Local Voices

Why I Chose to be a Physician Assistant

From a young age, I always found science fascinating, and as I progressed through high school and college, I also found that I had a strong desire to help people in my rural community, so the decision to choose a career in healthcare seemed natural. When choosing what role I wanted to have in the healthcare team, I wanted a job that would allow me to truly practice medicine in terms of diagnosing, treating, and being directly responsible for the management of patients while also being able to enjoy a life outside of my career so I could give my best self to my patients. Becoming a physician assistant will meet these expectations.

As a PA, I will be able to enter the workforce and begin treating patients faster – the training for a PA is a master’s degree that takes about 24-28 months to complete. Furthermore, PA school follows the medical model. This approach to medicine will allow me to satisfy that desire instilled in me as a child to know the how and why of the science behind what I will be diagnosing and treating.

Another thing that drew me to the PA profession is after completing school and passing board exams, PAs can immediately apply for jobs without having to complete a residency that may last several years as physicians do. PAs not only can work in any specialty they choose, but they also have the ability to change specialties throughout their career. I love growing and learning new things, so I believe the lateral mobility will prevent me from becoming burnout in the profession as many healthcare workers are.

As I apply to programs this year, I look forward to entering a wonderful profession and a lifetime of serving and learning.

Sarah Dotson
The University of Virginia’s College at Wise

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