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APP Resident Spotlight: Zachary Gilbert, PA-C

Friday, December 6, 2019
Z Gilbert

Zachary Gilbert, PA-C has been drawn to neurological patients for most of his adult life, first through the concussions and head injuries he read about and saw as a high-school football player, and later during his education as a physician assistant. Now he’s getting an in-depth look at patients with a variety of neurological conditions as part of our APP residency program. For this week’s “Spotlight” interview, Gilbert talks to us about his time as an emergency medical technician, his current work and interests in the program, and enjoying hiking, traveling, and writing outside of work.

What are your responsibilities as a APP resident? What does a typical day look like for you?
I am currently in an outpatient setting. A typical day includes seeing patients in the clinic and then reporting back to the provider I am working with that day and discuss the case. At noon, I go to a lecture about relevant neurology topics. We also have an interesting case conference one evening a week which is very educational.

How and why did you decide to focus on neurology in particular?
​Neurology has been an interest of mine for quite some time. I was drawn to the field when I first learned about concussions and chronic traumatic encephalopathy. I played high school football for three years so I was around head injuries all the time.

While at the University of Maryland, I studied community health and developed educational programs and presentations on sports safety and focused on concussion education. After Maryland, I started PA school at Methodist University and continued to be interested in the neurology patients I would see on rotations. I joined Duke Urgent Care in September 2017 and I had the opportunity to work with a wide array of patients. I was always drawn to the neurological patients that would present to clinic and found that neurology was the field for me. I was lucky to find the Duke Neurology APP residency program and have enjoyed my experience here thus far.

Before becoming a physician assistant you were an EMT in College Park, Maryland. What was that experience like? What’s one memory or experience that stands out to you?
My EMT experience was memorable and invaluable. It was my first exposure to the healthcare system. It is hard to say one experience that stands out but motor vehicle accidents on the Capitol Beltway and middle of the night cardiac arrest calls were always interesting.

What would you like to do after completing your residency?
I would like to stay in neurology. I am not quite sure which field to go into at this time, but definitely have an interest in neuroimmunology and memory disorders. 

What passions or hobbies do you have outside of work?
​Outside of work, I am usually running or hiking somewhere. I also enjoy traveling and baseball games. I try to dabble in writing with any free time I may have.  

Z Gilbert
Gilbert takes a moment to appreciate the wonder of nature in Arches National Park in Utah.