Amber Richter, B.S.
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? Dr. Philip Pumerantz (President of WesternU) makes a constant effort to remind every student in all 9 programs why we chose a career in the health professions. In a recent speech he provided us with a very important concept, “When you look at a pathology slide, you are not looking at tissue, cancer cells, or a possible bacterial infection. You are looking at a mother, a father, a daughter, a son.” Here at WesternU, we focus on improving the quality and quantity of life for all humans.
Who is your favorite faculty member and why? It is difficult to name just one faculty member as my “favorite” because they have all had a positive impact on my experience here at WesternU. Professor Nancy Nielsen-Brown has provided us with the most challenging, yet most rewarding, curriculum. Her lectures are filled with the compassion for the profession and life long lessons from personal experience. Dr. Lowe has such a positive approach to his way of teaching. He fills his lectures with challenging case studies and continues to encourage us as we develop our diagnosis and treatment plan. His knowledge and passion for pharmacology makes learning this subject a pleasure. We are lucky to be preparing for our future with such a knowledgable faculty.
Breelyn Van Leeuwen, B.S.
How has your involvement in student clubs impacted you and/or the community you serve? I serve as the Vice President for our class in the Student Government Association (SGA). This has given me the opportunity to see a whole different side of WesternU. I have learned more about the many people who are working behind the scenes to make the students’ experience the best it can be. We are a very collaborative university which creates a comfortable environment for each of us. Working with other students on events like planning PA Day and attending CAPA in Palm Springs have been some of the highlights of my year. These activities have helped me keep balance and perspective in my education. I’m also an active participant in a club called Humor as Medicine (HAM) where I volunteer at a children’s hospital. As I play games, work on crafts and laugh with the young patients, I’m reminded of the humanistic aspect of my education and studies. There are 89 Clubs here at WesternU, definitely something for everyone!
Dana Goldenberg, B.S.
How has your involvement in student clubs impacted you and/or the community you serve? Being a part of the Student Government Association has enabled me to meet individuals from other programs and to learn about what is going on all around campus in the other programs. The Sports Medicine Club has also enabled me to get some hands on experience and branch out from my program even further. With Humor as Medicine I was even able to attend CHOC to play with pediatric patients and not study for a few hours! I think that no matter your interests, there are so many clubs on campus that anyone would be able to find at least one that interests them and suits their needs.
How have you seen the university’s humanistic philosophy lived out by members of the WesternU family? To begin, during orientation our professors told us to look around the room at our classmates. Rather than emphasizing the fact that some people might not make it through the rigorous program (as some graduate programs do) they told us that they want everyone to succeed and that they are going do everything in their power to help us to succeed. I really appreciated that and will never forget it. Since then they have all gone above and beyond in supporting us and providing us with their time to review difficult material and concepts.
Anne Condas, B.S.
Describe an engaging aspect of your program and why you like it. WesternU’s Physician Assistant program’s integrated learning approach which syncs the timing and content area focus of all of the courses facilitates a very thorough, comprehensive, focused and well organized curriculum. This enhances the students ability to totally embrace all aspects of the content areas presented and has undoubtedly contributed to my success and preparation for upcoming Board Exams.
Who at WesternU has made you feel supported and how? I can honestly say that every member of the WesternU community demonstrates a heartfelt commitment to our success, safety and comfort on campus. The mentorship, pride and support from Alumni of WesternU, which includes most of our professors, also contributes to the strong sense of support we experience as students.
Roy Guizado, MS, PA-C
WesternU distinctive: WesternU’s PA program does not require clinical experience as a requisite to get into the program. This allows for a diverse applicant pool that can be taught to provide competent health care.
Why WesternU: I chose WesternU because it is in the city in which I grew up. I felt that this was a “calling” in which I can give back to a community that influenced my upbringing.
Best Advice: 1. Do not let financial concerns stop the pursuit of your medical goal. 2. Visit the campus and make sure WesternU is the right fit for your needs. 3. Sit in a class to get a feel for lectures, students, and faculty. 4. Talk to a PA and get their feeling for the PA Profession and ask them where they received their education.Read more about me…
Tim Wood, DHSc. PA-C
WesternU distinctive: I like the fact that the different courses in the PA curriculum are run synchronously in regard to the major organ systems. It helps to integrate the various aspects of a patient’s health status when it can be related to what is happening regarding pathophysiology, pharmacology, anatomy, physical assessment and diagnostics.
Why WesternU: I chose WesternU because I attended the PA master’s program and thought that I had received a well-rounded education and wanted to be a part of that.
Value of a WesternU education: I think that in the PA program the curriculum is relevant and practical for what is needed to work and succeed in the PA profession.
On interprofessional education: I think that a well designed IPE program will enhance the learning experience by exposing the students to all the working roles of the healthcare team and how they can work together synergistically.Read more about me…
Brian Tessier, MS, PA-C
On Faculty: Everyone is always willing to help each other out. Whether it be helping in the class, reviewing exam questions, or just as a sounding board to bounce ideas off of, you know you can count on your colleagues.
Value of a WesternU education: The PA program does a good job of making the courses clinically applicable so the students see the connection of course work to the “real world” of medical practice. WesternU has a great reputation for preparing students for the national certifying exam as well as for clinical practice.Read more about me…
Monica Adams MS, PA-C
WesternU distinctive: Our PA program is strong! The faculty are dedicated and raise the level of excellence each year that passes. We meet as a faculty and discuss ways to improve by reducing redundancy and changing the curriculum to keep up with current trends while maintaining the student’s best interest in mind. We have a supportive chair that allows academic freedom and solves issues objectively. Personally I look forward to coming to work because we are a family that works together
Why WesternU: I was very familiar with the program as I am an alumni and felt that I would have a positive experience transitioning from a clinician to a full time instructor. Our commitment to students and the future patients/communities they will impact is second to none.
On interprofessional education: IPE curriculum will help students who are straight out of college that need to develop interpersonal skills, critical thinking and problem solving skills. The older more experienced student who is working on a second career may not really need to develop the skills (assuming they already have them), but it would be a great way to network with other health profession students.
Amber Singletary, MSHS, PA-C
How do you think the interprofessional education (IPE) curriculum will enhance student’s professional lives? IPE fosters an environment that enhances communication, raises awareness regarding various health professions’ scope of practice, while allowing for the application of knowledge, networking and support.
Tell us about an experience where you observed a student or fellow faculty member exemplify the humanistic philosophy of our University. There are really too many occurrences to name, but I would say that this philosophy is very apparent amidst student-student interactions and faculty-student interactions. Prioritizing and practicing beneficence seems to be the norm.
What aspect of the curriculum do you feel will most benefit graduates and why? As medically trained providers in healthcare it is important to draw from every opportunity and experience that life and training can offer. In the PA curriculum, it is vital to take advantage of and excel in every aspect of the curriculum to become proficient and effective in the delivery of healthcare. We believe in providing a student-centered education that will culminate in patient-centered care.
Stephanie Bowlin, EdD, PA
Education: EdD, University of La Verne; MS, Western University of Health Sciences
Where I’m from: Formerly Assistant Dean for Assessment, College of Allied Health Professions and chair, department of Physician Assistant Education, Western University of Health Sciences; clinical coordinator/instructor for Physician Assistant Education at Charles R. Drew University of Medicine and Science, Los Angeles, Calif.
Clinical specialty: Pediatrics
Other notable items: Chaired the Education Council of the American Academy of Physician Assistants; served on the editorial board of Perspective on Physician Assistant Education; the Human Genetics Curriculum board for National Institutes of Health; continues to see patients when she covers at the clinics of DO and PA alums.
Why WesternU: “The spirit of humanism at WesternU has a lot to do with why one should chose to come here. We support each other and our students in ways you don’t always find in health care institutions.”Read more about me… Read a message from the Dean…
Nancy Bravo, Class of 2012
What would you tell a prospective student about WesternU? If you have the drive, passion and commitment of becoming a Physician Assistant, Western U will guide you and provide you with the resources necessary to excel in the profession.
Why did you choose WesternU? There are many reasons why I chose WesternU as the school to pursue my lifelong goal of becoming a Physician Assistant. For one, many of the graduating PA’s from WesternU are known to have a pristine reputation. Secondly, I appreciated the strong interest that the staff and professors had to the success of the students in the program. And lastly, the day I interviewed confirmed that not only were they interested in myself but my family.
Jessica Lopez-Moore, MS
Why WesternU: WesternU was my number one choice when applying for PA programs. It is a highly recommended program and highly thought of through out the PA profession. The class size seemed just right and it was close to home.
Most memorable clinical experience: My most memorable clinical experience, other than my rotation in Maui, was my Emergency Medicine clinical. I loved it so much I did it twice! Working in the Emergency Room allowed me to encounter a variety of pathologies and taught me to think on my feet quickly.
Beyond the classroom: I was part of PCHAT which provided health screening to the local community several times a semester. Not only did I have the opportunity to practice the clinical skills I was learning, but I provided an invaluable service to the community. I also was a member of Explorers, a mentor program to high school students interested in the medical field.
Andrew Porter, MS
Most memorable clinical experience: My rotation at Arrowhead Regional Medical Center, where I did my General Surgery and ER rotation back to back. During my surgery rotation, I learned the difference between inpatient work and outpatient work. The long hours were difficult at the time, but I wouldn’t change a thing. It’s made me a better clinician today.
Beyond the classroom: I had the opportunity to travel to Arizona to participate with another university in providing school physical exams to high school students. We spent eight to 10 hours a day doing physicals and practicing our clinical skills. This was a great opportunity to provide a valuable service to those in need—and gain experience at the same time. The students and their parents were very grateful for our help.
Renee Wu, MS, PA-C
Why WesternU: Faculty works hard to provide students with the education they need and are always coming up with new ideas/ways to teach. I am a graduate of the 2005 PA program, enjoyed my time here as a student, and I felt it was a very good program that prepared me to become a PA. The faculty was always readily available to me as a student.
Value of a WesternU education: There are a lot of opportunities to gain experience and work with the other programs on campus (i.e. clubs, while on rotations) if you just know how to take advantage of them.
On interprofessional education: Not all students have time to participate in extracurricular activities; so with the IPE, students can gain a better understanding of the other medical professions and how we all interact as a health care team. Once out on rotations, all medical professionals cross paths, so it would be good to understand the role we all play.
Milan Vora, MS
“The two years I spent in the Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies program at WesternU have been ‘as good as it gets!’ for me. WesternU’s exceptional academic standards, strong-knit community, and personal attention from teachers and staff have made the whole experience a pleasant and memorable one.”