Physician Assistant Program

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

I never knew how much I enjoyed cleaning my apartment until I started PA school

We are FINALLY done with our academic year and will be starting our clinical rotations in only a couple weeks! In the meantime we are trying to incorporate ourselves back into society. I know it sounds a little over the top, but that is what it is like after spending a year in the OHSU PA program. Now that I am not required to sit in lecture for eight hours a day and then study … Read More

Mind over matter

First, I should tell you that I have a bias towards the mind and where it emerges from- the brain. I mean c’mon! It’s an emergent system filled with an infinite amount of possible connections. A potential space where one’s personality is kept, yet one’s ability to change is always possible. Life seems teeming with possibilities with the right mindset… right? I had an amazing experience during my neurology rotation. I met excellent residents and … Read More

The heart has its place at the hospital

I have had a number of patients who were very ill in the hospital, with a number of co-morbidities that were so tightly knit that one thing that went wrong dramatically affected multiple organ systems. Most of the patients I followed had poor prognoses that eventually led us to consult Palliative Care. I will never forget a certain patient. He was a big fellow with a big heart and a sharp sense of humor who … Read More

Conversations with My Granddad

My Granddad is a 93 year old retired internal medicine physician who lives on a farm in the Ozarks. The other day I gave him a call to catch up and see how things were going down in ole’ West Plains, Missouri. He is always very interested in how I am doing in school, especially now that I am in PA school. As much as I have tried to explain to him the role of … Read More

I can barely touch my knees let alone my toes

To paint you a quick picture of my elastic limits and vestibular abilities, with my legs straight, I can barely touch my knees let alone my toes, and when I try, I usually fall over. So, when I signed up for the free yoga class that Student Health was sponsoring, I giggled to myself. It was scheduled for this last Friday, right after the sweet release of final tests before this utterly necessary 2 week … Read More


A few days before the start date, my current rotation was switched from Surgery in Bend, OR to Women’s Health in Portland. I had been mentally preparing myself for rigors of the OR – brushing up on anatomy, thinking through the steps of a cholecystectomy, reviewing sterile technique. When I found out I would be heading to an OB/GYN clinic, I felt a bit nervous. Open wounds, blood, ventilators – these are all elements of … Read More

The day we survived anatomy

Now, we’ve all had some pretty important days in our lives, but the PAS-1s will agree that today was right up near the top. What single event could bring together a class of 37?  Three simple words: Last. Anatomy. Test. The crazy thing about anatomy is that it goes beyond our little class of 37. The first day of anatomy lecture (waaaaay back in August) was an interesting experience. We PA students had grown comfortable … 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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