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In the late spring of 2010, in an area of earthquake ridden Haiti, a woman thrust her dying child into my arms and begged me to save his life.  Panic consumed me.  Our native languages were not familiar to each other’s ear but that made no difference.  I knew the little boy needed help.  I raced towards the medical providers, his lifeless body in my arms as his mother followed.  Hours and hours clicked away while the physicians attempted to spare this child’s life.  Ultimately the outcome was successful.  This experience is what gave me the passion to care for others.  There are moments from this trip that will be with me forever.  It changed my life.  For days following the littles boy’s tragic incident, the mother brought gifts to the clinic.  The family had so little but wanted to show their gratitude.  I had never been around people who had so little but were thankful for so much.

As I arrived back in the United States, I knew I wanted to work somewhere in the medical field.  I went on to graduate high school and began my studies at The University of Alabama.  My sister is a very successful pediatric nurse practitioner and I sought her out for advice on a major and the direction I should take while at UA.  I was fortunate enough to spend time shadowing many nurses, nurse practitioners, physicians, and physician assistants.  As I began to learn about the role of a physician assistant, it grabbed my attention and sounded to be just what I was looking to do.  I then decided to major in psychology.  This is not a very common major for people interested in the medical field, but it was special to me.  Within just a few hours of my Psychology 101 class I knew I wanted to be a physician assistant and saw just how a psychology major could benefit me in reaching my goal.   I always looked forward to my psychology classes and found myself very interested in medical psychology.

Tom Brokaw once said, “Your certification is in your degree.  You may think of it as the ticket to the good life.  Let me ask you to think of an alternative.  Think of it as your ticket to change the world”.  I often wonder how I can mark my place with the time I am given and how I can change just one person’s life for the better.  I truly believe that my ticket to changing the world is to practice as a physician assistant.  Everyday they go to work they help save lives and change the world and people for the better.  I cannot think of a more rewarding way to spend the rest of my life.          

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