What are some of the things you are proud of at ECU?
I am proud of the dedication I see at this university. ECU isn't just a university, it's a lifestyle. To be successful you must be willing to become a Pirate. This means faculty going above and beyond to support students, students breaking barriers to support each other, and the undying commitment of alumni to support the university. And of course, I'm proud of our awesome PA program.
What is a physician's assistant?
A PA is a mid-level health provider. So basically, what a PA does is take some of the load off a physician by seeing patients who come in with more routine ailments, and allowing physicians to spend time on the more complicated cases. PAs can do many of the same things a physician does, including prescribe medicines. It’s a good alternative for everyone, really. PAs can help lower health care costs for patients, and for those who want careers in medicine PA school is a great option, especially if you want to balance family and career. It’s only a two and a half year program versus four years for med school. And you don’t have to specialize, so it gives you flexibility. It’s kind of nice. It’s kind of like fast-track med school.
Is the PA program why you chose to attend ECU?
Absolutely. The program here is awesome. The faculty is entirely PAs so they’ve all had experience and they teach because they love it. The first year is classroom preparation and the second is all clinical work. We do eight, six-week rotations in various specialties. So it gives you a little bit of diversity, you have a little bit of practice doing everything. Another great thing about our program is that it's the only public university with a PA program.
What are your plans after graduation?
I have scholarship for PA school through the United States Navy, so I'll know exactly what I'm doing after I graduate! We had a Navy recruiter visit us and we learned all about the opportunities they offer. My scholarship is called the health professions scholarship program, and it's available for medical school, dental school, PA programs, nursing school, and just about any field related to health care. I get to go into the Navy as an officer so I don’t have to go to boot camp, which is key for me!