Kacy Clinkenbeard

What is your educational background, where are you from, and how did you end up at UK?

I received my bachelor's degree from the University of Kentucky in Human Health Science and then received my MPAS at UK as well. I am from Louisville so I was pretty familiar with UK and found that it was the best fit for me in achieving my educational and professional goals. 

Why did you choose to participate in UK’s PA Residency Program?

I chose to participate in UK's residency program because halfway through PA school I knew I wanted to do acute care and felt that a residency would not only help me become the best provider I can be but also help me professionally in the future when I plan to pursue a career in physician assistant education. During my last few rotations, I did a critical care rotation at UK and that solidified for me that I wanted to do a residency in critical care. UK hospital also has high acuity patients and is a well-known academic hospital so that is what influenced me to do my residency here at UK. Plus, UK is home to me so I am very comfortable in Lexington and love it here. 

What has been the most rewarding experience thus far?

Starting your career in a pandemic is definitely not the way I planned to start, but it has definitely been rewarding being a part of the team that's taking care of the patients that are struggling with COVID-19.  

What has been your biggest challenge?

One of the biggest challenges has been finding a work/life balance. Residency means long hours and spending your extra time off doing research and brushing up on topics addressed during the week on rounds. But, I am slowly finding ways to better balance my days and things I love outside of work. 

What would you say to other PAs or PAS students who are considering applying for the residency program?

I would say that if you want to practice at the highest scope of your practice then a residency is the way to go. Residency provides you with so many opportunities to grow as a provider and a learner and provides you with mentors and educational opportunities that wouldn't be available if you were to go straight into on the job training.