Hometown: Ankeny, IA
Undergrad school: Hope College (Holland, MI)
Major/minor: Chemistry/French and Psychology
Class: PA class of 2013
Why do you want to be a physician assistant?
I want to be a physician assistant so I can help others. I always find joy in serving others, and this is a way that is mentally stimulating and allows me to make others’ lives better. Also, in the PA profession you have to work with others and I like the idea of working on and with a team.
The first thing that really struck me about DMU was that everyone was extremely friendly and helpful which I liked a lot. The technology also played a big part in my decision as it is up to date in its teaching styles and techniques. Finally, the PANCE (PA board exam) rates are very high which was also appealing.
I would one day like to work in pediatrics, but I am keeping an open mind as I go out on clinical rotations. I would also like to do medical mission work in the future at some point.
Intramurals (Volleyball, Football, and Basketball), HCO (Homeless Camp Outreach), Physician Assistant Club, AAPA (American Academy of Physician Assistants), IPAS (Iowa Physician Assistant Society), PA Student Ambassador, and other various volunteer opportunities.
Favorite thing about Des Moines:
There is always something to do as well as there are some great trails to bike and run on when the weather is nice. There is definitely something for everyone with concerts, museums, sporting events, malls, wineries, and more!
What do you do when you’re not studying?
I like to stay active whether that is working out, running, or playing sports such as tennis, volleyball, or other intramurals. I also enjoy hanging out with friends, watching movies, volunteering, and play the guitar.
Were you surprised by anything in the program?
I was surprised at how tiring it is spending eight hours a day sitting in class every day followed by studying 5-6 hours every night. I looked forward the weekend just to be able to have a break from lectures and get caught up on studying which I’ve never really experienced before. I studied a lot in undergrad, but this was a whole new level. I was also surprised with how much information I actually am retaining. The material comes at you so fast that at times you feel there is no possible way you will remember everything, but then you find yourself talking about a certain medical condition with someone and recalling specificities you didn’t consciously remember you had known.
Any advice for prospective students?
Be prepared to work hard while in school, but also to learn a lot and gain many amazing experiences. Try to apply early to improve the chance of getting an interview. Also, make sure you do your research about each school to see what their facilities are like, what their PANCE pass rates are, and what prerequisites they require (both classes and hours of experience).