For the second year in a row, Augsburg PA is proud to share another student has received the Health Professional Scholarship Program (HPSP) from Veterans Affairs. The goal of the scholarship program is to increase the supply of PAs within the VA but also for the nation.
Brandon Cottrell served in the United States Army from 2010 to 2016 with a deployment to Afghanistan. After his six years of service, he pursued a bachelor’s degree from Augsburg. Prior to being accepted into PA school, Brandon worked as a radiology technician. Now in his second year in the Physician Assistant Studies program, he is rotating through clinical experiences.
While Brandon was working in radiology, Brandon realized that he wanted to do more; understanding that he had medical capabilities that would be useful beyond his current license. Through researching advanced positions, the PA profession seemed a good fit. Even before admission into PA school, Brandon knew about the scholarship. Several of his medical professional acquaintances had received financial assistance in exchange for service. Continue reading “2019 Health Professional Scholarship Program Recipient”
The blog has recently featured anniversary stories from alumni and we are starting a new series focusing on alumni that are living out the Augsburg PA mission of providing medical care to underserved populations. Hoshmand Las, PA-C has been practicing for 5 years since graduating from the Augsburg PA Program in 2014. He currently works for Advanced Practice Solutions, a contract staffing agency of several local correctional and government facilities including, Ramsey County’s workhouse, juvenile detention center, jail, and prison. A few times a week he also provides primary and urgent care services in North Minneapolis at NorthPoint Health and Wellness Center where the patient population is characterized as mostly refugee and immigrant.
Hoshmand knew he always wanted to pursue a career in medicine because he is fascinated with how the body functions. The PA profession was first introduced to him during high school. As he pursued an undergraduate degree at Metropolitan State University, he enrolled in core science courses to prepare for PA school. “I leaned toward the PA route because it allowed me to practice medicine but also have a work/life balance.”
There was no gap in between high school, undergraduate and graduate school for Hoshmand. He applied to ten schools during his last year at Metropolitan State University. A program in Pennsylvania accepted him but a week later he received an invitation to participate in a phone interview with Augsburg. Augsburg accepted him shortly thereafter! He was excited that his first choice extended an offer and he could stay in Minnesota.
The highlight of the didactic phase for Hoshmand was the hands-on skills workshops including casting and suturing. He recalls, “You were around a bunch of other adults, but yet we had the chance to act like kids again because we were all learning something new.” He remembers it being so interesting as it was a glimpse of his future. A challenging moment came during his first rotation where the political side of medicine was exposed. Hoshmand learned that sometimes you need to take out the umbrella in order to weather the storm. Throughout rotations, he remembered to always stay humble and really focus on the true reason he went into medicine.
After graduation, Hoshmand and two other classmates applied and were accepted at Emergency Physicians Professional Association (EPPA). EPPA was hiring new PA graduates so that they could train them in the EPPA model. Essentially, the first 7 months was a fellowship where Hoshmand worked directly under a physician and staffed every patient. Hoshmand recalls that he learned so much during his time there; “It was the best decision I could have made after graduate school because it made me more confident.” Continue reading “Hoshmand Las – Living the Mission”