If you want advanced training to be able to work with doctors as well as other members of the healthcare team, you should consider becoming a physician assistant.
Sadie’s path to becoming a physician assistant
There is a huge need for highly professional healthcare workers. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the job outlook for physician assistants predicts 30% growth through 2030.
Physician assistants get to go to work every day on a mission to provide quality healthcare to patients in a respectful, caring manner. This mission really resonates with current student Sadie Siarkiewicz. Read her story below.
Note: Sadie’s words are typed in italics.
Tell us a little about yourself.
My name is Sadie Siarkiewicz, and I am 26 years old. My hometown is Fort Atkinson, WI. I did my undergraduate studies at UW La Crosse for Biomedical Sciences and minored in Chemistry. In my spare time, I love to be around my family, friends and boyfriend. I currently live in Cedarburg and love to go shopping downtown and eat those yummy caramel apples!
What made you want to become a physician assistant?
Initially, when I was in La Crosse, I obviously needed a job for all of my expenses. I went out and received my CNA certification and started working on a memory care unit. I had no idea that that position would change my life forever. My residents and their families became my second family, and I fell in love with providing care to people in need. This is where my passion for the geriatric population started, and I knew wanted to make a difference.
I took a class on all the health professions, and I can vividly remember the PA that came in to talk about the profession. I was intrigued and started shadowing physician assistants around the area. Once I shadowed and saw all of the roles that a PA did, picking the profession was an easy choice.
Geriatrics is an underserved population, and they need more specific and detailed care than they are currently receiving. I am hoping to continue my love for geriatrics once I become a PA-C!
Why did you choose Concordia’s program?
My first time applying to Concordia, I received an invitation for an interview. This was the only program that allowed me to bring a family member with me to interview day. This allowed my mom to see what type of education I was receiving and what the next two years could potentially look like for me. She was able to meet all of the professors and faculty, plus be right along side of me. Honestly, allowing my mom to come with on interview day intrigued me from the start.
Then once I had my interview, the professors and faculty made it a “no-brainer”. They were beyond welcoming and made me feel extremely comfortable, which is very hard to do on one of the biggest days of your life. Concordia just felt like home to me and right. I ended up getting waitlisted that year, however the next year I only applied to Concordia because I knew that that was where I wanted to be. I didn’t care how long it took for me to get in – I wanted to be a Concordian, and here I am!
How has your education helped prepare you for clinicals and beyond?
I am currently on my second rotation in the emergency room. Clinicals have been going stellar so far. My didactic education prepared me beyond belief for clinicals. My preceptors have been blown away that this is only my second rotation and the amount of knowledge that I bringing forward. Didactic year seems overwhelming with all of the information being thrown at you, but I trusted the process and I am beyond happy with my education. I find myself knowing things medical students and other PA students don’t know and that is a feeling I cannot even explain. I trusted the process and here I am – becoming the best Physician Assistant I could ever imagine!
Is there anything else you’d like to share about your experience with Concordia’s PA program?
I want to thank my professors and faculty for always pushing me to do my best. They were there for me at all hours of the day and helped me through the hardest journey of my life. I can’t imagine being in any other program, especially during a pandemic. Concordia has always felt like home and I am grateful for everything. God works in amazing ways and always has a plan.
Becoming a physician assistant through Concordia’s program
Concordia’s Physician Assistant (PA) program prepares students to be competent PAs. The program emphasizes providing high-quality healthcare in a respectful, culturally sensitive, and caring manner. Our graduates are committed to patient care in mind, body, and spirit. We’re proud to say that our graduates are lifelong learners.
Concordia’s PA program combines didactic and clinical courses. The didactic portion is held on our Mequon campus and provides your foundation for the clinical year by exploring the basic sciences, clinical medicine, and behavioral medicine. It’s important to practice what you’re learning as soon as possible. This means you’ll have plenty of hands-on opportunities through 11 months of clinicals.
My didactic education prepared me beyond belief for clinicals. My preceptors have been blown away that this is only my second rotation and the amount of knowledge that I bringing forward.
Clinical rotations must be taken in family medicine, internal medicine, general surgery, women’s health, behavioral medicine, pediatrics, emergency medicine and two elective rotations. While the majority of your rotations will occur in Wisconsin, our Director of Clinical Education may work with you to pursue out-of-state options.
In your coursework, you’ll cover human anatomy, physical examination, and history. Additionally, you’ll cover pharmacology and physiology/pathophysiology. You’ll learn practical clinical skills and stay on top of current issues in healthcare.
Our program emphasizes preventative medicine and primary care as an overarching theme. In order to feel best prepared for your clinicals, we have a simulation lab and a newly renovated cadaver lab on campus. Since our class sizes are small, you can count on receiving personalized instruction from our dedicated faculty.
When you graduate, you’ll be eligible to sit for the Physician Assistant National Certifying Examination (PANCE).
Want to know more?
If you’re interested in learning more about Concordia’s Physician Assistant program, you can find out more here.
If this story has inspired you, why not explore how you can help further Concordia's mission through giving.