FTG 0016 - All Things Physician Assistant with PA Jessica Schwartz ‘10

ABOUT THIS EPISODE

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.

Guest Bio:

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.

Episode Specifics:

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

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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.

Greeting scholars and welcome to following the Gong, a podcast of the Shuire Honors College at Penn State. Following the gone takes you inside conversations with our scholar alumni to hear their story so you can gain career in life advice and it spanned your professional network. You can hear the true bread of how stollar alumni have gone on to shape the world after they rind the gone and graduated with honors, and learn from their experiences so you can use their insights in your own journey. This show is proudly sponsored by the Scholar Alumni Society, a constituent group of the Penn State Alumni Association. I'm your host, Shawan Doheen, class of two thousand and eleven and college staff member. If this is your first time joining us, welcome. If you're a regular listener, welcome back Jessica Schwartz as an assistant professor at the Sales University in Center Valley, Pennsylvania, as well as a certified physician assistant at Lee High Valley Hospital in Allantown, Pennsylvania. At the sales she teaches graduate students in the physician assistant program at Lee High Valley Hospital. She works as a physician assistant in hospital medicine. sharned a bachelor of science and Nutritional Studies and a minor in Kinesiology with honors from Penn State's College of Health and Human Development in two thousand and ten. She earned her master of Science and Physician Assistant Studies from to Sales University in two thousand and twelve. In this episode, just 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 pen state network and other resources along the way. She also talks about succeeding as a scholar, despite not being excited about the honors thesis, and moving past preconceived notion of what it means to conduct scientific research, tips for connecting with faculty and Finding Research Opportunities and ultimately presenting and publishing that research after ringing the Gong, of course, finding time to get involved outside of the classroom and lab, including thon and, of course, all things physician assistant. The program search and emissions process, how past will programs work in the classroom in in the clinic, what a PA actually is and how it's different from other healthcare roles. The team orientation of healthcare, in patient and outpatient experiences, developing bedside manners a PA and the importance of empathy, the upsides and draw acts of choosing PA as your path and healthcare, the value of a nutrition degree in the field, working as a practitioner and an instructor, professional development and lifelong learning and work life balances at PA, the value of family and hobbies and moving past perfectionism. With that, let's dive into our conversation with Jess following the Gong. Jess, great to see you. It's been a while. I'm very excited that you are here on following the Gong. For those of you listening, I go back a little bit with Jess. She is married to one of my best friend Ns, who was one of my roommates in Undergrad, so I'm very excited to have her here on the show. Little bit more calm than running all around the Rose Bowl stadium after the game, so we can sit here and talk all things physician assistant. So, Jess, thank you for joining me looking forward to our chat today. Why don't we just trying to go back to the beginning and share how you first got to Penn State and the Shrire Honors College, well before you met Joey and got connected with me? Great. Well, thank you, Sean. I'm excited to be here. And yes, we did not meet at Penn State. I didn't mean my husband at Penn state either. So it's a big place, but but it was. It was great. So, as far as how how I got to Penn State, I had admit that when I was starting to look at colleges, I didn't have Penn State on my list. I'm sure you get a lot of guests who are like I grew up in a penn state household. I knew from the time I was born that I was going to Penn State. I admit that I didn't plan to go...

...to Penn State when I was looking at colleges. I looked at a bunch of small liberal arts schools. Penn state just seemed way too big for me at the time. However, back I believe it was my junior year of high school, one of my friends took me to a Penn State football game and that was my first introduction to penn state and when I got there I loved the campus. I think all of us can agree that Penn State's campus is beautiful full. And then I went to the football game and certainly, despite not being a college football fan at the time, there's something about the atmosphere there and just seeing the passion and the excitement that all the students have, I just I became intrigued. So I went home and, like a studious little high school junior, I looked on their website and started to do a little bit of research and tried to figure out if this would be something I would be interested in. I I admit that I wasn't sure that I would handle a large institution well. I didn't know how rigorous the academics where at Penn State. But after I started looking at it, you know, I became really interested in the fact that there were so many, so many majors that you could choose from, so many classes that you could take. You know, when I opened, this might sound really nerdy, but I opened the course catalog on their website and I was like loolight, all of these classes, these are all so interesting and comparing it to some of the smaller schools I was looking at. They didn't offer those types of things there. So that was the original thing that sparked my interest. However, I still was worried about the size of the university, so I started to look a little more and I found the Honors College at that point and it kind of it hit all of the things that I was worried about about Penn state, you know, the larger campus, the the kind of getting to know your professor's more having that small school feel, and so I went out on a whim and applied, still not knowing that I would go to Penn State. It was almost kind of a well, I'll apply and we'll see what happens, and then ultimately got in and decided to go there. You're not the first person to have a story like that here, which I think speaks to people find the honors college and while hundred and seven thousand, a hundred eleven thousand strong is great when you're cheering on the nitty lions against the Buckeyes or the Wolverines, it's not exactly the environment you necessarily want in a classroom setting, and that's something that the Honors College provides. Now, when you were filled out your questionnaire, I saw that you kind of had skipped around a couple of different majors and we're feeling your way around. Can you walk us through that process? Of you mentioned that there's a lot of opportunities here academically that you may not get at a smaller school, while in the Honors College still get the feel and resources and community of that small school. So how did you kind of navigate that process and ultimately settled on? If you're in the episode of script and you'll see jess has a degree in nutrition. So how did you kind of start, weave your way through and ultimately settle on that specific major? Yeah, that's that's a good question. And I started off like a lot of students do. I thought I wanted to go into the medical field, which naturally led me to a biology degree, and I took my freshman year classes in biology. They were okay, I liked them, but it didn't feel like the right fit for me. So once again I opened up the course catalog and and started to look at what the different majors were that we're out there, what classes you had to take for them. I have a little bit of an identity crisis probably my freshman year and actually jumped into a business degree with accounting for a semester, which is very different. Again, liked it, but it wasn't quite the right fit for me and really tried to find a major that had the science background that I really loved while still being something more practical, more human based. I knew I would like. I said, I knew I wanted to go into the medical field. I didn't know what specifically, but I wanted something that was going to offer me the sciences while also offering some more of that very...

...practical handson type information. And that's when I landed on the College of Health and Human Development, and they have a lot of different majors in there that were very, very interesting to me. I kind of I started taking a few of their basic intro classes in both kinesiology and nutrition and and some of those courses and just I fell in love with my nutrition two hundred and fifty one course, which is the the intro to nutrition, and knew that that field was going to be I at least knew I was going to enjoy it. While I was at Penn State. What I was going to do afterwards was still to be determined, but I figured it would open a lot of doors and that's how I ended up there. Well, let's tease up the next question I have for you perfectly. So you kind of started, you know, if you felt your way around, you found your way into nutrition, then you have to figure out what do you do with the nutrition degree, and imagined there's a lot of opportunities. I'm not terribly familiar with it, but there's a lot of cool things that you can do with it and I think your experience speech to the value of trying to find where your skills and your passion lie in that mix so that you can find something to do with your your career. What are the steps that you took to ultimately discover that you wanted to become a physician assistant? Yeah, I definitely started the degree with a very, very general idea of what I was interested in. I am also one of those people that when I went to college, I I didn't go to college just to study some things and kind of come out of there with no real plan. I was very I'm going to college to get a degree, to get a career, and so that was a really important thing for me to figure out pretty early on, once I determined what major I wanted to do. So I did a lot of different things. I use the Internet to do some researching. I try to find lots of people in various fields in the medical community, physicians, physician assistants, physical therapists, Dietitians, and tried to talk to a lot of different people about what they do, what they like, what they don't like. You know, it goes along with the idea that that Penn state luckily has a very large network of people and a lot of people who are very excited to help Penn staters learn a little bit more about what they do. So I really tried to use those resources. I went to the career center a lot. You know, this is a small plug for the Career Center on campus. It is amazing. I was there a lot. I don't I think they'd probably knew me by name when I walked in, which is saying something in a college that's is biggest penn state. But you know, I always say you paid for it, so use it, and they helped me a ton. We did lots of different inventories and discussions and all thing. All those things they helped me to connect with various people in various professions. So that's really where I started. I just started talking to people and then beyond that, once I had a little bit of an idea of what I was interested and I started to try to find shadowing opportunities. So if I shadowed some folks through Mount Knitney Medical Center, I shadowed a bunch of people on campus. You know there is a university health system, a university health center there, so I shadowed the physical therapist there and the medical providers and the Dietitian and that's kind of where I started and then ultimately decided, probably around my junior year, that I wanted to pursue the the physician assistant profession, or also known as the PA profession. So if you hear me call it pay as we go along. That's that's what I'm talking about, not not the state of Pennsylvania. I know as I was prepping for our episode here today, I kept being papa. It's like kind of funny, given that you know this is Penn State. Where in Pennsylvania? And obviously it's great to hear you plug the career services because I think I plugged that in just about every episode. So it's great somebody else is doing it for me. And so if you're like Sean, I listened to every episode, you're always talking about this. Well, you just heard just share how helpful it was for her, and that's just one career services. As a shrior scholar, you have Lisa Kritchinski and if you're out a commo campus, you have resources there. You have stuff in your major or your college that you're in. So plenty of great resource is around your campus for you to take advantage of.

Now you found your way to pay school, but I want to take a quick detour on that journey because obviously, as a sure scholar, you had to write an honors thesis and I'm curious about your thesis process and how that maybe Ted you up for further study in a pay program. Yes, so I'm going to be the first. I'm going to be the first to say that I actually didn't want to write a thesis. I dreaded the thesis. I it almost made me not apply to the honors college initially when I was, you know, going into Undergrad. So I will be very open in honest because I'm sure there are plenty of people who are listening who are maybe interested in the Honors College, but the word thesis or the idea of doing research makes them want to curl up in a ball and hide. And that was me. So and I made it out alive and unscathed it actually really enjoy the experience. So you know, I never wanted to do research. It wasn't my thing. As I said, I wanted to do clinical work. I didn't want to be in a lab and when I thought of a thesis, especially in the Sciences, I thought of sitting in a lab wearing a whitecoat and goggles and looking at a microscope all day and not talking to a single human being. And there are probably some some areas like that, and that's that's great if that's what you're into, but it wasn't for me. So when I came depends date and I was looking for a thesis, I really tried to find something that was not like that, that was a little bit more human interaction, more clinical, more practical type research. I started looking probably around the beginning of my sophomore year. I started to look up some various faculty. I kept my mind open so I didn't just limit it to biology or or once I was a nutrition I didn't just limit it to nutrition, you know. I looked at all of the colleges and the College of Health and human developments. I looked at kinnesiology and biobehavioral health and and even, I think, some health policy administration and and so I tried to find different professors and what they were doing, what their studies worse, if anything, interested in me. I was lucky. I found a kinesiology professor who was doing some research that I thought sounded interesting. It sounded very, very practical. They had human subjects, which was like step number one for me, is I didn't want to be dealing with animals or molecules or again looking under a microscope all day long. So I was very intrigued by that and so I really I reached out to the professor via email. I said, Hey, I'm a shrier scholar, which is kind of like one foot in the door already when you're looking for research, and I said I was interested in her her research. I was thinking of doing a thesis and would like to to to pursue that and look into that more. But I made sure not to just say hey, I just want to work with you so that I can write a thesis. And I think that's important, is that when you're pursuing these things, you need to start out with hey, I want to learn from you and work with you and get involved, because that's what they like to do. They like to bring students in and have them collaborate with them, not just come in, write their thesis and leave. So when I first started in her lab I really just helped in the lab. We didn't even use the word thesis for probably a good, a good year. I started as a sophomore. I just went in a couple days a week, volunteered in the lab, you know, helped with their studies. I worked with the Grad students in their lab. We did we did Journal club once a week and so I was invited to come to that. So I would go to that and so that's really where I started. I just started by being in the lab and then around junior year, probably partway through the fallow my junior year, we started to toss around some ideas of a thesis. I started to do some literature review and really not until kind of the spring of my junior year did I really start to get into doing my own research. Is kind of taking some of the stuff that we...

...had already been doing in the lab for those time, that time I was in there, and then turning it into my own research, study and thesis. And then I worked there all summer between my junior and senior year, and really my senior year was spent kind of solidifying my information and and writing my thesis, while at the same time still helping with everything else, because I think that that's, you know, the the lab isn't there for you to write a thesis. The lab is there to do the research that is already being done. You're just an extra thing that is helping out the yeah, that's kind of how I got to where I where I was, and and I really I ended up I ended up loving it. So, despite not wanting to do it and dreading it, I ended up it was probably my favorite thing I did in my undergrad experience. And I'm looking at what you shared on the questionnaire and it seems like it didn't quite stop at Undergrad. It looks like you had some additional opportunities that it presented. Yeah, so I wrote my thesis and after I was done with it, you know, I wrote it, I got the signatures, I rang the Gong, which was probably like the highlight of my whole college career. I have pay I remember that day being probably the happiest day of my life, at least at that point. I guess there were probably some happier days afterwards. I did get married and have children, but at the moment that seemed like it was the happiest day of my life and and probably is still one of the top ones. Anyway. So after after I rang the Gong, I finished my thesis and my thesis advisor said, Hey, we got some good in front, we got some good results from this. Are you interested in presenting this information at a conference? And of course I was twenty two years old did not feel like I was qualified to presented a conference at all at that point, but we ended up submitting it to the American College Sports Medicine Conference that summer and I was able to actually do a poster presentation. So I got to make a poster, I got to stand by it at a conference where, at the time I assumed a very big wigs were walking around looking at posters asking questions, and so that was a really cool experience. And then, even beyond that, I ended up getting to have that work published. I got to work with some of the Grad students. We collaborated and actually got it published in a journal, which is a really cool thing that I can have on my resume, something I never thought I would do, especially at such a young age. So I was actually working on publishing it while I was in PA school, which was a little bit stressful, but definitely a really cool thing that I can talk about now. And you started off dreading the whole process and now you have a really cool story to talk about and I'm glad that you enjoyed ringing the gone, which is obviously the namesake for the podcast here, so appreciate you bringing that up now before we go to Paschool. One more thing I want to talk about. Obviously, in your household, I know, though, on is a very important part of both your story and your husband's, and that's actually how I got to know him, was because of thon and how you got your come friends. So can you tell us about the things that you did outside of your academics while you were here at University Park? Yeah, so I am. I was involved with thon. That was one of my favorite things I did at Penn State. Besides the thesis. I think I said my thesis was my favorite. This this was a close maybe this one might be the thesis. I'm not sure, but I was involved with the Shire Honors College Fond Team for all four years when I was at Penn State. I was really excited to join thon when I got out there and I wanted to find a team to be a part of and luckily at that time the honors college had a team and from what I understand they have a team now still so, but I knew I wanted to be I wanted to be involved in that organization in some way. So I joined my freshman year. I was a I was a moraller at the time. I they they called them dancer relations, I believe now. So I was I was a a dancer relations person. I'm not sure why. I'm not sure what you call I was a moral or...

...at the time and I was on the team for the Shar Honors College and then I became the I danced for the team actually in both a two thousand and eight and two thousand and ten. I was a weird one that danced twice. We had a very small team at the time. But we were strong and mighty. So we actually had for dancers at the time and and so I got to dance twice. I also was a family relations chair for our Honors College team, so I helped facilitate discussion and setting up events with our family that we that we supported, and then I also was the share for the team one year as well. So I have found a bunch of different ways to be involved with the Honors College team and it was awesome. I loved Bawn. As you said, my husband is very involved with on now, both at Penn state and and now as well. So we still have a pretty strong connection with on and and I've been up a couple times. I helped out one year with the Hope Express, which currently is not as it was back then, but they helped as a moraler for the hope express, which is an event for alumni who would run from Hershey up to state college the the night before thon started. So even as an alumni, I found some ways to be to be involved and it was definitely a great experience and I highly recommend it to anyone. And I believe the dance merithdown alumni interest group is actually bringing something like the hope its press back through hope from coast to coast. So you can still be involved with on and many other parts of Penn state as an alum. So if you're listening as a current scholar, there are great ways to stay connected with us after you graduate. When you graduate now, just I have to imagine that being involved in though on and doing the family relations stuff in particular, was probably good practice for becoming a physician assistant. This is really where I want to dive into your career here for those listening who are like, yes, we're finally going to get to this part. So becoming a physician assistant or PA requires an advanced degree. Now seems like at the time Penn State did not have a program so you had to look elsewhere. Can you talk about that search process and what opportunities are out there and how just everything about actually like going to PA school that you can think would be helpful for a scholar who might be interested in a similar path? Certainly it is. It is a little bit overwhelming at first. So my first suggestion is always to start looking early. Even if you're not sure if what you want to do, start to do some research. There are a lot of PA schools around the country. Pennsylvania actually has a lot of PA schools. Funny enough. There's a lot of PA schools and PA actually some of the most schools are in kind of the PA New York area. So I would say the best place to start, if if you are interested, start early. Go to there is a website. It's CASPA seas. PA is actually the central application for phosition assistant school so if you actually go to their website they have a list of all of the participating schools and I would say the majority of PA schools are through this central application. So if you go there you can actually feel a list of all the schools that are our physit have position assistant programs and then start to think about maybe which ones you might be interested in. So that might be based on location. That's probably a really common thing that people consider. Some people want to stay very local. Some people are like, get me the heck out of Pennsylvania. been here long enough. I want to go somewhere in the in the west, and so try to narrow that down and then look at those schools and look at their look at their websites. So the big thing about PA schools is they all have a little bit different requirements for what you need to do to get in. So most of them are going to require a bachelor's degree at at least, and luckily that bachelors could degree...

...can be in anything. So you know certainly your biologies, your chemistries, your nutrition, all that type of stuff. Those are really common fields that people get their bachelor's degree in, but you don't have to. You could be a psychology major and applied to pay school. You could be an art history major and applied to PA school. So it doesn't really matter what your bachelors is in. You just have to have a that bachelor's degree and then from there you need to see what the prerequisite classes are. So, although I say you can get a bachelor's degree in anything, there are going to be a handful of courses that you will need to take prior to getting into PA school, and so those are going to be your typical science courses for the most part. But the requirements do vary a little bit between schools. So most of them are all going to require your basic biologies and chemistries and anatomies and physiologies, but some might require biochemistry, some might require microbiology. Some might require psychology, so I might require physics. So it's a little bit different between schools and you're going to want to make sure that you know what those requirements are ahead of time so that you can make sure you take those courses. And that might be you take those courses while you're getting your bachelor's degree, or it might be you take them as kind of some post baccalaureate courses after you graduated. Find out what courses are required, find out what other requirements they have. So most of the schools require things like the the gre, which is basically the sats that you take when you want to go to Grad School. It's very similar. So you may need to take the GIRE's. Many schools have some type of our requirement as far as experience is concerned, so a lot of schools may say that they require something like five hundred hours of healthcare experience prior to getting into the program so that might be shadowing. That might be working as a EMT and emergency medicine technician, that might be volunteering at a hospital, working as a scribe, working as a pharmacy tech. There's a bunch of different ways you can achieve those hours of experience, but most schools have some type of requirement, so you want to check on what that is, and some of them are high requirements. So some of them might require a thousand hours of experience and you may not get that prior to graduating from Undergrad. You may need to take a year to after Undergrad to get some experience prior to applying. So you just want to look at that and see what what you need and if you have that. And then the other thing I say is consider, consider the basic details about the program look at what look at what their core schedule is like you do. How do they teach their their their their didactic portion, their classroom portion? What classes are you taking? How is it organized? Most PA programs are are typically about twenty four months or two years, but there are some programs that are set up to be three years and you get a summer off somewhere. So thinking about all those things is really helpful. And make a chart, you know, write it down. Do it early so you can start to get what you need to get. That's usually the first thing I would say. If you want to visit the schools, that is another option. If you are if it's something that's easy to do. I would say if it's a school that's very far away and you're going to have to fly there to visit, I mean it's up to you, but I would say it's probably not the most important thing to do at that moment. If you get an interview there, you may be able to travel and see the university at that time. And in all honesty, when you're in PA school you're really usually and maybe one or two classrooms, you're in class from eight until five every day. You're not really getting involved in a lot of campus life outside of things the way you would an Undergrad. So you know, knowing what the university what the campus looks like, is great, but probably not the most important thing when you're considering a PA program compared to like when you're looking at Undergrad and those are very important things that you're going to look at. That's great and, I think, really good insight. Jess. So you go through school, you come out of physician assistant, but the million dollar question I have is what actually is a physician assistant? How is it different from a physician, a surgeon, a nurse, a DIETITIAN IN...

EMT? All these other roles in the medical community? What makes this specific and unique career path? Yeah, so they're there are a lot of a lot of jobs, a lot of careers in medicine, and I always start this conversation or this answer with every single one of them. Is really important and healthcare is a very team based environment and know one job is more valuable or more important than another one. You know that emt who brings someone in on the ambulance to the emergency room, who is greeted by a nurse and has their intake done, who then is seen by a physician and then see by a radiology tech, who does our x Ray, all those things. If one of those people weren't involved, everything would nothing would work. So I say that no matter what field you end up being interested in, they're all very important. That being said, a physician assistant is probably most similar to a physician. If you're trying to find what job that everyone knows about is most similar to a PA, I would say a physician. So hence hence the name physician assistant. Basically, a physician assistant is taught in what we call the medical model, so very similar to med school. So if you know about med school. Med School is typically four years. You do two years of in classroom work and then two years of clinical rotation, so you're out learning on the job in the field. Pa School is very similar. Acceptance in two years. So we do one year of classroom intensive education, like I said, at am to five pm every day, multiple exams. You basically learn all of medicine in twelve months. After that you do twelve months of clinical rotations where you're out in various fields, basically again learning on the job, except that you're not getting paid. It's not a job. You're still you're still paying your tuition, you're paying to go to work, basically, and then and then after that, when you graduate after two years as a PA, you you take a certification exam and then you become a physician assistant as essentially a certified physician assistant, and then you can go work. That's a huge difference between peas and physicians. So one thing is with as a physician, you have to go to med school, graduate and then you have to do a residency where you go into medicine or surgery or Obgin and you do a three, five six year residency where you are a physician. You're being paid, but you're still learning. You're kind of a you're still in training as a PA. Once you graduate, you go and you get a job and that's all you need to do as far as getting getting into your career. So physician assistants act just like physicians. We see patients, we take histories, do physical exams, order tests, we make diagnosis and then we prescribe treatments. So we can prescribe medications, we can we can work in every field of medicine. Essentially, there are peas and all fields of medicine, even surgery, for example. So some people may not know, but there are pas that work in surgery. You are not the primary surgeon, but pays act as assistants. They may help with doing stitching, opening and closing patients, holding cameras, harvesting veins. They actually are a very vital role in in surgery as well. So you really can work in any field. One of the big differences is you are working under the supervision of a physician, and I say that with air quotes. You can't see me here doing that, but you are supervised by a physician, but that doesn't mean that you have a physician, you know, coming into the room with you and literally looking over your shoulder. It just means that there is somebody there that you can go to if needed. So PAC patients on their own, but let's say I saw a patient and I had a question about them or I needed to touch base with the physician, I had...

...somebody there that I could go to. Generally the only requirement is they have to be available by phone. They don't even need to be in the same building as you as the same time. So it's kind of a cool field and that you get to really do a lot of the same things, but you're still working in that that team model, and I love that you don't have to go into a residency to pick a certain field. I can. I can go to a different field at any point if I want to, and I get on the job training right there. That's really interesting. I just learned a lot and I hope you listening did too. I know when we go to our family physician that we have there's the physician and a physician assistant. We see the same to the doctor and the physician assistant each time, so we're kind of like that's our our people there and they seem like they're great team, so I think that's really cool. Seems like that can really help add to the the quality of the care there. I'm curious from knowing that my experience with pay's are from an outpatient perspective, but I know you work in a hospital setting. So are there any differences between those to for a PA? Yes, so I've worked it in patient my whole career. I did some outpatient experiences as a student, but I have been impatient my whole entire career as a PA and it is different, certainly in patient settings. Typically patients a lot of times they're more ill, depending on the situation. You know, you might work in something I don't know, like Orthopedic Surgery and you do a knee replacement on a fairly healthy patient and then you round on them in the hospital. But for the most part most patients in the hospital tend to be more sick, and one of the big things about someone being in the hospital versus outpatient is in the hospital you really focus on what they're there for. In the hospital right you're focusing on that acute issue and you have to pay attention to all of their other health conditions and make sure there's nothing interacting with what you're treating them for in the hospital, but you may not necessarily be managing their chronic conditions as intensely as someone who's an outpatient provider would. So if I'm seeing someone in the hospital for pneumonia, what I'm focusing on is getting there, getting them feeling better from their pneumonia, treating that pneumonia, not necessarily making sure all of their diabetes medicines are exactly what they should be on. is an outpatient and so there's there's a difference there. I think the other big difference is in an outpatient setting you are given a schedule of patients for that day, right. So when you go to the doctor you have a time that you're supposed to be they're supposed to be the at one thirty PM. That's your appointment slot. In the hospital there are no appointment slots. So I'm given a list of the patients that need to be seen for the day and they're there. You know that there don't have an appointment time. They're they're waiting for me to come to them. So I can plan my schedule a little bit differently. I might look at my list in triage patients a little more and say these patients are more ill, so I need to see them earlier on, or this patient's being discharged today, so I should see them earlier. So that's kind of a nice thing, is that you have a little more flexibility from that standpoint and you know you can spend different amounts of time with different patients. Some patients may need an hour and a half they're really sick. There's a lot of complicated things going on, where maybe another patient is is pretty straightforward and quick and only needs to see you for ten minutes. So that's one big difference. They're usually in patient. You have a lot more resources available to you much more quickly. So as an outpatient, if you needed an MRI of your need, you have to get that ordered. You have to go to an MRI center, they're going to do the image, it's going to get sent back to your provider, whereas in the hospital, if I think someone needs an MRI, I just order them an MRI and it's just down the hall, so they can usually get it done much more quickly. So I think there are more resources, which is good, because these people tend to be more sick and need things a little more acutely. So I think those are some of the big the big differences, I would say. But yeah, I've loved working in patient. Unfortunately, I don't necessarily get to know people as well as maybe an outpatient like a family practice provider might,...

...who see somebody every six months for twenty years. I usually see people for a few days, hopefully only a few days, and then we discharge them in and my goal is to not see them again. I don't want them coming back to the hospital. I'm gonna through your curveball here kind of in that same thing. So you talked about your goal is you don't want to see them again. How do you go about working with people if they're coming into the hospital and, with the exception of like maybe a scheduled chemo treatment or a scheduled, like you said, a knee replacement something like that, they're probably at a very low point in their life. Maybe they just broke their leg, they got pneumonia or covid or a myriad of other things that can put you in an emergency room or and I see you. How do you develop your bedside manner as a PA to help people in an impatient setting when they're at kind of a really low point in their life. I think that's a really good point to make in something I try to teach students as well and try to remember myself. I always have to remind myself of that as well. We all lead stressful lives and sometimes if you're having a bad day as a provider your you have to remember that the patients you're seeing you're probably having a worst day than you. Most people, again in the hospital are not feeling well. They're at their lowest point sometimes. Sometimes they're scared, sometimes they're hurting, and so for me I always try to put myself in those shoes. You know, I've been blest to have fairly good health my whole life, but I try to remember that this is they might be scared and if they get angry, if they are not easy to work with, it's really just their situation right then. So I always just tell people just imagine her in their shoes or imagine it was a family member. Sometimes that's a little easier for folks and imagining it's them themselves. So I say imagine, especially some of the younger PA students that come in. You know, imagine this was your grandmother, how would you want her to be treated as a family member? How would you want to be treated if you're a family member was in the hospital? And I think that helps people a lot is just to kind of put themselves in there in their shoes, and sometimes you just need to take a few minute break, a few minutes of a break, and kind of reset your mindset, to maybe go get a cup of coffee and and take a few minutes and kind of reset your own mindset. But that's usually the way I go about it. So it sounds like a lot of it boils down to empathy and respect as really key values that you need to have in this profession. Like many others, what would you say are some of the pros if a student wants to go into medicine, like you did, but they're not sure if do they want to be a physician? Do they want to pursue nursing, do they want to become an emt? What do you think are the pros of being a physician assistant specifically, and what are some of maybe the drawbacks? Yeah, I think if for as far as the pros I mentioned a little bit earlier to that a lot one of the greatest things about being a pas the flexibility. So again, if you're going to be a physician, you're going to need to have a residency, potentially even a fellowship after that, in order to go into a certain specialty. So you imagine you take all this time, do the residency, the fellowship and then you become board certified in that field. That's the field you're going to work in, probably for the rest of your career, unless you want to start all over again and go to another residency. So you know, as a position, you might do an internal medicine residency and then a cardiology fellowship and you're going to be a cardiologist now, like that is your field. As a PA, I graduate with my master's degree and I can go into any field I want. So maybe when I started out, maybe I was young, I didn't have a family, I was really Gung Ho and motivated and willing to work six thousand and seventy hour work weeds, working on weekends and holidays, and so I went into cardiothoracic surgery and I loved it, but then I had a I got married, I had a kid and that wasn't what I wanted to do. Anymore. I could easily transition into family practice or Obgyn or whatever field it is, and I don't have to do anything except apply for that job and be hired. So there's a lot of flexibility in that if you're one of those types of people but isn't sure you want to work specifically in this one field for the rest of your career. So I think that's a huge draw for a...

...lot of people. There are, I will put a caveat out there. There are some fellowships for PAS now, especially in things like emergency medicine and critical care. So if you want to go into one of those specialized fields, there are some yearlong fellowships that you can do as a PA, but they're not required. So that's kind of one of the cool things there. There's also a lot of different types of jobs for pace. So some people want to work full time with call and weekend, some people only want to maybe work part time because of whatever their life situation is, and there's opportunities for that. So those are some of the big pros. Certainly for me as a practical person, one big pro to being a PA was that I didn't have as much debt, so I got my Undergrad degree at Penn State and then I have a master's degree and that is the end of my higher education. I Love School. I would have loved to go to school forever, but my wallet probably wouldn't have loved to go to school forever. That is a nice thing is I have that level of debt compared to someone maybe who needed to go to much longer schooling as a physician, the other some of the other pros. Again, if you like teamwork, it's a very team based field. So, as an impatient hospitalist PA, a lot of times the communication that goes on between specialties, if I'm calling a cardiologist or a patient in the hospital, it's usually the PA calling the PA. A lot of times the physicians are kind of doing what they need to do, but it's the PAS who are acting, is the boots on the ground per se and and doing the communicating, whether it's with the patients or with other specialists. There's kind of a tight knit bond that PAS have with other pays. So I really like that. And then as far as is cons I it depends on what you want to do. So, comparing it again to a physician, if you want to be the the primary surgeon or you want to maybe be the one who's delivering the babies or all these things, that kind of be the top person. Then you might not feel satisfied as a pea because you are always working underneath a physician. There are some slight limitations in what you can do. So I think that is one big thing to consider. And then comparing it to maybe something like nursing. If you really like to be at the bedside with patients and really spending a lot of time with them, it's probably you know, something like nursing might be something you're interested in. They're usually have a smaller amount of patients that they're in charge of for their whole shift. So a lot of nurses work twelve hour shifts in the hospital. You will be given a couple patients and you are with them all day. You're checking in with them, you're administering treatments and medicines, and so that's you really spend a lot of time with the patients. You're really kind of their eyes and their ears and that type of thing. So if that's something you really like, more of that kind of caring type model, then something like nursing may be interesting. To you if you're interested in doing more kind of administrative type stuff later in your career. There might be a little more opportunity if you go into nursing compared to pay. So these are just all things to consider and I would just really recommend talking to people who work in all of those fields and finding out what do you like about your job and what don't you like? Those are great questions to usually ask people, yes, even in a formal job interview to I think those are great questions to ask. Just you kind of alluded to this little bit earlier, but you'd start with biology. Settled on nutrition either. Are Great Options for going into medicine. What specifically about nutrition did you find helpful? That is, that separated itself from other majors that you use as a PA? Yeah, I think nutrition was a great major to go into. Once again, no offense to the biologists in the room, but I didn't really enjoy learning about things like photosynthesis or or plants or anything like that, and so nutrition kind of skips that part and really is all about human physiology nutrition. When I did my nutrition degree, I had a lot of courses that were very medicine based, so I had some of the biochemistry of nutrients, which was very interesting to me. But then I had a course about nutrition...

...throughout the life cycle, so learning about what types of nutritional things were important in infants verses, in young adults versus geriatrics, and those are the things, especially if you work in primary care, that you're going to need to talk to your patients about. I had a disease, Diet and disease course, I think was the name of it, and that was really all about different types of chronic diseases and what what impact diet can have on them. Again, something that I wouldn't have probably learned much about in biology and it was really great for me to go into PA school with that background already and be able to bring that knowledge with me. And again, nutrition had a lot of the prerequisites that I needed to get covered organic chemistry, biochemistry and, believe it or not, nutrition was a very challenging degree. You know, it's not just all about if you eat vegetables and fruit you're healthy. You know that there's a little of that nutrition, interern a nutrition, but kind of beyond that there's a lot of science, a lot of intensive scientific concepts. That really taught me how to study, and part of Undergrad is learning how to how to study. You know, I think of things like organic chemistry. Honestly, I don't remember a lot of the exact things I learned in organic chemistry, but what I learned was how to study a really challenging topic. And so those are other skills that I brought with me and I think it suited me very well in Paschool. And I know some other folks who have gone to pay school with nutrition degrees, and they all sent tend to say the same thing. So in addition to being a PA, you also teach PA's. Now what drew you to becoming both the practitioner and the instructor? So I said earlier, if I could go to school forever, I would, and so of being an educator kind of allows me to do that in a way, just in a different in a different area or in a different way. But they I loved teaching when I was a practitioner. So, as I said, when you're a pastudent you have to do clinical rotations, and so as a practicing PA, I would work with students when they are on their clinical rotations all the time and it was one of my favorite things to do. Unfortunately, when you're teaching clinically, not only are you teaching, you're also taking care of your patients, and so there's only so much educating you get to do in that in that setting, and so I wanted to be able to do more and once and I knew that I loved my time in PA school and I didn't mind going back to it. Some people say that they have nightmares about being in PA school and would never want to go anywhere back to that setting again, but I did not. I actually really enjoyed it. So being able to go back and help students who were in the spot that I was in at this point, now, I guess ten years ago, was really intriguing to me. And when a job opened up in academia, I at my alma mater that I went to for PA school, I was thrilled and applied and was able to get in, and now I get to teach first year P students and and mentor them and help them kind of along their path to becoming a PA. And so if you're doing both at the same time, how do you balance the clinical work of actually being a practitioner and being in the classroom as an instructor. I really lucky because it's pretty much built into my my schedule. I'm very fortunate that I work at an institution that allows one day a week for its faculty to work clinically. So I work at the I teach four days a week and then every Friday I have off for me to be able to work clinically. So I still work actually at the job that I started in clinically when I graduated from Paschool and I work there every Friday and it's an inpatient job, so they are open on weekends and holidays and all that stuff. So I am able to pick up some weekend shift here and there if needed, so that it's kind of built like I said, it's built into my my schedule and I love it because it helps me be a better teacher. So as one of the reasons why we are all given the opportunity to...

...work clinically. If you all you're doing is standing in front of a classroom, you you lose a little bit of your street cred that way and it really helps me to be a better teacher and teaching helps me be a better clinician on honestly too. So I it's a little bit easy for me to be able to balance both and makes me really love and cherish both parts of my job. So, speaking of that street cred earlier you mentioned that you don't have to get any further degrees as a pea, but typically in things like law and medicine and some other and education, you have to continue your education through just kind of like classes and continuing education programs. Is that something that you have to do for professional development as a PA? Yes, you do, so firstly, first of all, when you graduate with your your master's degree, you have to take a certifying exam. So it's a national exam. You have to pass this exam in order to become certified, in order to become a licensed PA and work clinically after that. Right now, the requirement is that you take that exam again every ten years, so you have to be recertifying. The other thing is that we are required to get continuing education hours. So as a PA, you are required to get a hundred hours of continuing education every two years, and there's a lot of ways that you can get that. One of the most common ways is through various conferences. So there is a national conference every year that has multiple speakers that you can go listen to. There are usually state conference is. There are conferences for certain specialties. You know a lot of people, especially early on in their careers, when they are they don't have children in life responsibilities, like to go to conferences in very nice, warm places and the usually have a beach nearby, so you can go to your conference for the day and then go to the beach in the evening. But there are there's a lot of different ways that you can get them. Some people there are journal articles that you can read, courses you can take. Hospitals a lot of times will have some classes at they'll offer that. You can get education hours with that, but really the requirement is a hundred hours every two years. Some people need to be certified. So, for example, I need to be certified in advanced cardiac life support, or acls. I have to re certify for that every two years as well. So there's a lot of different things that you need to do to keep yourself learning it and medicine, just like many other fields, is constantly evolving and so you really do need to have an interest in continuing to learn for the rest of your career. You never will know it all and once you know something, in a year two it's going to be outdated. If you don't like to learn and don't like to keep learning, then medicine might not be the field for you. I think that's some very good direct advice and I think that applies to a couple other industries as well where things constantly change. Now, Jes as we're sitting here recording, you are on parent to leave. Congratulations. Thank you. What is it like being on you know, being a parent on top of all of these professional commitments, getting that hundred hours every two years, Re certifying the things? How do you balance all of that? Yes, so I am. I am currently on parntal leave right now. I have a five week old and then I also have a three year old at home. So I would say the biggest thing, and this is not just with children and being a parent, this is with anything in life, any kind of life responsibilities, whether it's other family members or even just hobbies that you like to do, you need to have that kind of that work life balance, trying to make sure that you you leave your job at your job, and medicine is stressful. You see some things that are really sad or really scarier. All those things and sometimes you just have to be able to tell almos have like a switch to be able to turn it off when you're around, when you're at home, and that might be a different various outlets for different people. That might be again, hobbies, therapy, whatever. It is something to turn that off. And then I think the other big thing is know what's important to you outside of your job and prioritize it. So if your family is important, you have to make time for them and sometimes that means...

...having boundaries. Sometimes it means choosing a career or a job that isn't going to keep you away for for seventy hours a week at certain points in your life. I know for me personally, as a as a professor, as someone who teaches, it's like being in school. So I could probably work seven if I wanted to. I could be there's always something to great, there's always a lesson to be developed, but I really try to make sure that when I'm at home with my family that that's what I'm I'm there for. So I don't, I try not to bring a lot of work home and if I do bring it home, I try to do it after the kids go to bed. You know, I really try to make sure when I'm with my family that I'm focused on them and I think if you make that a priority, that's that's what it will be. It will be a priority and sometimes that means again looking for a career that's going to allow you to make that a priority. I like that you talked about kind of family hobbies, those things outside work and leaving work at work. One of the fun things that both you and I do as a hobby, thanks to your husband, is fantasy football. He's been our commissioner for years and I don't particularly ever have a chance of winning. I'm terrible at it, but that is one thing I do to, you know, find community, and just does as well. So that's always, you know, an interesting angle to do and it, you know, there's some friendly trash talk and we kind of watch the Games together and have a group text and it's a whole thing during Penn state football season. So what example one of those hobbies? Now I went around the corner into the last kind of segment of our chat here today. Just what would you say, in reflecting back your biggest success to date? It's when you when you set me this question. I I struggled a bit because I always find it really hard to define what does success mean? I don't have an emmy or some kind of crazy thing that I've ever really done. I'm pretty I can serve myself pretty normal person. But you know, I think it depends on the time. If you would have asked me a couple of years ago, I would have said wow, graduated writing a thesis right when I said that ringing the Gong was the happiest day of my life at the moment, that probably would have been my biggest success, with writing at thesis and ringing that Gong afterwards. And then I went to pay school and feeling like when I graduated PA school, that was the big biggest success. I will tell you PA school is very rigorous and very challenging it and it's probably one of the biggest successes I've had is making it through the program and graduating. But you know, now that I'm years older and wiser and have a few more wrinkles on my face, I would say really just having my kids and helping to raise them and hopefully making them good human beings. They are still young, so I can't confirm or deny if they will end up being good human beings or not. The five week gold does sleep a couple hours a day, which, if this point in life, that is that is success. That might be my biggest success with my kids. Slept for four hours last night in general, I think right now in my current stage of life raising my kids. So I don't know that I would say I have one success. I think it's just various life stages and this was the most successful thing at that moment. That it's a great take on that. And as somebody with a toddler those first couple weeks, oh my gosh, if you can get them to sleep for any amount of time, that is that is an accomplishment on a daily basis. Kind of on the flip side though, that question, I'd love to know what was your kind of learning moment. I don't want to call it a failure, but what's a moment where you stepped back and we're like wow, I need to try to reevaluate something. You know, I think for me it actually happened while I was at Penn State. Like many other students who are probably looking at the honors college or who have recently gotten into the Honors College, I was a fairly type A perfectionist. I hate to use were perfectionist, but I was a pretty I was a perfectionist back in high school and then I went to college and started that way and almost had I guess you'd call it...

...burnout. Maybe. I know that's a pretty big buzz word these days, but I just I had a moment, I want to say it was probably around sophomore year, probably when I was having that identity crisis where I didn't know what I wanted to be when I grew up in all those types of things, where I stopped and realized that you don't have to be perfect in order to be successful. Again, kind of using that that word. And when I looked back again and I maybe my college experience, was I going to remember that I got a's on every exam? Probably not. I mean I didn't get as on every exam, but I wanted to have I wanted to take it a little more. How many peop are laid back? I guess that's probably the best way to describe it. I didn't want to be trying to be a perfectionist all the time. It was tiring, it wasn't enjoyable, it wasn't making me feel like a good like a good person, and so I still worked hard. I'm not going to say that I sat there and just gave up on everything, but I found that you could have more balance in your life. It wasn't all about getting straight A's. I don't have control over everything in the world, and so just kind of finding that ability to be more laid back and taking things as they come and learning from them, no matter what they are, whether they are successes are failures, and honestly, I've stayed that way since and it is way healthier and makes me a much better person and probably makes me a much better parent too. It's probably good I figured that out before having children, because it wouldn't have gone very well if if I was still trying to have control over everything. So I would say for a lot of you, I'm sure that there are many people listening who feel that way, and you can still work hard and be the best you can be without trying to control everything, especially if there's a toddler involved. That is true. There's no controlling that chaos. Now, Jes, your teacher, so this may come a little bit more naturally to you. How do you approach being both a mentor to your students and or others, and also how do you approach being a mentee from others who are more seasoned PAS than yourself? Yes, so actually being a mentor was one of the one of the big things that drew me to the academic setting. I love being able to share my wisdom with other other students and not to say that I know everything, but it just from my experiences working in the field and just life experiences in the in the short time that I've been around. I really love being able to be honest with students as a mentor. I think that's an important thing. If you are going to be a mentor to someone is you have to be honest with them, both the good, the positive and the negative, and just honest about your experiences. I think is a mentee. I I love also being mentor. I love being a mentee. You know, even when I started as a professor there were lots of folks there that have been working there longer than I had and going into education as as a PA. I don't have an education degree. I have a degree as a pam medicine degree, so I don't have a lot of education background. So having folks there to be able to teach me how to educate people, how to make lectures, how to grade things, how to approach advising students. I really valued that. And it doesn't have to be something formal. It can be very informal. I think just making sure that there's always open lines of communication. How how to communicate if you are going to be a mentee, having questions that you can come with and ask them and not being afraid to ask things that feel like stupid questions. They always say there's no stupid question and generally there are not stupid questions. Generally, generally there's but once in a great while there could be maybe a less informed question, but no stupid questions. Now, are there any professor's friends, classmates that you would like to give a shout out to from your days on campus? Yeah, I guess I would. I would shout out my thesis advisor. I never really actually went into much detail about what my thesis was, but I did work with Dr Nancy Williams. She's a kinesiology professor. She was the one who really encourage me again to not just have...

...a thesis and just write something so that I could bring the Gong, but really kind of make it a meaningful experience and I really felt like, at least in her lab, we were not undergrads, Grad Students, professors, we were just one big team who all had a role to play, and that was really cool to me that, as a sophomore, I was a valuable member of of the lab and of that team. So I guess the shout out to her and her her lab, which works with exercising female athletes and looks at they're their nutrition and excess the theology and reproductive function and bone health and all those types of things which you know. Again, I really I loved it. We kept in touch for quite a while. She was she was a great mentor to me and really helped encourage me to to make the most of my experience great. I'm sure that came in great use as a PA. And even if you decide that being a PA going into medicines not for you, think a valuable thing I've taken out of our conversation today, Jes, other than getting to know you better, is team work, and so there are very few jobs in life that you can truly do just by yourself. Being a good team player is vital to learn those skills. So start start working on those, which leads me into my next question, which is there any piece of advice that you wanted to leave off on for any scholars that are listening today? Yes, so, I mean just again to reiterate, if you are terrified of the these is, find something you like to do and you will actually be able to enjoy something that may not sound enjoyable to you. That's not really a vice, that's just kind of my takeaway message. But as far as advice, I would say two things. First of all, find ways to be involved at Penn State. So yes, the honors college does make it a smaller campus, but it is still a big campus, even if you are in the honors program. However, there are plenty of ways to make it small. Find something you enjoy doing, some activity you like to be in, and get involved with it, and you can kind of shop around a little bit as you're when you're starting out. But don't wait, you know, as a freshman, go to the those to get involved fair or whatever. When I was a student there, find out what opportunities are out there to be in different clubs and organizations and get involved in them. And then secondly, just make sure to use all the resources that are available to you, and I alluded to this a little bit earlier in the podcast. You know, use the Career Center, use the gym's use the use the health center. You know, if you're struggling emotionally, there's there's usually resources for you on campus. There it and generally, I say, for most of the stuff you've you've already paid for it. College isn't cheap. We that's not a secret, and so being able to use the things that you've really honestly paid for is why you go to the university, go to the career fair, go to the Grad School Fair, go to office hours for your professor if you need to. And no one's going to come to you to do all this stuff. No one's going to kind of come to your dorm and knock on your door and tell you, hey, you should go do this. Maybe if you have a really good friend they'll do that for you, but most of the time you've got to do it yourself. And so do it and it's a really great honestly, it's a great way to learn how to be an adult. You know, you learn how to do things for yourself and that's what you have to do in the real world. So to do it great advice to wrap up there on Jes if a scholar is interested in becoming a PA and they want to reach out to you and learn more and continue this conversation, how can they connect with you? I don't I don't have a linkedin or a or an instagram. I'm I'm I'm a millennial, quote and quote, but I feel like I have no millennial things like that. So certainly you know, if you you can find me on the sales website, to sales as the pay program I work at. My information is there if you need to. So certainly that's probably the easiest way. But I would say you don't have to just reach out to me. You can find anyone who's working in the fields you're interested in and just just talk to them. Most people...

...are going to be thrilled that you're asking them to give them some advice. Most most people like to talk about what they do, especially if there are a pain stater and you are a pin stater, and is evidenced by I don't know what episode number of the podcast this is, but our alumni love to share this with you. So just some points of evidence right there for just as point. Now I'm gonna really ask you a very, very hard hitting question here, Jess. If you were a flavor of Berkie creamery ice cream, which would you be? And, most importantly, as a stroller ALUMNA, why would you be that flavor? Tough question. My favorite flavor is alumni swirl, though I don't think that's the flavor I would be. It's just the one I would want to eat. However, probably the flavor I would be, I'd probably say PSU coffee break, and the only reason I say that is because there is nothing better in life than a good cup of coffee and a break. So a hot cup of coffee. Now I'm generally usually microwaving my cup of coffee a few times. So if I could have a good cup of coffee or ice cream, I mean ice cream and coffee are both great things in life, so when you combine the both of them it's even better. It's all about finding the joy and finding the balance. They're very, very popular option with strollers. I don't think there's any coincidence they're given writing a thesis and probably some of those all nighters that you pulled, I pulled, we all pulled as scholars. Jess, thank you so much for joining me here today. I'm following the ground. Really appreciate all of your insights on what a physician assistant is and how to become one and how to succeed as one. So I really appreciate you coming on today. Thank you so much. Thank you, Sewan. It was great. Thank you, scholars, for listening and learning with us today. We hope you will take something with you that will contribute to how you shape the world. This show probably supports the Shryer Honors College Emergency Fund Benefiting Scholars experiencing unexpected financial hardship. You can make a difference at rays dot PSU dot eat you forward, slash sh hier. Please be sure to hit the relevance, subscribe, like or follow button on whichever platform you are engaging with us on today. You can follow the college on Facebook, twitter, instagram and Linkedin to say up to date on news, events and deadlines. If you have questions about the show or a scholar alum who'd like to join us as a guest here on following the gone, please connect with me at scholar alumni at PSU DOT edu. Until next time. Please stay well and we are.

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