Elmquist,-Katie

Hometown: Minnetrista, MN

Undergrad school: College of St. Benedict


What is your advice for prospective students?

Don’t be nervous and don’t give up! It might be a long, stressful process, but if this is your goal, make it happen!

Why do you want to be a PA?

One of the best pieces of advice I was given in undergrad was to “find your passion and make it your profession.” Becoming a PA encompasses everything that I am passionate about and value. I am excited to practice medicine and use my compassion to improve the lives of others.  I also love the idea that I can practice nearly every aspect of medicine while being able to maintain a life beyond work. I have never met a PA who wasn’t happy with their profession.

What are your career objectives?

I am keeping my options open and hoping that clinical rotations will guide me towards my passion.

What are your extracurricular activities at DMU?

I am a member of the PA Club and Geriatrics Club. I am also on an intramural volleyball team.

What do you do when you’re not studying?

I like to work out, whether that be running on the sidewalks of Grand Avenue or using DMU’s awesome work out facilities. I also like to enjoy downtown Des Moines with my classmates whether that involves going to the Farmer’s Market on a Saturday morning or sitting out on a patio enjoying the weather. I also enjoy going to Gray’s Lake and running around on the paths or renting paddle boards.

What is a typical day like as a student at DMU?

Wake up at 7 a.m., go to class from 8-5 p.m., work out for an hour after class, go home and make dinner and then study until I go to bed around 11 p.m.

Why did you select DMU?

I selected DMU because the moment I walked on campus I felt welcomed. I was greeted by warm smiles from everyone that I passed. I appreciate the idea of a university with graduate programs specifically devoted to health related sciences.  I also was very impressed by all of the technology and opportunities DMU has to offer their PA students. The cadaver lab for anatomy, SPAL practice labs, the simulation center opportunities that I will soon get to experience, and the hands on clinical experience we get from shadowing some of the PA program faculty right away in the first year were a few of the many positives I added to my list when considering which PA program to choose. Along with that, the PANCE pass rates are extremely high for DMU’s PA program. Going into my fourth month of PA school, I can confidently say that I feel this program does a really great job at preparing their students for the clinical year and PANCE.

Were you surprised by anything in the program

I was always told how close you get with your classmates since we essentially spend a solid 9 hours together each day (if not more), but I feel blessed to have such a supportive and motivating group of classmates.  We truly embrace the importance of working as a cooperative and collaborative team to push through the obstacles that are thrown at us to get to the ultimate goal of being the best PA’s that we can be for our patients.