Katya Lundberg, a current Physician Assistant Studies student, was recently awarded the Physician Assistant Education Association 2020 Future Educator Fellowship, a prestigious honor that is only awarded to 15 people each year.
Lundberg graduated from Colby College in 2008 and worked in the hospitality industry after graduation while simultaneously taking pre-requisite coursework for PA school starting in 2014. Lundberg knew that she wanted to go into healthcare because she cared about people, their wellbeing, and wanted to form supportive relationships with patients. “What I want to spend my time doing is working to build relationships to improve quality of care for patients,” Lundberg said. After deciding she wanted to pursue a career in the healthcare field, she narrowed down her decision to become a Physician Assistant. “[Being a] PA is a wonderful profession, it really is versatile. You don’t have to specialize, which is a great opportunity for lifelong learning and you are able to gain a breadth of rewarding experiences,” Lundberg said.
Once Lundberg had all the prerequisites required for PA school, she applied to UK’s program and was accepted. “Of programs in Kentucky, UK offered the most robust program with the highest number of clinical rotation electives,” Lundberg said. “The program here at UK is best positioned to know the needs of Kentuckians, which is who I am most interested in serving.” Lundberg began the program in January of 2020, and shortly thereafter decided to apply for the Future Educator Fellowship.
The yearlong fellowship, hosted through the Physician Assistant Education Association, is designed to explore foundations in teaching, expose students to the current educational environment, and expand professional development and leadership opportunities. Lundberg’s decision to apply for this fellowship was fueled by her passion for teaching and academia. “The fellowship is geared towards people who are interested in medical education and in a career in academics”, said Lundberg. She will be learning to design medical curricula for diverse groups of PA students, while also working through educational programming, communication skills, networking and competencies designed to foster foundations in PA education. “I am excited to expand my knowledge and serve the profession in a greater way through this fellowship,” Lundberg said.
Lundberg is excited to start the fellowship in October and seemed very humbled by the opportunity. “I don’t consider this winning something, it is more of an honor for me in that I get to broaden my educational experience,” Lundberg said.