Grant Meeker, B.A. 2011

Anesthesiologist, Northern Inyo Hospital – Bishop, CA

2011 Major: Religion and Evolutionary Anthropology; minor in Chemistry

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

"Being a religion major was a fantastic experience. It increased my knowledge and understanding of diversity of backgrounds and beliefs, which is something I use in a daily basis as a physician. Understanding that people with different beliefs aren’t “stupid” or “crazy,” as they are readily called by others, but rather just trying to live their life in a way that feels true makes for a much better physician. It has made me more open to researching the beliefs of my patients in hopes of making great medicine: honoring their beliefs while also maximally using my knowledge and talents. My religion major took me on the first international trip for anyone in my family in almost 70 years, and the key to understanding and embracing diversity, to my mind, is travel. Having grown up in a place where everyone looked like me, seeing that differences are exaggerated by media portrayals and minimized by actual interactions has shaped my personal interactions every day. I caught the travel bug after that trip."

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

"The religion department is a wealth of information. I think many of my classmates were trying to use it as a way to enhance their own faiths through classes at the Divinity school or on topics where they felt that natural connection, but in the process I think that missed out on really opening their minds to the world beyond what had been taught to them as children. Having a better understanding of a faith beyond your own is so incredibly enriching. Also, take classes with Goodacre and take a seminar if you can. They’re both so fantastic in their own way."

Grant Meeker