Skip to content

my story

Samantha Sette
Duke University, Class of 2022

I believe that everyone deserves to experience how good their mind and body were created to feel. As an aspiring physician, core to this belief is the impact of lifestyle factors on wellness – pressing for a holistic view of patients as people where nutrition, exercise, and mindfulness enter our conversation of what it means to be healthy – not just free of disease, but exhibiting optimal vitality. I grew up beside an older brother who was born with congenital heart disease, furthering my exposure to the healing powers of medicine and fragility of health in our lives. Ironic it must be then to learn that this purpose I possess today is what I neglected most. Undeniably, it is the adversity we face against ourselves that generates the loudest call for innovation and pressing desire for change.

We live in a society infested by mixed messages on what it means to be well. Much of our understanding of health today is limited to biological phenomena because it is tangible and testable, but there is an entire dimension rooted in the mind that contributes to the bigger picture. Thus, I have focused my major of undergraduate studies on Neuroscience and Psychology. Irrespective of medical science and our growing understanding of the mind-body connection, in order to help and work with people I must understand them – how they think, feel, and interact in a world that is fully theirs, not mine. My coursework, therefore, augments the intricacies of this relationship, broadening my knowledge of what makes the mind – and hence, the body – well. These principles are exactly what I hope to build a medical practice upon, one in which utilizes an integrated, full-body and patient-centered approach. I hope through this practice not only to treat, but also teach valuable lifestyle assets that my patients can carry forward. Eager to play a role first hand in cultivating others wellness, I also work as a spin instructor at Duke’s recreation facility. This has been the most rewarding responsibility I fulfill, yet humbling as it remains something that most people don’t know about me. By fostering an energetic environment, I see on a weekly basis how group exercise facilitates my participants’ wellbeing – evidence that greater health is not limited to a clinical setting.

As an I&E student, I am pushed further. Provided with the support and resources needed, I am more inspired than ever to create – whether it be whole foods recipes, a community built on love for movement, or my ambitious aspiration to break from the current field of medicine to a sect that encompasses all of the values above. In other words, I hope to create a new way to do medicine. To change our quality of health and life – to choose vitality as our reality – is well in reach.