Sarah Flaherty, B.S. 1998

Chair, Emergency Medicine, UPMC McKeesport Hospital

1998 Major: Biology; minor in Religion

How has being a Biology graduate from Duke helped shape you personally and/or professionally?

"Obviously, a lot of science undergrads at Duke are premed of a sort. Ironically, I was not! I had a career in science writing and medical research (including a stint at the Smithsonian) before deciding to head back to school at age 30! I was thinking of going back for a PhD honestly, but my Duke Biology degree gave me the background (and freedom) to apply to medical school instead - with the idea that an MD would give me a lot more flexibility than a PhD."

What advice would you give students in Duke's Biology programs? 

"Don’t worry so much about the traditional paths/classes. Take what interests you and drives your passions - the time you have now to dive into an unencumbered exploration of things you are curious about is an unparalleled gift. Enjoy this time and take advantage of all of the quiet brilliance available to you!"

Sarah Flaherty