I was always interested in learning about medical sciences, but during my undergraduate degree I was unaware that the PA profession existed. Like many of the science students I knew in undergrad, my focus was trying to get into medical school. After a few summers of writing MCATs, my scores did not elevate my application to give it a competitive edge. I thought long and hard about the path I wanted to take. I knew that I was done with writing MCATs and did not want to leave the country for medical school. I also considered if I wanted to go through 4 years of school then residency, and whether the role of a physician was the role that fit me best.
In the end, I realized that my ultimate aspiration was to work in a healthcare role to help others and improve their quality of life. The first time I applied to the PA program I only recently learned about the PA role from a friend, so I felt I did not prepare a particularly strong statement of intent. I also applied to occupational therapy (OT) as I was attracted to the profession’s tenet of person-centred care. Fast-forward two years later and I was working as an OT at the hospital where I would bump into practicing and student PAs. Taking the time to talk to them helped renew my interest in the PA role.
Since PAs receive formal medical education and can switch between specialties in practice, I felt the prospect of working as a PA was very exciting. As PAs extend the services of their supervising physician, this means that more individuals can receive timely healthcare services. In this way, I saw the PA profession as an ‘agent of efficiency’ for improving outcomes in the healthcare system, which really appealed to my values.