira.niederhoffer@gmail.com

Hometown: Weston, CT

I grew up in Connecticut and attended the College of the Holy Cross for college as a chemistry major and philosophy minor. I am a non-traditional student who took time off from college and spent three years working in Boston in a cancer research lab before applying to medical school. I would be happy to speak with students about non-traditional paths to medical school, married applicants, or those without family in medicine.


Thao Nguyen (she/her/hers)

Email: ttn5@Duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Waco, TX

I am Vietnamese American and a current 4th year medical student. I will be applying into either Ob/Gyn or Internal Medicine residency this upcoming cycle. I went to Duke for undergrad, majored in Asian & Middle Eastern studies and global health, so I feel like Durham is actually my hometown now! I have worked extensively with the refugee community in Durham and worked a non-profit refugee resettlement organization called World Relief Durham during my gap year. I’m also very interested in global health and spent my 3rd year (pre-Covid) in Vietnam conducting infectious disease research.


Med StudentChinemerem Nwosu (she/her/hers)

Email: chinemerem.nwosu@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria

I attended Duke University for my undergraduate education where I designed my own individualized major through the Program II curriculum titled "Determinants of Health Outcomes in Sub Saharan Africa”. I’m passionate about mitigating disparities in global and public health, patient education and global surgery. I matriculated into medical school after graduation and I’m currently interested in neurosurgery, gynecology oncology and plastic surgery. Happy to answer any questions including any about applying to medical school as an international student, research in global and/or public health or anything else!


Moronke Ogundolie (she/her/hers)

Email: mfo8@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Lagos, Nigeria and Baltimore, MD

I am a first generation immigrant student. I attended Towson University in Maryland and followed a non-traditional path to medical school. After graduation, I attended and graduated from Duke Master of Biomedical Science program and worked as a medical assistant for about a year before applying to medical school. Topics I will be happy to discuss include:  applying as/being a first generation immigrant and a minority student, being a non traditional student, being a first generation medical student, transitioning to North Carolina and being an HPSP army student.


Med StudentDanae Olaso (she/her/hers)

Email: danae.olaso@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown:  Wailuku, HI

Hi! I was raised in Hawaii and attended Baylor University where I majored in Biochemistry and minored in Religion. Happy to talk about why DukeMed, life in Durham, and moving across the country. Still deciding between medicine and surgery!


Med StudentLindsey A. Olivere (she/her/hers)

E-mail: lindsey.olivere@duke.edu

Class Year: Class of 2021

Hometown: Wilmington, DE

Hello! My name is Lindsey and I am a rising MS4 planning to apply into General Surgery and/or Integrated Vascular Surgery residency. I graduated from Duke University with a B.S. in Chemistry in 2015 and stayed in Durham to do a year of research before starting medical school at Duke in 2016. I first became interested in surgery and vascular surgery as an MS2 on my clinical rotations. I recently completed two years of research during my MS3 and MS3+ years investigating differences in the muscle regenerative pathway in patients suffering from Peripheral Artery Disease. I worked in a multidisciplinary lab setting with both a cardiologist and vascular surgeon. By the time I graduate from Duke Med, I will have officially completed a decade in Durham! When I’m not busy in the lab, I work with the General Surgery Interest Group where I have spent much of the last 2 years helping to improve the surgery clerkship curriculum as well as bringing the Stop the Bleed initiative to Duke and Durham - this national campaign aims to help prepare bystanders to intervene and safe lives in accidents that involve life-threatening bleeding. Outside of time spent in the medical school, I love going for runs and bike rides in Durham, and grabbing a beer at one of our amazing local breweries. I would love to share my experiences about being a Double-Dukie, navigating a career as an aspiring woman in surgery, working in basic/translational research as a medical student (and taking a “second third year!”), and what it’s like to live in Durham! 


Lindsay Olson (she/her/hers)

Email: ldo10@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Atlanta, GA and New York, NY

As a nontraditional student and career-changer, I would love to talk to applicants about approaching medical school as an older student or from an arts/humanities background and keeping up with your interests outside of class.

I worked in the theater industry in New York for 5 years after graduating from Pace University School of Performing Arts, never knowing medicine was in my future. After finding a side gig working as a standardized patient, I discovered the thrilling world of medicine…so I dropped everything to attend the Postbacc Pre-Med program at NYU. While applying to medical schools, I worked as a scribe to 2 surgeons at NYP-Brooklyn Methodist.

As a first generation medical professional, I would also love to pass along all the good advice I gathered while trying to figure out what it even means to enter the medical profession. Feel free to reach out with any questions!


Med StudentEdwin Owolo (he/his/him)

Email: edwin.owolo@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Norwalk, CT

I'm an incoming first year at Duke Med, interested in surgery and working with underserved communities. I graduated from Harvard with a degree in neurobiology in 2019 where I was also a member of the baseball team. During my gap year I worked in the emergency department of a hospital as a technician. In my free time I love making music and catching up on shows. 


Med StudentKatie Penvose (she/her/hers)

Email: knp26@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: New Bern, North Carolina 

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!


Med StudentRaquel Perry (she/her/hers)

Email: raquelalexisperry@gmail.com

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Carver, MA

I lived in New England my whole life and wanted a change! I graduated from UMass Amherst in 2015 with degrees in Psychology and Biochemistry. I took a gap year and worked at an oral surgery office. I have no clue what kind of a doctor I want to be yet. I’m comfortable talking about why I chose Duke and my experiences once the semester starts. 


Med StudentMarissa Peyer (she/her/hers)

Email:  Map115@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown:  Onalaska, Wisconsin

Hi! My name is Marissa and I will be an MS3 starting in late August 2020. I am originally from Illinois, moved to Wisconsin in 7thgrade and went to the University of Minnesota for college before moving to NC for medical school. I am interested in Emergency Medicine, but my main career goal is to be involved in education of medical students/residents no matter what field I go into. Other hobbies outside of medical school include soccer, tennis, playing with my adorable cats, singing, and watching the Great British Baking Show. I’m willing to talk all things medical school, housing, hobbies, etc. I’d love to help you decide if Duke is the right place for you!


Med StudentDenisse Cristina Porras Fimbres (she/her/hers)

Email: dp238@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: San Diego, California

I am a nontraditional applicant and took three years from undergrad to medical school. I spent a year in a dietetic internship to become a dietitian then worked two years as a clinical and outpatient dietitian. I grew up in Southern California but have been in the southeast area for quite some time; I absolutely love Durham and would be happy to talk about how to settle in when you're coming from another city/state. I also live a bit farther from campus and can speak on the benefits/drawbacks of not living in close proximity to school. I am also URM and can speak on that as well. I'd be happy to answer any and all questions; so happy you decided to come to Duke, we are so excited to have you!


Med StudentIsabel Prado (she/her/hers)

Email: isabel.prado@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Sugar Land, Texas

Happy to chat about anything—taking two years off between undergrad and med school, why I chose Duke, having a dog/work-life balance, exploring Durham, etc.


Med StudentIvana Premasinghe (she/her/hers)

Email: ivana.premasinghe@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Cary, North Carolina

Hi everyone! My name is Ivana, and I am a MS1 at Duke Med. I was born and raised in Cary, North Carolina, and I have lived in North Carolina my whole life. I went to Duke for undergrad and graduated in May 2019, with double majors in Biology and Spanish and a minor in Chemistry. I loved Duke, and I am excited to be back for medical school! I took one gap year before medical school, where I worked as the Spanish teacher at the International Preschool of Raleigh and continued volunteering with the leadership club I founded, Leaders UNITE, at local libraries and schools in Durham. Throughout undergrad, I spent a lot of time volunteering with the Latinx community in Durham, specifically, using language and research initiatives to learn patients' perspectives on comfort in the clinic and delivering basic health information in patients' native languages. At Duke Med, I hope to continue volunteering with the local Latinx community in a similar capacity. I also hope to start a branch of Leaders UNITE at Duke Med as well. Outside of school, I enjoy running, cycling, singing, playing the piano, hanging out with my family, and writing (I'm actually working on a trilogy right now!)

I would be happy to talk to prospective students about anything: why I chose Duke Med, coming back to Duke for another four years, volunteer opportunities in Durham, continuing club involvements/extracurricular activities from undergrad, living in North Carolina, or any other topic of interest!


Med StudentMeghan Price (she/her/hers)

Email:  mjp46@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown:  Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

I am a current MS3+ starting my second research year working on a basic science project focused on better understanding some of the molecular mechanisms underlying hormonally responsive metastatic cancer. Additionally, I am conducting several clinical projects with my primary mentor focused on outcomes, diversity, and palliative care as it relates to patients with spine metastases. Before medical school, I went to Duke for undergrad where I studied Neuroscience. Additionally, I did a gap year in New York during which I conducted clinical research in pediatric orthopedics. Happy to talk about anything from the application process to interviews to medical school and life at Duke/ in Durham!


Med StudentRachael Putman (she/her/hers)

Email:  rachael.putman@duke.edu

Class Year:  2024

Hometown:  Belton, Missouri

I attended Yale for an undergraduate degree in biomedical engineering. During my time in college and for a gap year, I worked in a research laboratory under Dr. Peter Glazer and Dr. Mark Saltzman on projects using polymeric nanoparticles to deliver peptide nucleic acids and donor DNA oligonucleotides to achieve site-specific gene editing in mouse embryos and fetuses. During college, I also worked as a volunteer for a couple teaching organizations and helped teach elementary, middle, and high school students science topics. In college, I shadowed a lot in pediatric specialties and pediatric surgery and am thinking about a future career in potentially neonatology or maternal-fetal medicine. I hope to have a future career in research as well, potentially working on developing fetal or reproductive medicine therapies using biomedical engineering techniques and principles. I currently plan to pursue my PhD in biomedical engineering. I am now an MD/PhD student at Duke and am looking forward to my first year! 


Jess Rames (he/him/his)

Email:  jdr69@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown:  Charleston, SC

As someone who came straight out of college, I would be very happy to about what that transition was like. I also came from a public school in the South, so I feel like I could relate to any applicants in that demographic pool. I really enjoy working out. I have an interest in surgery and am pursuing a dual degree from the engineering school (MD/MEng). I feel like I am very social and would be happy to give anyone a break down of the bar or food scene in the area or the social scene as well.


Med StudentShashank Rajkumar (he/him/his)

Email: sr240@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Don’t have one - I grew up moving around a lot!

Hi there! My name is Shashank. I was born in India and moved around a lot growing up. I studied chemistry in undergrad here at Duke, and I came to DukeMed immediately afterwards. I’d be delighted to chat about any DukeMed and Durham-related questions you have!


Med StudentJay Rathinavelu (he/him/his)

Email: jkr22@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Erie, PA

Hey everyone! My name is Jay and I am a rising MS2. I went to Duke for undergrad where I studied Biomedical Engineering. After graduating, I took 2 gap years to pursue genetics research, travel, and spend time with family. I’m happy to talk with anyone about Durham life, why I chose Duke, the condensed curriculum, coming back to school after taking time off, and anything else in general! 


Med StudentSydney Record (she/her/hers)

Email: sydney.record@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Naples, FL

I just graduated in May from Harvard, where I studied Molecular and Cellular Biology. So feel free to reach out about what going straight through to med school is like or to see how I'm enjoying no longer living in the chilly Northeast! Also, I was a cheerleader in college, so I'm happy to discuss transitioning out of student athlete life (and school spirit at Duke!) 


Med StudentHadley Reid (she/her/hers)

Email: hwr5@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown:  Chapel Hill

Hi! I’m a second third year doing my masters in clinical research at Duke. I’m interested in health equity (I do my research with the REACH Equity center at Duke), baked goods, and finding shady running trails. I am also part of the leadership for Duke Med for Social Justice and Vice Chair for Service with Davison Council (student council). Grew up in Chapel Hill went to Stanford undergrad, lived in Seattle for a year and then made my way back home to Durham. 


Med StudentAllison Reinhardt (she/her/hers)

Email: aar37@duke.edu

Class Year:  2022

Hometown:  Nelson, Wisconsin

Allison is a 2017 graduate of Ripon College in Wisconsin where she majored in chemistry.  She spent time as an English as a second language tutor with Integrated Refugee and Immigrant Services before matriculating at Duke Med.  In her free time, Allison enjoys hiking, exploring new coffee shops and restaurants (pre-Covid!), and playing the saxophone.  Feel free to reach out with any questions about coming from a small college, being a first-gen college student, or moving from the Midwest; what to do when you don't have that "a ha" moment (and you're freaking out because it's five days from the deadline, and you still haven't chosen a med school); or anything else you may be wondering about!


Med StudentAlex Roesler (he/him/his)

Email: asr35@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Phoenix, AZ

My name is Alex Roesler, and I am a current MS4. I was born and raised in Phoenix, AZ and graduated with a biochemistry degree from Arizona State University (Go Sun Devils!). After college, I took a gap year to do post-baccalaureate research at the National Institutes of Health. I spent my third year doing cancer immunology research at the Mayo Clinic in Phoenix, which allowed me to be closer to home without adding extra time to medical school.

I’m happy to answer any questions about Duke and Durham, including what it’s like moving to Durham from the west coast, transitioning to medical school after a gap year, going through the 1-year preclinical curriculum and MS2 clerkships, and choosing to do the third year away from Duke.


Med StudentAnisha Singh (she/her/hers)

Email: anisha.singh@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Minneapolis, MN

Hey guys! My name is Anisha and I’m an MS4 here at Duke. I came to Duke for undergrad where I majored in biomedical engineering and then went straight through to medical school. I did clinical research in hearing loss during my third year. Outside of medicine, I spend my time on board games, cooking, cheering on Duke basketball, and reading. Happy to talk about anything, including adjusting to medical school, the condensed preclinical curriculum, the research year, living in Durham, or life outside of medical school!


Med StudentZachary Smothers (he/him/his)

Email: Zachary.smothers@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown:  New London, Ohio

Bio: I am a first generation college student from a rural, resource poor area. I am happy to talk to applicants about how Duke has provided me with incredible opportunities and truly seeks to integrate those who come from non-traditional backgrounds.


Med StudentDave Stewart (he/him/his)

Email: David.stewart@duke.edu

Class Year: 2021

Hometown: Massapequa Park, NY

I am from Massapequa Park, NY and was an undergraduate here at Duke. I am always excited to share all that Durham has to offer or to talk about Duke Basketball! I studied away at the University of Pennsylvania during my third year, and have had a long distance relationship for the majority of medical school so I can speak to both of those experiences. Happy to talk about any topic that you might have questions about!


Meghan Sullivan (she/her/hers)

Email: mis25@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Granby, MA

Hi! My name is Meghan. I grew up in a small town in Western Mass and went to public school there. I then went to Amherst College and was on the basketball team. After graduating, I took a year off to scribe at a pediatric office while living at home. Other than that, I like walking our doggos (sad to be leaving them), watching the Celtics and Netflix, and occasionally some jogging or yoga. I am very excited to be starting at Duke! I have some interest in ortho but am very open as to what I want to specialize in. Ultimately, I think I chose Duke because I wanted to be somewhere new, and I was really excited about the curriculum. I don't know too much about what it is like yet, but would be happy to answer any questions relating to my experience thus far!


Med StudentMax Sumner (he/him/his)

Email: max.sumner@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Gainesville, GA

Hi! My name is Max Sumner and I am an MS1 originally from Gainesville, Georgia. For undergrad, I attended the University of Georgia where I studied Biology, Psychology, and Entrepreneurship. At Duke, I am planning on completing a dual degree (MBA or MPH) along with my MD degree. 

Beyond the resume, I really enjoy spending time outside hiking, swimming, and going to concerts. I also enjoy cheering on the Georgia Bulldawgs on Saturdays and traveling as much as I can on weekends.

As I came straight from undergrad, I am more than happy to discuss anything about my application process/cycle, how I picked a med school, transitioning from a large state school, Duke Med's culture, Duke basketball, and anything else going on in Durham.

Please reach out if you have any questions!


Med StudentDavid Sykes (he/him/his)

Email: david.sykes@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Hi, my name is David, I'm an incoming M1, so I know I don't know too much about Duke Med yet, but I'd love to help prospective students in whatever ways I can.  I'm a firm believer that the most important thing in choosing a medical school is fit (rather than nominal metrics or rankings alone).  That being said, I'd really like to answer people's questions so they can learn about Duke in a way that helps them decide if it is a good fit!


Med StudentTroy Q Tabarestani (he/him/his)

Email: tqt5@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Houston, Texas

Hi everyone! My name is Q and I am a MS1 hoping to pursue a career in orthopedics. Here is a bit about my undergraduate experience and how I decided on Duke Med. I graduated from Rice University with a degree in Chemistry and a minor in Biochemistry. Throughout my years of undergrad, orthopedics continued to be my passion so I decided to work in a orthopedic surgery research lab along with other clinical volunteering opportunities. As I started applying and interviewing for medical schools, I was searching for three main things: a welcoming environment where I could see myself living for the next 4 years, a program that gives flexibility to their student's passions, and a unique curriculum that fit my goals. Duke had all three and more. If you see anything in this short bio that you can relate with or what to know more about my decision or path into Duke, please feel free to email me. Getting into any medical school is a long and difficult process, but just know that in the end, it will all work out. Good luck with your interviews!


Julie Thamby (she/her/hers)

Email: Julie.Thamby@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Gilbert, AZ

I'm an incoming MS1 who just graduated from Rice University. I studied Cognitive Science and was very involved with ASBs that focused on women's reproductive justice and mental health. I was also active in community service oriented clubs and enjoyed mentoring underclassmen as an orientation week advisor. I love to dance and was part of a few dance teams at Rice including Bhangra, Rasikas (Indian Classical Dance), and Salseros (Salsa). In my spare time, I love watching romcoms and trying out new foods!


Med StudentSteven Thornton (he/him/his)

Email: steven.thornton@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Camden, North Carolina

My name is Steven and I am a second year student at DukeMed. I grew up in Eastern North Carolina and have spent the majority 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! My career interests include surgery, pediatrics, and medical education. I’m happy to talk with applicants about non-traditional paths into medicine, choosing a school, the Duke curriculum, or anything else. Duke is a wonderful place to study medicine and Durham is a great place to call home. I hope you’ll reach out as you explore this exciting stage of your career!


Camilo Toro (he/him/his)

Email: camilo.toro@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Boston

I’m a third-year medical student passionate about health justice and advocacy in medicine. At Duke, I’m involved in LMSA, Medical Spanish, Holton Clinic, DukeMed for Social Justice, and SALUD (pipeline program for Latinx high school students). Outside of school I enjoy drinking too much coffee, playing soccer, running, and climbing. My interests in medicine include critical care, neurology, internal medicine, and primary care.


Med StudentJack Twomey-Kozak (he/him/his)

Email: john.twomeykozak@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Hillsborough, North Carolina

Born in Durham, but raised in Hillsborough, North Carolina. Went to Brown University for undergrad where I was a Division 1 NCAA wrestling student-athlete and majored in Health and Human Biology. Post-college, I took three gap-years before matriculating where I worked in an Orthopaedic stem cell/regenerative medicine lab at the Warren Alpert Medical School at Brown, volunteered at a free clinic, grew a nonprofit I helped start, did an international medical mission trip (2 gap years) and worked at Duke in an Orthopaedic Biomechanics Lab (1 gap year). My future career goals include becoming an orthopaedic sports surgeon-scientist, where I can practice medicine/surgery while conducting meaningful research at an academic medical institution. 

I’m happy to discuss any of the following with students:  being from a small, medically under-served town/applying in-state as a North Carolina resident, taking multiple gap years prior to matriculating (pros/cons), why I chose Duke, pros/cons of Durham and living in N.C., scientific research at Duke , and sports culture at Duke.


Med StudentVishal Venkatraman (he/him/his)

Email: vishal.venkatraman@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: San Ramon, CA (SF Bay Area)

I attended college at UC San Diego, where I studied Neuroscience, and then took a gap year during which I worked as a nurse aide at a San Diego hospital and tutored for the MCAT. My interests outside of medicine include running, hiking, and music. I am open to discussing why I chose Duke, the day-to-day life of being an MS1 at Duke, the experience of moving cross-country to med school, and any other questions that applicants may have.


Med StudentLuke Wachsmuth (he/him/his)

Email:  lpw9@duke.edu 

Class Year:  2025 (MD/PhD)

Hometown:  Cartersville, GA

Bio:  I graduated from the University of Georgia in 2014, then took three gap years to do research (two of those years at the NIH) before coming to Duke. So far during my time here my two major extracurricular involvements have been student government and a student-run clinical experience focused on end of life care. I’m happy to talk to anyone about my time here at Duke, what my application/admissions cycle looked like, how I picked a med school, being a non-traditional applicant, applying MD/PhD, life in Durham, or anything else. Please don’t hesitate to reach out!


Med StudentPeter Weng (he/him/his)

Email: pw91@duke.edu

Class Year: ~2024ish

Hometown: Silver Spring, MD

Passionate about exercise (e.g. weight lifting, socially distant sports, etc.), home owner, podcast host, dog dad, supporter of local breweries and restaurants, MSTP student studying gut-brain matters


Willis Wong (he/him/his)

Email: willis.wong@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Hong Kong, China

I grew up in Hong Kong until the age of 18, did my undergrad at UC Santa Barbara. I took a couple of gap years working in bench and clinical research, and worked towards a masters in Biomedical Sciences at Duke. I’m passionate about community health and service, and healthcare systems change, and hope to spend a good portion of my career working with teams to rethink the way we define and deliver healthcare. I’m currently in the Primary Care Leadership Track, and will be going to Fuqua this coming year to get a masters in Business Administration. I love to exercise and cook in my free time, or frolick in the amazing outdoors that Durham has to offer!


Med StudentMarilyn Yamamoto (she/her/hers)

Email: marilyn.yamamoto@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Kapolei, HI

Hey guys! My name is Marilyn Yamamoto and I am a current MS1 here at Duke Med! I grew up in Hawaii and attended the University of Hawaii at Hilo for undergrad. After graduating, I spent a year working as an Emergency Department scribe and volunteering at my local hospital through the COPE Health Scholars Program. As a Native Hawaiian, I am strongly interested in minority health and health disparities, so I would love to talk to anyone with similar interests!

Feel free to contact me about anything regarding Duke! I can be especially helpful in talking about the transition to Durham, what it was like to jump into medical school after a gap year, and my experience as a minority here at Duke. Otherwise, don't be afraid to reach out!


Gelila Yitsege (she/her/hers)

Email: ggy2@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Alexandria, VA

I’m born and raised around Washington, DC and have always admired the rich history and emphasis on advocacy that surrounds the capital city. Growing up in this environment has nurtured my passion for health equity and, by extension, education equity, nutrition access and proper housing. This drive has led me to Duke Med, where I’m excited to learn from peers and mentors that share a love of community and a yearning for change. 


Med StudentAlice Yu (she/her/hers)

Email: aly9@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022

Hometown: Chapel Hill, NC

I graduated in 2017 from UNC-Chapel Hill (go Heels!) with a major in Nutrition and minor in Music. I took a gap year to work in NYC with City Year, an AmeriCorps educational nonprofit, where I taught 8th grade math and helped run an afterschool program in the Bronx. Given the flexibility and uniqueness of Duke’s curriculum (which was a major reason I chose to come here), I had planned to do research abroad in Sweden next year as a MS3. However, COVID switched my plans around, and I decided to stay local for next year. Luckily, there is no shortage of exciting research at Duke, so I was able to find an amazing new research mentor and a project that I am very passionate about (analyses of breast cancer stats in Asian women disaggregated by ethnicity as opposed to lumped together as one “Asian” group). In terms of extracurriculars, I am most active in APAMSA (Asian Pacific American Medical Student Association), but I am also happy to talk about my experiences with the med school a cappella group (Major Groove), the annual student-faculty show (SFS), what it’s like to live in Durham, and anything else you are curious about! Duke SOM has been a dream for me so far, and I hope it will be for you as well!


Med StudentSteven Zeng (he/him/his)

Email: slz9@duke.edu

Class Year: 2024

Hometown: Baltimore, MD

Hello! I am an incoming MS1. I grew up in Baltimore and went to undergrad at Washington University in St. Louis. There, I studied Biology and Spanish, and outside of class, I enjoy playing volleyball and doing art. I found the admissions process to be very overwhelming and confusing so feel free to ask me any questions about the interview process, why I chose Duke, the cycle in general, or anything else you're curious about!


Chanel Zhan (she/her/hers)

Email: cwz4@duke.edu

Class Year: 2022 

Hometown: New Jersey/Taiwan/Hong Kong/Shanghai/California 

I would be happy to chat about absolutely anything! Feel free to send any questions my way! 


Ben Zolyomi (he/him/his)

Email: baz9@duke.edu

Class Year: 2023

Hometown: Albuquerque, New Mexico

I’m Ben, and I’m excited to hear from you all! I’m a self-described nerd who spends way too much time playing online chess and keeping up on Star Wars news (Mandalorian season 2, anyone?), but who also loves skiing and adventurous eating - the spicier, the better! I came to Duke straight out of undergrad, and I’m really happy with my decision to be here. Please feel free to reach out on any topics (honestly!) - in particular, I hope to do justice to any questions about the DukeMed curriculum, about being a first-timer to Durham and the South, or about work-life balance at Duke.

 

 

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