Melissa White


Franklin Township, NJ

Academic Interests

Program II: Biosocial Determinants of Health & Health Policy, Pre-Med Track

Fun Fact

I used to bowl on my high school’s varsity team!

I am an outspoken, strong, truthful and compassionate black woman. In my free time, I love to read (mostly romance novels), listen to music (one of my favorite artists is PARTYNEXTDOOR), watch reality TV and just be with my own thoughts. It gives me time to reflect on the things I’m doing and give me strength to keep pushing and pushing for the things I want in life.

My want to become a doctor stems from some weird places, but they are all rooted in science, which is something I’ve realized I love over the years. One of the reasons is my curiosity about the body and biology that stems from “gross” (I think they’re cool) injury pictures on twitter that got me hooked during high school. Those pictures made me want to look inside the body so much more. That, along with the many interests I have in social determinants of health and policy, made me realize that all my interests did not fit into one major. I decided to pursue a Program II to have the opportunity to learn about all of my interests and learn how I can apply them in the future to make medicine a better field for all.

Outside of health-related issues, I am also really interested in the systematic inequalities that plague people like me and other underrepresented people every day. At Duke, I aim to take a variety of classes to further understand these inequalities and how they came about. Along with being a doctor, I want to work toward getting rid of these barriers as much as I can, just to make the world a little bit better for everyone.

What do you like about being a SPIRE Fellow?

I love the never-ending support and love exuded from Dean Blackshear, Dean Wood Crowley and Dean Petters through every trial, tribulation, and success. They make sure I know that anything I want to accomplish can be reached and to never give up on my dreams and what I want to get done.

White headshot.
Melissa White