Hey everyone! It’s Jada here! As I talked about in a previous post, I’m not only a public health major, but I’m also on the pre-physician assistant track. Today I am going to talk about how public health will give me an edge as a clinician.
First and foremost, what is a physician assistant? A physician assistant (PA) is a licensed, practicing medical provider that works under the indirect supervision of an MD. PAs can diagnose and treat patients in every medical setting and specialty, which improves healthcare access and quality. PAs are required to obtain their master’s degree in physician assistant studies, which on average is a little over a two-year program. The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts a 37% increase from 2016-2026 in this profession, which is one of the fastest growing jobs in the nation.
Where does public health fit in? In all honesty, public health could not be a better fit for me and my career goals. My goal is to be the best PA that I can be, which includes me going out of my way to make sure my patients receive the best care I can provide. In my opinion a great clinician doesn’t prescribe lots of medications, a great clinician gets their patients off of medications. To be able to do this, you have to know much more than the basics of your patients. You have to take into account where these people come from, the environment they live in, their cultural beliefs, behavioral norms, etc. Health is about much more than just what’s on the surface. In just my first four classes here in the undergraduate program, I have already begun to take into account these types of things in my possible future as a medical provider. Having a background in public health gives you an upper hand when applying to these kinds of programs because not only does it set you apart from all of the science majors, public health shows you have a 360° view when it comes to the health of a patient. Having an undergraduate degree in public health will give me a foundation in preventative health, health promotion, along with critical thinking and clinical reasoning. Not only does this degree prepare me for a future in this career, it is something I personally am passionate about. I genuinely enjoy my time being an undergrad student in this program, especially here at Iowa. There are many other nursing, pre-med, pre-dent, etc. students that are also part of the public health program here which further provides me with that small community feeling. I see it as another way to network and form those meaningful supportive relationships with my peers. I honestly do not think I could have picked a better program for my goals.
Thanks for reading!! If you have any questions regarding this post, about admissions, or public health in general, please reach out to us at: CPH-Undergrad@uiowa.edu
Catch ya next week with a new post!