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The Student Perspective

October 15, 2012

“This program felt like a good fit and the faculty was very approachable. I think they do a good job at emphasizing taking what you learned in class and translating it to the clinical experience,” said Lauren Weaver, a member of the Physician Assistant Class of 2013. Lauren will be completing the first part of her clinical experience in the Lehigh Valley area in the psychology department of an organization called Kid’s Peace. Her clinical work following Kid’s Peace will have a surgical focus and take place at Saint Luke’s. “I’m really excited to see patients and put all the puzzle pieces together. I’ll finally get to apply my knowledge,” Lauren shared. After these two rotations, Lauren will have accumulated the requisite 15 months of clinical experience she needs to graduate. Lauren also serves in the role of Vice President for the Wilbur W. Oaks Students Society. Since she was elected to the position last September, she has collaborated closely with the Student Society’s President, Scott Naples, to fundraise for the Children’s Crisis Treatment Center in Philadelphia. Their efforts have included organizing a blood drive, multiple happy hours at local watering holes, and a Lia Sophia Jewelry party.

Scott Naples, a Philadelphia native and a member of the Class of 2013, chose Drexel’s PA Program for many reasons. Coming from a family where many members served in the Army or Navy, Scott decided he wanted to have the same experience that his relatives had always spoken highly of. Upon choosing Drexel, he soon entered a rigorous application process to receive a scholarship from the Navy that would cover his tuition, include a stipend, and pay for his books each quarter. Scott was one of only three individuals who received the scholarship. “It’s been difficult for me to choose a specialty, but right now I am thinking about emergency medicine or surgery,” Scott told us. After graduation, he will have to complete three years of service in the Navy. “I’m open to working on a naval base anywhere in Europe or Asia,” he added.

“This is different than other student populations,” Professor Nina Multak said of the student body’s diversity and teamwork. “They come here from all over the country. They come here as individuals. When they come here they collaborate, they’re support systems for each other both socially and academically. They become like family to each other. Because of their personalities it perpetuates a family-like atmosphere.” Other PA Program instructors agree that the students are self-motivated, generous, and willing to help one another. “They’re encouraged to study together as a group, to test each other on the things they don’t know. Nobody in this program withholds information from their colleagues to get ahead.” Nina also said that the students are diverse and have very varied backgrounds. They range in age from mid-twenties to early fifties. Some are Physical Therapists, athletic trainers, surgical technicians and nurses, while others are teachers, graduates of foreign medical schools, or come from other types of careers. One student was born in China and two are from Kenya.