This episode is for any Scholar interested in pursing a career as a physician assistant, a career in medicine generally, or even just wants to learn what a PA is and does. Jessica Schwartz ’10 (HHD) provides an in depth look at the profession and how it both differs from and complements physicians, nurses, EMTs, and others in the medical field. She also gives an overview of what to look for in PA programs, how find the right fit, and how to succeed in PA school and in the field.
Jessica (Jess) Schwartz ‘10 HHD is an assistant professor at DeSales University in Center Valley, PA as well as a certified physician assistant at Lehigh Valley Hospital in Allentown, PA. At DeSales, she teaches graduate students in the physician assistant program. At Lehigh Valley Hospital, she works as a physician assistant in hospital medicine. She earned a Bachelor of Science in Nutritional Studies and a minor in kinesiology with honors from Penn State’s College of Health and Human Development in 2010. She earned her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies from DeSales University in 2012.
In this episode, Jess shares her insights on:
· Choosing the Honors College to find a small campus feel within a (big) Penn State
· Finding the right major after beginning the undergraduate journey
· Determining what to do with your degree to find the right career – and utilizing the Penn State network and other resources along the way
· Succeeding as a Scholar despite not being excited about the honors thesis – and moving past pre-conceived notions of what it means to conduct scientific research (and not needing a white coat, microscope, and goggles)
· Tips for connecting with faculty and finding research opportunities and ultimately presenting and publishing that research (after ringing the gong)
· Finding time to get involved outside of the classroom and lab including THON
· All things Physician Assistant:
o The program search and admissions process
o How PA school programs work in the classroom and in the clinic
o What a PA is and how it’s different from other healthcare roles
o The team orientation of healthcare
o Inpatient vs. Outpatient experiences
o Developing bedside manner as a PA and importance of empathy
o The upsides and drawbacks of choosing PA as your path in healthcare
o The value of a nutrition degree in the field
o Working as a practitioner and an instructor
o Professional development and lifelong learning
o Worklife balance as a PA, the value of family and hobbies, and moving past perfectionism
Schreyer Honors College Links:
• Upcoming Events
• Scholars – Need Assistance? Book an Appointment!
• Alumni – Learn Why and How to Volunteer
• Make a Gift to Benefit Schreyer Scholars
• Join the Penn State Alumni Association
Credits & Notes:
This content is available in text form here.
This show is hosted, produced, and edited by Sean Goheen ‘11 Lib (Schreyer).
The artwork was created by Tom Harrington, the College’s Web Developer.
The sound effect is “Chinese Gong,” accessed via SoundBible used under Creative Commons License.
The theme music is “Conquest” by Geovane Bruno, accessed via Pixabay and used under Creative Commons License.