Trip to India Inspires Student to Become Nurse

Trip to India Inspires Student to Become Nurse

Gyuhyun Lee, a DUSON DNP-CRNA student, is on a mission to provide fair and culturally competent healthcare for all. 


Gyuhyun Lee was on a mission trip in India when a bad bout of food poisoning changed his life. His experience in a poverty-stricken hospital in Mysore revealed the stark healthcare disparities caused by income inequality. Since then, Lee has been determined to change that. 

“I witnessed patients forced to leave treatment prematurely due to financial difficulties and observed cultural conflicts in healthcare,” he said. “This experience fueled my belief in fair and culturally competent healthcare for all. As an international student in the U.S., I realized similar challenges exist here.” 

Originally from Seoul, South Korea, Lee decided to apply for the nurse anesthesia program at Duke University's School of Nursing. He was able to attend virtual admissions events and learn more about the university. 

“I must admit that the stunning Duke campus initially caught my eye,” he said. “I delved deeper into the school and program’s qualities, and I was fascinated by the world-class faculty and their commitment to advancing the profession. Even though it was a virtual meeting, I sensed their genuine concern for student success, which resonated deeply with me.” 

Lee enrolled at Duke in 2021 and has conducted clinical rotations and have access to state-of-the-art simulation labs. Those experiences help ensure he is well prepared to handle any emergency situation independently.  

When he graduates in August 2024, Lee plans to study acupuncture anesthesia and advocate for opioid-free analgesia. He also hopes to contribute to the resuscitation of his unique profession in his home country. 

“I made my decision to pursue a career in nursing as I learned that nurses not only provide direct care for patients but also support them through their most difficult times,” Lee said. “There's no doubt that the Duke Nurse Anesthesia program has equipped me with the education and skills needed to excel as a nurse anesthetist.” 

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