Q&A with Aspiring Physician Assistant

Could you tell us a little bit about your background?
I grew up in Kennebunkport, ME, but I live in Boston now. I moved to Boston to work for Spaulding Rehabilitation Network Ambulance Service, which has since been rebranded to Mass General Brigham Ambulance Service. I am nationally certified and Massachusetts state certified as an EMT. The MGB Ambulance service works primarily for the Spaulding hospitals in the Boston area bringing critical patients to and from appointments at other MGB facilities, discharges from the hospital, emergencies within the rehab facility, and much more. Working for MGB Ambulance is unique for an EMS job in Boston because we are able to transport patients throughout their entire rehab journey. It creates an opportunity to build a trusting relationship with the patients which is special. 

What has your education journey been like?
I got my undergraduate degree from St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY, where I studied Environmental Science and Public Health. I was always interested in premed, but my undergraduate path took me down the public health and environmental route; I truly enjoyed the course content in that degree. My classes and professors were wonderful, but after graduating, I still wanted to pursue a medical path to some degree which is how I decided to get my EMT certification. Before working at MGB, I worked as a ski patroller in Park City, UT, which I absolutely loved. From working these two jobs since graduating college in 2021, I decided I wanted to go back to school in the medical field, which led me to take the prerequisite courses at IHP. I had not taken fully online classes before. However, since I was still a student during the pandemic, I had experience with asynchronous schoolwork and navigating online classwork. 

How is your experience with the IHP?
I took Chemistry 1 last semester and am taking Chemistry 2 this semester. My experience was very positive; the format in which the course is conducted was extremely conducive to my weekly schedule. Given that my work schedule involves very long workdays and a constantly changing schedule, being able to complete my schoolwork at my own convenience worked very well for me rather than having to attend class in person on weeknights or have a more constant schedule in general. I appreciated the fact that I could excel in my schoolwork and still be a dedicated full-time employee at MGB. The professor was accessible via email and through forum discussions on the class website. Even more so, my other classmates were an extremely positive component of the class. We had an email chain where we would ask questions to each other or brainstorm ideas. I am planning on taking more IHP prerequisite classes in the future. I’m excited to be on this journey toward my goal of going to PA school in the next few years!