BS in Exercise Science at the University of Evansville
Hometown: Oaktown, Indiana
What made you want to be a PA?
I have always wanted to be in the medical field, ever since I was young. I wanted a career that would allow me to spend time with my family and friends, but also have the lateral mobility to switch specialties and jobs as my needs in life changed.
Why UEPA? Or what makes UEPA different than other PA Programs?
UEPA has been my #1 choice from early on. I accepted my direct entry while in high school, but decided to apply for a seat a year earlier since I finished my undergraduate degree in 3.5 years. UEPA always cared for me, before I even entered the program. The faculty pours so much heart into us and encourages us in all realms of life, whether it be school or our personal lives. I am proud to be a part of UEPA!
What do you find is your biggest challenge in being a PA student?
I think time management is the hardest part. The material itself is very challenging, and you could study forever and not know it all. Having boundaries to live your life outside of school is something that took time for me to learn but is so important to prevent burnout and maintain some level on sanity.
Did you do anything that really helped you prepare for PA school?
I completed my undergraduate degree. I would highly recommend taking any time off you have to enjoy yourself. Once school starts, your time isn't able to be freely given to things you used to be able to do. I was a pharmacy technician over breaks, which helps some with medication recognition, but they truly teach you everything you need to know!
What is your best advice for anyone working on the CASPA application?
Be yourself! I think letting your true self shine through will allow you to find a program you really vibe with, even if it isn't UE. Different programs have different missions and things they prioritize, so find what is best for you and your needs!
If you could go back and give yourself one piece of advice, what would it be?
I would tell myself to chill out. I think I was always caught up in doing the best or getting As, when all that matters is comprehension. Everyone here is really smart, so take advantage of everyone for the wealth of knowledge they are and drop comparisons.
What is the one thing about PA school you weren't prepared for?
I wasn't prepared for how often I need to study or how easy it is to get behind. I look back to study habits in undergrad that I considered good, but they have no comparison to what we do now. Spending time with the material everyday gets exhausting, but obviously pays off in the end.
How hard is it……..really???
It's definitely hard, but doable. No matter how hard it gets, just remember you've done it before and will do it again. Everyone does poorly every once in a while, but gather yourself and make the changes you need to succeed.
What is your favorite class?
Clinical Skills! We get to learn procedures we will do in the real world. It's so hands-on and finally feels like we are going to be PAs soon.
What is a typical day like in didactic year?
I usually get up early to work-out before class. This keeps me sane and gives stress relief before the chaos begins. I arrive to Stone around 6:30 to study while it's still quiet. We are usually in class from 8/9-2/3. When I get home, I will study until dinner, which is between 5:30-6. I like to be able to have free time in the evening to spend time with my husband and dog.
What is your favorite part of PA School?
Easy: the people. Everyone here wants you to succeed. Whether it be your classmates or faculty, they will do everything to make sure you do your best. We have all bonded to the point that I think I will be upset when we go our separate ways for clinicals.
What is your best advice for the interview process?
Just relax and be yourself. I don't think there's any way to prepare for the MMI. They don't want people who have memorized what they want to hear, but rather people who speak from the heart.
How do you balance school and other aspects of your life?
I am strict about my schedule. I set boundaries about when I study and when I rest, exercise, or hang out with friends. I think everyone is different about times in which they thrive. I'm most focused in the mornings, so I do most of my studying in the mornings. Find what works for you and stick to it!