Augsburg University PA Program wants to celebrate the successes of our alumni by checking back in a year after graduation. Our first alumnus is Tommie Lee James, a 2021 grad. We asked him a few questions about his experiences.
Tommie Lee James, PA-C
Emergency PA Fellowship. I chose Emergency Medicine because it just made sense to me. I wanted to practice in an area that excited me, had a variety of pathologies, and served a diverse population and vulnerable communities. Knowing that the learning curve is steep in EM I opted for a post-graduate fellowship to augment my learning and experience.
What was the biggest transition between PA school and your first job?
For me it was the transition from “What would you do?” to “What am I going to do?”. The sense of taking full ownership of my patients and having confidence in my decisions is admittedly a transition that I am still working through.
Any tips for students applying and interviewing for their first job?
Try making connections with the places that you are applying to. As much as jobs are looking at “can you do the work?”, they are more so concerned with “will this person be good to work with?”.
Any favorite memories from Augsburg’s PA Program?
The potlucks. AU PA Class of 2021 did not mess around when it came to our potlucks!
If you were not a PA, what career could you see yourself doing?
Definitely a science teacher.
What activities do you enjoy doing in your spare time?
Mostly spending time with my wife and dog. But I really enjoy traveling. Most recently Yucatan and Quintana Roo, states in Mexico.
Do you have anything else you want to share?
I would encourage students to prioritize balance and be present during their schooling. Make some time for your health, friends, and family, because time is a luxury you can never get back.