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Scholarship Spotlight: Alne-Swensen Scholarship

The Augsburg PA Program is proud to recognize four winners of this year’s Alne-Swensen Scholarship! Shamso Jama, Class of 2022, and Ethan Dekam, Emma Delaney, and Kelsey Reineke, Class of 2023 all won awards. The scholarship fund was established in 1992 to encourage promising health care students and to honor the memory of Trine Swensen.

Shamso Jama, Class of 2022, was born in Somalia but emigrated to the US as a child.  She received her BA in Biology from the University of MN and has made significant research contributions focused on mental health and substance abuse with a goal of improving outcomes for vulnerable populations.

I intend to continue pursuing research interests that focus on improving outcomes for vulnerable populations. The award of this scholarship will ensure that I expand my research interests in the future and promote evidence-based interventions for underserved communities.”


Ethan Dekam, Class of 2023, received his BA in Biology with a minor in Psychology from St John’s University.  Ethan credits his drive to be successful in PA school to a passion for lifelong learning and selfless service that he learned from his family. Ethan hopes to honor the memory of his father through his determination to give back to the community as a PA.

“PA school can be overwhelming at times so it is important for me to keep my sights set on my “why” for going to PA school when things get difficult.”


Emma Delaney, Class of 2023, earned her BA in Biology with a minor in Theology from University of St Thomas and worked as a CNA prior to starting PA school. She is excited to begin the clinical phase of the program and have an impact on her patients.

“Building patient relationships was so special to me. I feel as a PA I will still be able to make those close connections while being able to do more procedural medicine which really interests me.”


Kelsey Reineke, Class of 2023, has a BS in Respiratory Therapy from North Dakota State University and worked as a respiratory therapist and Children’s Hospital Minnesota prior to starting PA school. She has a passion for patient education and says as a respiratory therapist she found the greatest reward for herself and for patients and their families was through education.

“I believe I made a difference in many lives by presenting information that was concise, effective, and understandable to a wide variety of education levels… I want to bring my passion for education to the community where I will work and help people live their best and healthiest lives.”

The Augsburg PA Program is proud of all of these students’ accomplishments.  They exemplify the program’s mission to educate empathic, community-minded, and forward-thinking health care leaders to practice in primary care with a focus on underserved, underrepresented, and marginalized communities.  Congratulations to them all.

Scholarship Spotlight: Dahlberg and Peterson Family Award

Nguyen “Rosie” VuCongratulations to Nguyen “Rosie” Vu, Class of 2022, for winning the Dahlberg and Peterson Family Scholarship! The families established this scholarship to support a student in their final years of the Physician Assistant program, with special consideration given to students who plan to work with multicultural populations.

Rosie is originally from Vietnam where she earned her Doctor of Medicine degree. After moving to the US with her parents, she worked as a medical scribe before entering the PA Program.  Rosie hopes to continue to fulfill her mission to serve multicultural communities and to contribute to the diversity of our country.

“I understand that medical providers must understand how each patient’s sociocultural background affects their health maintenance behaviors and medical outcomes. In addition, medical providers should not assume that all patients could obtain, process, and understand the basic health information needed to make appropriate health decisions or to follow treatment plans, especially for minority communities.”

We are proud to have Rosie in our 2022 cohort, and appreciate the Dahlberg and Peterson families for offering this award to help support her studies.

Scholarship Spotlight: Dr. Kristofer and Mrs. Bertha E. Hagen Scholarship

 Ronald ToledoWe wish to congratulate Ronald Toledo, Class of 2023, for being awarded the Dr. Kristofer and Mrs. Bertha E. Hagen Scholarship! This award was established to support students who plan to volunteer or practice in medically underserved communities throughout the world and within the United States.

Ronald was born and raised in Cuba where he experienced the lack of access and resources to meet basic healthcare needs.  He moved to the US nine years ago for better opportunities for his family.  Ronald is dedicated to giving back to Hispanic and other underserved communities as a PA.

“There is a significant healthcare gap in access to healthcare, leading to poor health outcomes for the Hispanic population. I aspire to be an advocate for future patients from underserved populations to ensure they receive the healthcare they need and deserve, ultimately being a PA that contributes to decreasing long-standing gaps for social determinants of health.”

Ronald embodies the mission of the Augsburg PA Program so we are proud to award him this scholarship.

Augsburg PA Program Director Receives Honor From AAPA

Vanessa Bester EdD, PA-CVanessa Bester, EdD. PA-C has been recognized as a Distinguished Fellow of the American Academy of PAs (AAPA). Dr. Bester is the program director for Augsburg University PA Program and has been a PA for 19 years. Vanessa earned this national recognition due to her outstanding contributions to patient care and the PA profession. 

 

After graduating from the University of Florida’s PA Program, Vanessa began her career as a National Health Service Corps scholar, working in HIV primary care and infectious diseases.  Her life and career have led her to practice in pulmonary, critical care, emergency medicine, cardiology, military medicine in Germany (as a civilian provider), and most recently, back to community health care in the Cedar-Riverside neighborhood of Minneapolis. Vanessa completed her doctorate in education in 2019 from Northeastern University. 

 

Vanessa advocates for Minnesota PAs as a Director-at-Large for the Minnesota Academy of PAs and its Diversity, Equity and Inclusion committee.  She is also actively involved at the national level with Justice, Equity, Diversity, and Inclusion work serving on the PA Education Association’s Diversity and Inclusion Mission Advancement Commission, and has been awarded several research grants and a fellowship to further diversity in the PA profession. Above all, Vanessa is dedicated to furthering the mission of the Augsburg PA Program: to educate empathic, community-minded, and forward-thinking health care leaders to practice in primary care with a focus on underserved, underrepresented, and marginalized communities.

 

The Distinguished Fellow program was established by AAPA in 2007 to recognize the exceptional contributions of PAs to the profession through professional achievement, leadership, professional interaction, learning, and community service. After acceptance into the program, Distinguished Fellows continue to contribute to the work of AAPA and the PA profession. This distinction is earned by less than 2% of the entire AAPA membership.  

 

About AAPA

 

AAPA is the national membership organization for all PAs. PAs are medical professionals who diagnose illness, develop and manage treatment plans, prescribe medications, and often serve as a patient’s principal healthcare provider. Learn more about the profession at aapa.org and engage through FacebookLinkedInInstagram, and Twitter. 

Preceptor Spotlight

JEREMIAH LYNCH, PA-C

Jeremiah Lynch PA-C
Jeremiah Lynch, PA-C

 

Jeremiah Lynch, PA-C currently practices Family Medicine at North Memorial Health Clinic.Jeremiah has been very involved with Augsburg PA Program. He has participated as a preceptor in educating the next generation of PA’s. We thank him for his continued preceptorship in educating our students.For our preceptor spotlight, we asked Jeremiah to tell us a little about himself, his work as a PA, and about his time in the Augsburg PA Program.

Journey in Medicine

I graduated from the Augsburg PA program in December 2015, and I immediately started working in family medicine for a small independent practice. It was a great way to start out, and I was given a lot of time and flexibility to develop my abilities. Our practice was purchased by a large health system, but I’ve stayed in the same position for the last 6 years. During this time I spent some time with occupational medicine, but predominantly provided primary care. Our patients tend to be older with many immigrants. I also work for the Minnesota Army National Guard as a PA and have deployed to staff a clinic in the desert.

Augsburg PA Program

Augsburg’s PA program had a very good attitude about how to treat their students.  Once you were part of the program, they did everything they could to help you and enhance your abilities.  Although I do not know exactly what their selection criteria were, they constructed classes with a variety of different backgrounds from different parts of medicine, different age groups, and different life experiences. This allowed us to learn from each other in a powerful way. Everyone I graduated with was an intellectually curious and thoughtful person.

 

Choosing to Precept

I was interested in becoming a preceptor at my job to give students the best experience they can get before graduating.  I had many instructors and preceptors who were very generous in sharing their time with me to make me a better PA.  I would simply like to continue that tradition. However, I learn so much from the students who come through here that the benefit to my practice is noticeable. I have improved some of my documentation and operating procedures based on my experience with students.
In my job I have been a preceptor for almost exclusively Augsburg students and I have always been impressed with how much medical knowledge they have and how ready they are to use it.

 

Advice for Those Considering a Career in Medicine

Any advice I could give about careers in medicine might already be out of date as things change so rapidly. All I can say is that the job I chose gave me great experience and made me love going to work in the morning. I looked for a position based mostly on my belief that it would continue to educate me, and that management was interested in developing their providers.

 

Alternate Paths

It’s hard to imagine working in any other career, as I’ve been a phlebotomist, morgue attendant, and clinical lab scientist before becoming a PA. However, I do fantasize about an alternate timeline where I wrote role-playing games in the 1990s.

 

Hobbies

Outside of work I enjoy playing board, video, and role-playing games. I like hiking, camping, and some fishing.

We hope you enjoy our preceptor articles. We are always looking for preceptors and mentors to assist our future PA’s in their education.

Precept!

Clinical instructors are a key ingredient in educating the next generation of PAs. The clinical training of PA students follows the medical student training, including the “see one, do one” approach for clinical procedures. PA clinical education includes core rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, women’s health, general surgery, and emergency medicine. We are also open to specialty rotations as each student is able to complete an elective. If you would like to participate in the clinical education of PA students, please fill out the form.

Mentor!

Augsburg PA is excited to launch a mentoring program matching community PAs with second year PA students! Second-year students have transitioned from their didactic year into clinical education. There are multiple reasons why a student may be interested in having a mentor: networking with the professional community, tips on transitioning into their first job, learning more about a specific field, etc. If you are willing to share your experience and knowledge with a second year student, please complete the Become a PA Mentor form. The program will work to match you with a student. Once matched, the mentor and mentee will set their schedule. Please know that if you are not placed with a student right-away, we will keep you on our list for the following cohorts.

Preceptor Spotlight

DR. DAVID ANDERSON MD, D/ABSM

Photo of Dr. David Anderson
Dr. David Anderson, MD

 

Dr. David Anderson, MD, D/ABSM currently practices outpatient pulmonary and sleep medicine at the Great Falls Clinic in Great Falls, Montana.

Dr. Anderson has been a huge support to our Augsburg PA Program. He has participated as a preceptor in educating the next generation of PA’s. We appreciate all he does for our program. For our first preceptor spotlight, we asked Dr. Anderson to tell us a little about himself, his practice, and how he became involved in the Augsburg PA Program.

Why Augsburg?

I chose to attend Augsburg college graduating from Braham High School in 1962 because Augsburg provided a strong science academic program that would prepare me for medical school but also because of a balanced curriculum that would enhance me for living a balanced life as a good citizen in our country. Attending Augsburg college majoring in chemistry and minoring in biology provided a good background to later study medicine. I also participated in the men’s choir and as such in an oratorio

“Christus Nuc “which emphasized the blend of science and religion with words written by Dr. John Holum. Professor of organic chemistry. This blend of science and spirituality continues to be a priority of Augsburg University. Blending science and spirituality has helped me as a physician understand treating the whole persons ‘quality of life issues and ethical issues providing appropriate support as well as end-of-life care for my patients.

Medical School, Medicine, and Love of the Outdoors

I later attended University of Minnesota Medical School and did one of the last rotating internships at Hennepin County General Hospital since I was unsure what I wanted to do. I then served 2 years at the PHS Indian Health Service in Rapid City, South Dakota which was a TB referral center for 7 state area for patients with complicated TB and a busy outpatient clinic in Rapid City. During this time, I also participated in providing emergency care for victims of the Rapid City flood. These experiences helped me decide

David Anderson, Augsburg Class of 1966 yearbook photo
David Anderson, Augsburg Class of 1966

to pursue an interest in pulmonology medicine as well as a better understanding of Native American people in our country.

At the Mayo Clinic, Rochester, Minnesota I continued to develop my interest in pulmonary medicine. I also continued to enjoy outdoor activities such as weeklong canoe trips in the BWCA and Quantico Provincial Park in Ontario Canada. On one such trip with another Mayo Clinic fellow I learned to make pies in a reflector oven and thereafter a reflector oven was an important equipment item to take with. Fellow canoeists traveling with me would know which canoe I was in as because of flour on the bottom of the canoe since this was an excellent place to make pie crusts. While at the Mayo Clinic I did yearly winter camping trips in Yellowstone Park with friends from Minnesota and Washington State.

Practicing Medicine in Montana

When it came time to choose a place to practice Montana and Wyoming were first choices. Having grown up on a small dairy farm in East Central Minnesota. Great Falls which is an agricultural referral center and is ideally located for recreation appeared to be an ideal location to practice. Meeting several Mayo trained physicians in Great Falls I chose Great Falls as the place to practice and I have been there since leaving the Mayo Clinic.

In Montana I have enjoyed winter and summer camping whitewater canoeing in the spring, horse camping, and raising organic grass finished beef on a ranch near the Little Belt Mountains.

Pulmonary and Sleep Medicine

My practice is now outpatient pulmonary and sleep medicine. I do Illumisite navigational bronchoscopy to biopsy peripheral lung lesions, ebus bronchoscopy, to biopsy central lymph nodes and thermoplasty to treat sever persistent asthma. Due to the shortage of pulmonary and sleep physicians I hold an outreach clinic in Helena, Montana every 2 weeks, and also do Zoom conferences with sleep patients from Kalispell and Bozeman.

A large part of my practice is also sleep medicine. Pulmonology and sleep medicine like all of medicine has become more specialized and therefore protocols are set up to treat entities such as idiopathic and connective disease associated pulmonary fibrosis, severe persistent asthma, pulmonary hypertension, and complex sleep medicine issues.

The PA Profession and Preceptorship

The need for a physician assistant to help provide more comprehensive health care continues to grow and therefore I am delighted to participate in the Augsburg University PA program. I believe Augsburg’s tradition of training well rounded students will ensure that healthcare providers will provide compassionate and scientifically based care for patients. Montana is a very rural state and physician assistants significantly improve delivery of healthcare in the state. Although most physician assistants practice general medicine, I believe there is an important role for patient assistants to assist with specialized care such as I try to provide in pulmonology and sleep medicine. I believe the future of good quality health care depends upon well trained health care practitioners providing specialized and patient oriented healthcare. I am happy to share my knowledge with Augsburg PA students.


We hope you enjoy our preceptor articles. We are always looking for preceptors and mentors to assist our future PA’s in their education.

Precept!

Clinical instructors are a key ingredient in educating the next generation of PAs. The clinical training of PA students follows the medical student training, including the “see one, do one” approach for clinical procedures. PA clinical education includes core rotations in family medicine, internal medicine, pediatrics, behavioral health, women’s health, general surgery, and emergency medicine. We are also open to specialty rotations as each student is able to complete an elective. If you would like to participate in the clinical education of PA students, please fill out the form.

Mentor!

Augsburg PA is excited to launch a mentoring program matching community PAs with second year PA students! Second-year students have transitioned from their didactic year into clinical education. There are multiple reasons why a student may be interested in having a mentor: networking with the professional community, tips on transitioning into their first job, learning more about a specific field, etc. If you are willing to share your experience and knowledge with a second year student, please complete the Become a PA Mentor form. The program will work to match you with a student. Once matched, the mentor and mentee will set their schedule. Please know that if you are not placed with a student right-away, we will keep you on our list for the following cohorts.

AUGSBURG ALUMNI Spotlight

LYN ZURAKOWSKI, PA-C

Lyn Zurakowski photo, Augsburg PA Alum 2020 and PA-C
LYN ZURAKOWSKI, PA-C

We complete our alumni spotlight series profiling the class of 2020, by speaking with Lyn Zurakowski, PA-C.

Lyn Zurakowski, PA-C is a 2020 graduate of the PA Augsburg program. She currently works in a hospital where she practices hospital and critical medicine in Wisconsin. Lyn took the time to discuss her work as a PA, and offers some fantastic tips for PA students.

What type of setting do you work in?

I practice in Chippewa Falls, and Eau Claire, Wisconsin which serves a rural population.

Why did you decide to choose your area of medicine?

I practice hospital and critical care medicine. These environments allow me to care for patients with a wide array of medical conditions, which I find fascinating. Both of these areas are also very challenging, in that these patients are acutely ill. Because I care for patients with such a wide array of medical conditions, I am constantly learning and being challenged professionally. Additionally, hospital medicine is very collaborative; I really enjoy getting to work closely with my colleagues within the hospital medicine team as well as the other specialists/consultants. 

What was the biggest transition between PA school to your first job?

When you are in PA school, faculty often says that the volume of information and learning curve “is like drinking out of a fire hydrant”. I have joked with my fellow new graduate physician assistant colleagues, that being a new graduate physician assistant is like “climbing up a waterfall”. The volume of new information and learning curve doesn’t end on graduation day. Additionally, the mindset from thinking of yourself as a “student” to “provider” is also a challenge. In part, because there is now a lot of responsibility bestowed upon you, but also because there are feelings of imposter syndrome. 

What was a major challenge in your first year?

I started practicing in March 2021, during the COVID-19 pandemic, which has posed many challenges. Treating COVID-19 wasn’t something I had learned about in didactics because it wasn’t around at that time. Learning how to manage this patient population and continuing to keep up with the latest and everchanging evidence and guidelines has been an ongoing task. 

Coming up on your first-year anniversary, what are areas you feel more comfortable in now compared to when you started?

When graduation was nearing, I felt terrified in being starkly aware of how much I still didn’t know within the world of medicine. However, now I have embraced the fact that I will never know everything because that would be an unrealistic expectation to have of myself. Acknowledging that it is always ok to ask questions and knowing who/what my resources are have substantially increased my comfort level in practicing medicine. 

What tips do you have for students on applying and interviewing for their first job?

An interview is as much about you interviewing your potential future employer as it is about them interviewing you. Just as you should come prepared for what questions the interviewer might as you, you also need to come prepared with questions to ask. As a new graduate physician assistant, questions that I find important to ask include: What type of support will I be given? What does the onboarding process look like? 

Additionally, do your research and have a knowledge base regarding the organization you might be working for and the specific position you have applied for. Be able to speak to why that organization’s mission statement aligns with your own beliefs and goals. Most importantly, be genuine. 

What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?

In my spare time, I enjoy doing things that help me to feel relaxed and balanced in my life. Spending time with my husband, family, friends, and dog Gracie is very important to me. I also enjoy biking, kayaking, hiking, and reading. 

Do you have a favorite Augsburg PA memory you wish to share?

My time at Augsburg University was a very memorable one! I enjoyed being able to form many connections with fellow students, faculty, and preceptors. My clinical preceptor for my first clinical rotation was a physician assistant who was also an Augsburg alumna and a former registered nurse, like myself. Having those things in common, allowed for us to quickly form a connection. This preceptor helped me to build confidence in myself during my first clinical rotation and allowed me to struggle at times, knowing it would only make me stronger in the end. She pushed me when I needed to be pushed, but also reassured me and provided support.  She became an informal mentor to me and is someone who I still remain in contact with today. 

If you were not a PA, what career could you see yourself doing?

If not a physician assistant, I would want to be an astronaut! I have always found space and aeronautics very interesting. I really enjoyed reading the article published by the AAPA titled “Reaching New Heights: From Cancer Survivor to Becoming the First PA in Space” authored by Paulette Bleam, MBA. I can only dream of being a PA in space someday. 

Is there anything else you wish to share?

Set big goals for yourself. At the end of the day it is mind over matter, if you think you can’t, you won’t. Believe in yourself and surround yourself with others who also support your goals and dreams. Allow yourself to be vulnerable and try new things, both as a student and practicing physician assistant. 


 

Augsburg Alumni Spotlight

We continue this week with our profile of Alumni from the Augsburg PA class of 2020.

Bo LaFountaine PA in a medical office
Bo LaFountaine, PA-C

BO LAFOUNTAINE, PA-C

This week we have interviewed Bo LaFountaine, PA-C.

Bo is a 2020 graduate of the Augsburg PA program. She works in the Twin Cities area where she is currently in transition from Pain and Addiction Medicine to Emergency Medicine. 

We asked her a few questions about her continued involvement with Augsburg, working as a PA, and her time at Augsburg. 

What attracted you to Augsburg, and keeps you connected with the University?

Augsburg was one of the most competitive PA programs with very high pass rates on its boards, and I knew the education provided through Augsburg’s PA program would equip me well for life as a practicing PA. I had an incredible experience; my cohort was very close and I made some of my closest life-long friends through this program. Many Augsburg Alumni taught and mentored me and continuing to give back to the student community allows me to pay it forward for the future PAs. 

What type of setting do you work in?

I currently work in the Twin Cities, and am amidst a transition from Pain and Addiction Medicine to Emergency Medicine at two large Hospitals in the Cities–it is my dream job!

Why did you decide to choose your area of medicine?

From a young age I knew I wanted to be in medicine, helping as many people as I possibly can. Emergency medicine allows us to prevent further illness and injury and even the unique ability to save lives. I thrive in a fast paced and chaotic environment; however, I value a team-oriented approach to patient centered care. I have been fortunate enough to find a team that shares my values and is invested in my growth and development.

What was a major challenge in your first year?

COVID! An unprecedented time for everyone, particularly those in healthcare. Everyone was adjusting and the steep learning curve transitioning from a student to a practicing PA was incredibly humbling. But, that’s why we pursue medicine, to remain humble and continue learning. 

What tips do you have for students on applying and interviewing for their first job?

Money does not equal happiness. As a new grad, finding a team that you are comfortable approaching with questions and concerns is of the utmost importance. This allows for you to continue learning, avoid harmful mistakes, and shape your practice. Remain confident in yourself and your training, but also remain humble. 

What activities do you enjoy in your spare time?

I enjoy spending time with family and friends, traveling (Pre-COVID my goal was to hit 30 countries by 30 years old), eating wonderful food, and knitting–during PA school I knitted ~200 hats! 

Do you have a favorite Augsburg PA memory you wish to share?

The people. The class of 2020 was a great cohort. We LOVED having potlucks, gathering and taking a respite from the chaos–together. We were a group that supported each other and cheered at each other successes. The academic phase of PA school was intense, and what I remember most are the friends that I made and all of the countless hours we spent together studying.

Is there anything else you wish to share?

For those applying to PA school, do not be discouraged! it only takes ONE school to say yes. Be authentically you, and the right school will choose you.

 

Augsburg Alumni Spotlight

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 and his wife Glory.

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.

PA GRADUATE FELLOWSHIP ANNOUNCEMENT

With the support of Augsburg University’s Equity and Inclusion Initiatives, Augsburg PA program is proud to announce our 3 PA Graduate Fellows for 2021-2022! 

Miranda La Croix, Augsburg PA Student, Augsburg PA Fellow
Miranda LaCroix, Class of 2021

They are Miranda LaCroix, Merari Morales Rosales, and Brandon Young, Class of 2021. 

Merari Morales Rosales, Augsburg PA Student, Augsburg PA Fellow
Merari Morales Rosales, Class of 2021

The fellowship is an opportunity for recently graduated, diversity-minded PAs to grow their leadership and teaching skills in a hands-on classroom setting during the time between graduation and clinical practice.  The Graduate Fellow will be supported financially to work with the PA program to become mentors and role models to current PA students and PA faculty, reaffirming and growing our culture of equity, inclusion and diversity. 

We are very excited to have Miranda, Merari, and Brandon as our Augsburg PA graduate fellows for 2021-2022! We look forward to supporting their fellowship endeavors.

Brandon Young, Augsburg PA Student, Augsburg PA Fellow
Brandon Young, Class of 2021