Radhika Parikh: Her Passion for Multidisciplinary Learning
February 19, 2014 —
Radhika Parikh is a junior in the Accelerated Physician Assistant Program at the College of Nursing and Health Professions. She is also pursuing a minor in business from the LeBow College of Business. In this interview, Parikh gives insight into the benefits of completing a minor at Drexel, and how it has helped her become a well-rounded student.
Chartings: What are you currently studying at Drexel?
Radhika Parikh: I am a third year student in the Accelerated Physician Assistant Program, but I am also working towards my minor in general business. I am in my last year of the undergraduate portion of the program. A couple of weeks ago, I finished interviewing for Physician Assistant graduate school with some of the faculty members like Dr. Patrick Auth here at The College of Nursing and Health Professions.
Chartings: Did you enter Drexel with a minor or did you add it later on?
RP: When I first entered freshman year, I was enrolled in the Accelerated Physician Assistant program with no minor. I was exclusively working toward getting through my program. As I began to see what Drexel was all about, I started thinking about different ways I could get the most out of my education. A common theme I saw from conversations with faculty and other students was the uniqueness of interdisciplinary work. I saw students who were learning in two completely different areas of study during college, and they seemed like they were more knowledgeable and well-rounded. Students with a minor were taking an even wider array of courses and that sparked my interest. Drexel offers so many different minors, so I knew I had a lot to choose from. In the beginning of my sophomore year, I added a minor in business administration to my plan.
Chartings: How did the Accelerated Physician Assistant Program prepare you to take on a minor?
RP: We come into a quarter system school which teaches us time management through efficient ten-week terms. Off the bat, Drexel forces you to plan ahead to fulfill tasks. The quick terms prepare any Drexel student to balance and prioritize multiple responsibilities, which is something that sets Drexel students apart from others. I felt as though freshman year prepared me to ultimately take on additional courses.
The PA Program is definitely rigorous I dove into science courses my first term. I also wanted to study something outside of my love for science and clinical medicine, so I ended up searching for minors. The options that are available are abundant. There are so many possibilities that you are sure to find one that you have a passion for learning about. Furthermore, my advisor was always available to guide me, which made the whole process smooth. Drexel may be a big school, but it feels small enough that you feel as if you can work with other colleges within the University as well.
Chartings: What is it like to be a student within two different colleges?
RP: Adding a minor was one of the best decisions I made so far. Personally, I think education is all about knowing as much about different fields as possible in addition to the field that you primarily hope to work in one day. I have benefitted from having friends in both the College of Nursing and Health Professions who are extremely healthcare-oriented as well as friends in business who have a passion for leadership and business operations. I have had the best of both worlds by being a part of both environments.
I have access to numerous College of Nursing and Health Professions student organizations as well as business organizations, which has been extremely helpful in broadening my horizons. When I graduate, I will feel as if my knowledge base has grown to its potential, and I will have a better understanding of how the world works. I am glad Drexel made the process of learning different things as stress-free as possible.
Chartings: How do you think a business minor will help you as a Physician Assistant?
RP: Every field has a business aspect to it, and the healthcare system is no different. In healthcare, you can either work as a clinician who provides direct care to patients or behind the scenes as a manager who directs the business operations side. Adding a minor in business in addition to learning about direct patient care just seemed like the right fit for me. I feel as though when I become a PA, I will know the whole picture of the healthcare system. Most college students graduate with their degree, but they do not know how jobs require several skill-sets. Learning clinical medicine is only half of the whole picture of healthcare. My minor helped me with the other half.
Chartings: What advice would you give to students who are interested in pursuing a minor in addition to their program requirements?
RP: First, I think adding a minor just so you can have it on your resume is not a good idea. If you are a student who has a wide range of passions and wants to learn as much as possible, then adding a minor makes sense. I had a passion for both medicine and business, so I added a minor to get the most out of my experience here at Drexel. Search online for Drexel minors, and you are sure to find one that you love. Work with your advisors. Your advisors are really great, and want to help you and see you succeed. If you have questions they are just an email away! Lastly, know that Drexel allows you to do multidisciplinary work. Find out what other colleges are doing and get involved. Drexel wants to see you as a well-rounded student!