Abigail Ness, 2015

2015 Major: Cultural Anthropology and Spanish

Currently: MD/MPH student at University of Miami Miller School of Medicine — Miami, Florida

How has being a Cultural Anthropology graduate from Duke helped shape your professional success?

"Studying Cultural Anthropology at Duke has given me the knowledge base and the tools for better understanding and interacting with people, which will be critical to my success as a future public health physician since at its most basic, medicine is all about people. I learned how to recognize and to question what I take for granted, so as to better understand my own position and influence relative to others. I also learned how to better notice and appreciate the differences in opinion, lifestyle, and world-view held by different types of people who come from varying cultural and racial backgrounds. Through pursuing my dream of becoming a physician, I will be able to use and improve upon all of these important skills."

What advice would you give students in Cultural Anthropology?

"Challenge yourself to use what you lean in Cultural Anthropology as a lens for looking at the world on a daily basis. Don't move through your daily life monotonously or with your eyes glued to your phone, but instead pay attention to what is going on around you and notice what types of people you see. Challenge yourself to ask questions, to never make assumptions and to use the tools you learn in CA to interact with the world and those around you in more deep and meaningful ways!"