Physician Assistant Program

T-minus 2000 hours

Prior to PA school, I primarily worked as a pathology technician performing gross dissections (in the macroscopic sense, but often in the literal sense too) of human tissue in Anatomic Pathology. I could slice my way through gallbladders like it was nobody’s business, releasing that sludgy green-brown material known as bile that lets french fries, cheese and everything sacred exist in my diet. I could describe every minute detail of a perforated appendix on my … Read More

One down, seven to go

The leaves are turning, the clouds are rolling in, Portland is once again being spritzed like a grocery store vegetable, and the cohort of 2016 has finished their first quarter of PA school! Reflecting on my first quarter, it has been both exciting and challenging. I began not knowing what to expect. That first morning in the Collaborative Life Sciences Building, I met an incredible group of people: faculty, staff and students. One of the … Read More

Meant to be here

When I interviewed at OHSU, the Physician Assistant Program Director repeatedly emphasized how much care is taken during the application process to assemble each incoming class. He spoke about how deliberately each applicant is chosen in order to create a class that works well together and values collaboration instead of competition. The selection process is not random; each member of the incoming PA class is “meant to be here.” Current PA students that participated in … Read More

My journey

As a volunteer Referral Coordinator at a local community health clinic, I was reminded daily that one does not need to travel far to find disparities in healthcare. Without the help of the clinic, many homeless, minority and uninsured clients would be forced to choose between basic necessities and healthcare; a choice no one should have to make. I will never forget my conversation with a homeless woman who refused to schedule a necessary radiology … Read More

Work and Play

I started PA school in July, and it’s hard to believe that we’re over halfway done with our first year. Studying medicine at OHSU has been an incredible opportunity so far–it’s a privilege to to be surrounded by so many brilliant and motivated people, and I’m very grateful to be a part of the class of 2015. That said, it’s also probably one of the most challenging things I’ve ever done. It’s funny to reflect … Read More

A new school year begins….

 I’m four weeks in to my new life as a graduate student, and the intensity of OHSU’s program has already become apparent.  I knew that the PA school would be challenging, but I didn’t fully grasp the concept until I actually got here. Even though I no longer have time for watching old episodes of The Office, or going for three hour bike rides several times per week, I’m pretty thrilled by this new endeavor. … Read More

My heart melted

The first day of my pediatric rotation I was scared. I was scared of the little kids, the dry crusty snot under their noses, the crying, the getting peed on during infant well child exams, the trying to perform an otoscopic exam on a screaming child; all of it. I went home that first day realizing that kids aren’t just little adults. That night I memorized milestones from my Bright Futures pocket book, reviewed all … Read More

On the change in season

I had doubt I could articulate my thoughts in a manner worth reading, but with the transition to this autumn season I found my reservations about blogging fade. With the days getting short, I don’t get much opportunity to savor daylight outdoors, but I’m savoring my days as a physician assistant student nonetheless and blossoming with other opportunities. This week I had the privilege of speaking to a group of dynamic college students for the … Read More

Don’t drop the baby

I can’t believe I am already almost done with my second rotation of my clinical year! It’s crazy! My R1 was at a community medicine clinic in Portland and now I am in my women’s health rotation in Astoria. I have already assisted with several cesarean deliveries and this week I inserted my first IUDs! It seems incredibly surreal. During my second week here, I was waiting with my preceptor for a patient to be … Read More

My Sword!

I’m now 4 weeks into my first clinical rotation and I’m finding it as exciting, challenging, interesting, stressful, inspiring, and overwhelming as I thought it would be. I am currently at the family practice office located in the Center for Health and Healing. I work with a friendly and hard-working staff as well as knowledgeable and engaging healthcare providers/teachers. My preceptor, Adam King, is a great mentor and example of what a good Physician Assistant … Read More



Ever wondered what life is like as a student at OHSU? What does it take to become a researcher? Just how gross is gross anatomy? Welcome to the blog that answers these – and many other – questions. It’s students writing first-hand about their commitment to careers in science and health care. It’s honest about the challenges as well as the joys. It’s not always pretty. But it is our story. Thank you for sharing it with us. And please, let us know what you think.

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