As part of a new blog series, we will showcase some of our Augsburg PA alumni. The month of December will focus on alumni from the class of 2020.
ISAAC PIERRE, PA-C
As part of our Alumni spotlight series, today we have reached out to Isaac Pierre, PA-C.
Isaac is a 2020 graduate of the Augsburg PA program. He is a practitioner at Nice Healthcare in Minnesota. We asked Isaac about his time at Augsburg, his approach to medicine, and his practice as a PA.
What attracted you to Augsburg, and keeps you connected with the University?
Among the many aspects that drew me to Augsburg was the focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion. When visiting and interviewing with the PA program, I felt a sense of community, connection, and support from not only the cohort of students, but also the faculty. I continue to stay connected with Augsburg due to the program’s values as well as the quality of the people and relationships created.
What type of setting do you work in?
I work with Nice Healthcare, a tech-enable primary care clinic that provides both virtual and in-person care to patients. Our services come as an employee benefit and, thus, allows us to forego insurance and provide care at little or no cost to patients. In light of this, I work in a virtual and home visit setting within the metro, suburbs, and, at times, more rural areas of Minnesota.
Why did you decide to choose your area of medicine?
I was drawn to Nice’s model and company structure because it seeks to limit barriers to care by providing rapid, no cost, and convenient care. These factors, along with our longer visit slots of 20, 40, and 60 minutes, allow more ability to connect, support, and encourage patients to follow through with their care and sustain better outcomes. Additionally, I chose to work with Nice because of the culture that seeks to support one another’s personal growth, encourage employees to treat others as we would like to be treated, and create a psychologically safe environment to practice and work.
What was the biggest transition between PA school to your first job?
The biggest transition came in the way of navigating licensing, the job search, and the adjustment from the rigors of PA school into a more balanced approach to work and life. Completing my terminal degree provided a chance to reexamine the “when this, then that” approach that I had fallen into when planning the next steps in my life. I would often tell myself, “when I finish up school, then I will be able to invest in relationships or hobbies”. This mindset, as many of you are likely aware, can continue in perpetuity as we continue to create “when” items for which we must wait or accomplish. In light of this, one transition I have faced is continuing to study and gain medical knowledge while also enjoying life and finding a healthy balance of life outside of work and school.
What was a major challenge in your first year?
Continuing to implement the thorough and quality charting techniques that we learned in school, in a more efficient and time saving manner.
Coming up on your first-year anniversary, what are areas you feel more comfortable in now compared to when you started?
I feel more comfortable in many areas of practice. Specifically, diagnosing and treating common conditions as well as confidence in patient education. I have also learned much about goal setting and people management techniques.
What tips do you have for students on applying and interviewing for their first job?
While remuneration is an important component to any competitive offer, it is paramount to prioritize cultural fit, setting, and work/life balance. While it is easier said than done, ensuring that you land in a place that gives you the opportunity to learn and grow as a clinician and as a person can outweigh a difference in pay.
What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?
My wife, Glory, and I enjoy all things outdoors (gardening, hiking, biking, camping, snowshoeing, etc.). Thanks to a fellow Auggie PA grad, we have recently begun mushroom foraging this year and have yet to ingest a poisonous variety…thus far. We both find a lot of life in spending time with family, knitting, and also enjoying tv shows and documentaries (currently awaiting the next season of Ted Lasso!).
Do you have a favorite Augsburg PA memory you wish to share?
It is hard to pick just one memory as I fondly recall numerous evenings studying with classmates and celebrating after exams. That said, some of the most fun memories that I think back upon took place in Costa Rica during our summer immersion trip (including swimming in rivers, exploring new communities, touring a coffee roastery, and taking a salsa class).
If you were not a PA, what career could you see yourself doing?
I find a lot of life in working alongside those on the margins and have learned innumerable lessons of kindness, gratitude, and forgiveness from folks who have disabilities in the past. Given this, if I were not a PA I would hope to work in a setting that provides the opportunity to continue to learn from those on the margins of society.
Is there anything else you wish to share?
Though mental acuity, experience, and knowledge of medicine are all important aspects of the PA profession that we should strive to embody, my experience at Augsburg, throughout clinical rotations, at Nice Healthcare, and working with those with disabilities in the past have taught me that within a successful practitioner is the passion and the desire to serve another – to unveil their beauty, make known their worth, and recognize each person’s importance. We as practitioners are invited into a vulnerable and privileged position to, at times, hear a humble cry for communion that reveals to us something that is shared by all of humanity; each person is broken, each person is wounded, and each person is poor. The communal understanding that we are enough, in spite of and because of our imperfections, gives a sense of freedom to an individual and allows that person to tap into the well of tenderness hidden within. It is my hope that we can continue to embrace this freedom ourselves and better enable those around us to do the same.