Sharon FanWhite Plain, NY
What are your career goals / academic goals?
I went to PA school thinking I wanted to be a pediatric neurology PA, however, I kept an open and curious mind as I approached the clinical year of school. With the help of wonderful and dedicated preceptors and the wide variety of rotations, I was able to find my passion for surgery. I am currently a surgical PA who works in the OR as well as inpatient care for surgical patients (consults, preop, postops). We work in a wide variety of surgical services and my training at Marist definitely helped prepare me for my current role and allowed for a strong foundation for me to build upon once I started my career. I’m excited to continue to grow in this field by constantly learning to be the best provider I can be for my patients.
Why did you choose to pursue your graduate degree at Marist? Why did you choose to pursue this degree program?
I was initially drawn to Marist given its beautiful and calming campus which I fell in love with instantly when I toured. Seeing the modern facilities, especially the anatomy lab and simulation labs, were extremely critical points for my personal decision to attend Marist. It really showed me that they place a lot of emphasis on hands-on learning which is more adaptive to my learning style. Speaking with the alumni and faculty during my interview displayed to me that the Physician Assistant program really emphasized a curriculum that focuses on educating well rounded providers that are not only strong academically but also in clinical skills. I was a student of the fourth graduating class of the program which initially made me slightly wary, but hearing alumni testimonies that feedback from students constantly evolve the program alleviated those fears. The program takes students’ suggestions very seriously and are constantly improving its curriculum and rotation opportunities. Given the academic depth and diversity of opportunities, I knew Marist was the right program for me.
Tell us about a project or course that was particularly meaningful to your professional development / academic development.
I greatly enjoyed many of our third semester classes, as I felt that this was the best combination of the knowledge we acquired in the first two semesters and applying them cumulatively in order to prepare for the clinical year. A class that specifically stood out to me was our Emergency Medicine class. I really appreciated the way Director Midgley made the class enjoyable and informative by combining our medical knowledge with physical exam skills as well. Surgery week was a great part of our class and allowed me to have the first glimpse of life as a surgical PA. It was a fun and interactive week which allowed us to work as a team of providers to critically think through various scenarios in order to properly care for our patients and helped prepare us for the clinical year.
Tell us about a meaningful experience you had at Marist as it pertains to your degree (whether that be with a Professor, Marist service, Scholarship opportunity, etc.).
I think a key factor that really distinguishes Marist from other physician assistant programs is how much the staff cares about their students. The faculty really dedicates all of their energy and time in order to create an educational, healthy, friendly, and wonderful environment for its students. I remember even as I was graduating the program and searching for jobs to move onto the next chapter of my life, I was able to get genuine advice from many professors about everything, ranging from which job to pursue all the way to liability insurance coverage. Even as I was getting ready to graduate and move on, they still spent so much individual time with me which shows how much they genuinely care for their students’ well-being and future.
What advice would you give to a student considering pursuing this degree at Marist?
Anyone considering the Physician Assistant program at Marist College should definitely pursue this program and keep an open mind to new experiences. The focus and dedication the program will provide you is truly extraordinary, but it is highly impacted by the way an individual approaches the program. Allowing yourself to absorb and adapt to the fast paced and constantly evolving environment will help build the foundation to be an amazing physician assistant.