- Diversity, Equity, & Inclusion
What is your educational background, where are you from, and how did you end up at UK?
I grew up in the suburbs of Chicago, Illinois and went to undergrad at Illinois State University. At Illinois State I obtained my Bachelor's in biology and completed all the pre-requisites required for PA school. When I began applying for PA school I looked all over the country as I was ready to leave Illinois and explore a new place. UK was on top of my list because I have a sister in school at UK and my parents were moving to Tennessee. Whenever I interviewed at UK I loved what the program had to offer and all of the faculty that I met.
Why did you choose to participate in UK’s PA Residency Program?
I chose to participate in the residency program because I really wanted to expand my surgical skills. Even before PA school I had an interest in orthopedic surgery. This is where I did a lot of my shadowing prior to applying to PA programs. I also completed an elective rotation in orthopedic surgery during school. My other rotations in general surgery, women's health, and breast oncology also allowed me to gain experience in the operating room. I loved being a part of surgery and due to its specialized nature it is difficult to get hired into a position as a new graduate. The residency program allows me to expand my knowledge and skills in surgical to be more marketable in my career.
What has been the most rewarding experience thus far?
The most rewarding experience so far has been completing a full case in the operating room as the first assist on my own. When shadowing and during clinical rotations as a PA student you are often off to the side observing. It is very rewarding to finally be that primary first assist in cases on my own.
What has been your biggest challenge?
My biggest challenge has been working with multiple surgeons. In the residency position at Baptist we assist numerous surgeons in general, orthopedic, plastics, and gynecologic procedures. All of the surgeons do their surgeries slightly differently and it is important to be able to anticipate their next moves in order to assist them effectively. I am in my 4th month now and I am still meeting and working with new surgeons every week. Trying to learn and catch on to all the different routines has been a challenge.
What would you say to other PAs or PAS students who are considering applying for the residency program?
I would say to consider one of the residency programs if you know you want to specialize in one of the areas offered. Although we get a great education during the PA program, our clinical rotations are only 4 weeks long and it is difficult to be prepared to practice in such a specialty in that short of a time period. The residency programs allow you to be fully immersed in that setting, learning and gaining hands on experience from the experts for a full year.