What made you want to be a PA?
My mother is a nurse and my father is a surgeon. I knew from an early age that I was passionate about following in their footsteps and going into the medical field.
My father worked with the same PA for years, and I got to know her well. I talked with her about how much she loved her job, the ability of PAs to change specialties, and the lifestyle balance afforded by her career. I loved what she had to say, and I decided to follow suit.
On one hand, I could tell right away from my interview that this program was going to support me. Everyone was so genuine and kind. You could tell they loved their jobs, and that they believed in the values of the program. They left me feeling 100 percent certain they’d go the extra mile to help me succeed.
On the other hand, I really loved the area. I grew up in a small town in the Hudson Valley of upstate New York. The mountains and the beautiful countryside were comforting; it made me feel right at home!
Where do you currently work and what are your responsibilities?
I’m a physician assistant at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, MD. I’m currently participating in the Surgical Residency Program, which enables me to rotate through and learn about a variety of surgical specialties. My current responsibilities include managing or helping with surgical patients in pre-op, post-op, on the surgical floor, or in the intensive care unit.
Do you feel like MBU’s PA program prepared you for your career?
Absolutely! It not only prepared me to pass my [certification exam] — which after the rigors of the program itself felt like a walk in the park — it also did an excellent job of preparing me for work in the real world.
For instance, I felt confident and excited walking into my first day in my new position. And that confidence continues to grow with experience. I look forward to the challenges each new day may bring, and I feel sure that I’m up to the task of meeting them.
What was the most important professional lesson you learned at MBU?
There are so many great examples, but our medical history and physical exam course comes immediately to mind. It taught me how to walk into a room with a patient, ask the right questions, and perform a thorough and efficient physical exam. My professors were incredible, taking the time to observe me [closely and relentlessly], and to work with me one-on-one to perfect my approach.
They built on that training in our clinical reasoning class, which taught me to use the information from my examinations to formulate a diagnosis and determine next steps for treatment. Those skills are imperative in any situation, but particularly when you’re working [on the surgical side of the] ER.
What was your biggest takeaway from your time at MBU?
The relationships I formed with the people I met in the program. My professors during my didactic year and my preceptors — i.e. the medical professionals who oversaw my clinical work — were all fantastic teachers. They were extremely passionate about their work, and were just over-the-top supportive of me.
That enthusiasm was infectious. I learned so much from them, and I strive to model myself after them as a professional. In fact, they inspired me to want to become a preceptor myself. I look forward to one day paying it forward and helping future generations of students become PAs.
Lastly, I can’t say enough about my fellow students. They were so hard working and determined, yet they always made you feel like a part of the team. I made some of my very best friends at MBU, and I’m honored to now be able to call them my colleagues.