James Bonner

Garner, N.C.
Appalachian State University

James BonnerBefore starting PA school at Methodist University, I earned a degree in Exercise Science at Appalachian State University. My time at Appalachian State was initially short lived and after three semesters, I realized I wanted to do something different. In January 2017, I enlisted in the Army as a combat medic because I knew I eventually wanted to work in medicine. Working alongside healthcare professionals, especially my battalion PA, affirmed my desire to become a physician assistant. During my time in the Army, I obtained my paramedic license, which after getting out of the Army allowed me to get clinical hours both on the ambulance and in the emergency room while completing the remaining prerequisite courses needed to apply to PA school. Methodist University stood out to me for its reputation as one of North Carolina’s top PA schools and its high PANCE pass rate. After interviewing and engaging with the staff, I knew it was the right fit and was grateful to be accepted. My time at Methodist University has been exceptional. The expertise of the professors and the abundance of resources have facilitated significant learning. I am confident that the Methodist PA Program will prepare me for success as a PA upon graduation.

Brandy Bronk

Bellevue, Neb.
University of Nebraska at Omaha & College of St. Mary

Prior to PA school, I received my bachelor’s in chemistry from the University of Nebraska-Omaha. I also received my master’s degree in clinical health sciences from the College of St. Mary in Omaha. During this time, I worked inpatient and outpatient as a medical scribe and continued to shadow PAs in gynecology oncology and solid organ transplant.

Methodist’s PA program first caught my eye when I noticed the diversity of the current class testimonials online, specifically because I was an older applicant. Their program really sealed the deal with their high PANCE pass rate, smaller class size, and amazing interview process. During my interview, I really appreciated the student panel that was able to answer any questions I had, as well as the faculty making me feel more welcomed than other programs.

My experience in the program so far has been academically challenging, as expected, but I have learned so much in a short amount of time. I am so grateful to be part of a program whose class is closer than most and acts as a family both inside and outside of class. Although I can’t wait to graduate, I will definitely miss spending so much time with the friends I have made.

Liz Davis

Fort Mohave, Arizona
Methodist University

Elizabeth DavisMy journey to become a physician assistant at this stage in my life is a testament to the power of perseverance and the pursuit of one’s dreams. As a mother who put her education on hold to prioritize family, returning to school after a long hiatus was both daunting and invigorating. My acceptance to Methodist University Physician Assistant Program has been transformative, not only for me but for the legacy I wish to create for my children.

As a current student, I am compelled to share my enthusiasm with prospective students considering this outstanding educational institution. Choosing the right PA program is a pivotal decision in one’s academic and professional journey, and I wholeheartedly believe that Methodist University stands out as an exceptional choice. I first came to MU in 2019 with the determination to one day be accepted to their PA program. After obtaining my undergraduate degree in biology from Methodist, I felt a sense of camaraderie amongst students and faculty that fostered a collaborative and supportive atmosphere that I knew would be conducive to my personal and professional growth. I knew undoubtedly that MU was where I wanted to be for the remainder of my academic career.

I am immensely grateful for the enriching experience that the Methodist University Physician Assistant Program has provided me. The program’s commitment to academic excellence, clinical proficiency, and community support makes it an exceptional choice for anyone aspiring to become a highly competent and compassionate physician assistant. I wholeheartedly recommend Methodist University to prospective students seeking a top-tier education and a pathway to success in the field of healthcare.

Diana Debnam

Fayetteville, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Diana DebnamPrior to PA school, I graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I obtained my undergraduate degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Shortly after graduating, I began work as a medical assistant at a clinic in Fayetteville. Many of the PAs that I worked with were graduates from this program, and they spoke very highly of it. Not only were their words a positive reflection of the program they graduated from, but their actions and skills as providers confirmed to me that Methodist was an amazing program.

Being born and raised in Fayetteville, Methodist University has always been a name that is respected in the community. The locals speak so highly of the PA program, and the PANCE pass rates reflect that. I knew I wanted to stay local in North Carolina, and after my interview and having the chance to speak with both faculty and students, I knew this was the place for me. Everyone here wants to see you succeed, and I have felt very supported thus far in my PA journey. I am very proud of my decision!

Alyssa Ference

Pittsburgh, Pa.
Seton Hill University

Alyssa FerenceI am originally from Pittsburgh, but moved to North Carolina after graduating from Seton Hill University in 2021. I majored in Pre-Allied Health Sciences and minored in Medical Spanish. I currently live in Raleigh and LOVE the area. I knew I wanted to come to Methodist PA Program after shadowing and working with several alumni. Everyone I talked to praised the Methodist PAs and their well-rounded knowledge. There are several PA schools in the area, however this program stood out to me because of the small cohort size, intimate student-professor relationships, and numerous resources available. Prior to Methodist, I shadowed several different specialties, but was a medical assistant for a Dermatology clinic with locations throughout the Moore, Wake, and Johnson counties. A lot of the providers were from Methodist and helped me prepare for PA school. I hope to fill this role after I graduate.

Aubrey Franks

Raeford, N.C.
Campbell University

Aubrey FranksPrior to PA school, I worked as a Computed Tomography technologist at a local emergency department and specialty clinic. Working alongside doctors, physician assistants and other practitioners I was able to see their dynamic and develop a deeper understanding of the PA field. It was very early in my career that I realized I had a desire to be more involved in the patient’s care and become a PA. While gaining my clinical experience, I obtained my Bachelor in Health Sciences from Campbell University.

What attracted me to MUPAP was its incredible reputation. Several of the PAs I worked with were graduates of MUPAP and greatly influenced my choice to apply here. When I interviewed, I immediately felt like this was where I needed to be. The faculty and staff were supportive, and the students demonstrated a welcoming environment. My experience in the MUPAP program has been everything I expected and more! I have learned so much during my time here and will forever be grateful for the impact that this program has had on my life.

Sofia Gambino

Far Hills, N.J.
East Carolina University

Sofia GambinoI am native to New Jersey. I attended Raritan Valley Community College in New Jersey and graduated with honors in 2020. I knew I wanted to be a part of the medical profession after the death of my mother. I was always in awe regarding the care I received due to her death. The outbreak of COVID furthered my desire to join the profession because I was intrigued with the progression of the disease as well as the treatment options that arose. After much consideration, I moved to Wilmington, North Carolina in 2020 and attended East Carolina University, graduating in May 2022. After receiving my bachelor’s degree in Biology with a certificate in Forensic Anthropology, I began working as an ophthalmic technician in Wilmington.

Although my application process for PA school was rushed, Methodist University was my top choice. The fact that the program has been accredited for over 20 years, has high graduation and PANCE rates, and intimate class sizes made my desire to attend such an effortless decision. Since matriculating, I continue to strongly believe that the program is an exceptional experience. The staff has been very helpful with navigating a vigorous graduate program and I have been able to see how much they care about each student’s well-being. I have met many like-minded individuals and have enjoyed learning from over-qualified instructors. Even though I moved states, attended University, and applied to PA school during the latter stage of COVID, I am very proud I chose to make North Carolina my home and am thankful to be attending Methodist University’s PA Program.

Nataya Geddie

Fayetteville, N.C.
Western Carolina University
Meredith College Health Professions Post-Bacc Program

It has been an eventful yet amazing journey becoming a PA student here at Methodist University.  I obtained my Bachelor of Science in Athletic Training degree from Western Carolina University. I moved back to Fayetteville due to the coronavirus pandemic.  I enrolled in the post-baccalaureate program at Meredith University to finish my prerequisites for medical school.  My employment at Methodist University as an assistant athletic trainer is what made me change my career path from medical school to PA school. On my first day of work, Methodist felt like home. I believe what makes this University special is: the people.

My experience at MUPAP has been wonderful. I am honored to be a part of a program that cares about its students. Each day that I come to class to take my seat for a lecture, I’m reminded of how blessed I am to have a seat in this program.  MUPAP gives us a top-notch education by providing quality professors who work in this community; they give us valuable insight into the real world as a PA.  I love the diversity of this program; my classmates are from all walks of life with different medical backgrounds. Our diversity allows us to learn from one another. Although the pandemic had its challenges; I am grateful because it brought me back to my hometown and to the place where I truly belong: Methodist University.  I am surrounded by an amazing group of people, and I am fulfilling my purpose in life; which is to become a PA where I can serve and enrich the lives of others.

Will Gissendanner

Charleston, S.C.
Georgia Southern University

Will GissendannerBefore PA school, I received my bachelor’s degree in biology from Georgia Southern University. Throughout my undergraduate studies, I worked in a psychiatric hospital and a non-profit primary care clinic. After graduation, I began working at an orthopedic surgery center, preparing me for and encouraging my journey to become a PA.

I applied to Methodist’s PA Program at the suggestion of a friend who had recently graduated and had nothing but positive things to say about his experience. Throughout the application process, I was fortunate enough to receive multiple interviews. However, after attending an interview at Methodist, I felt this program was the right fit. Mrs. Mish was a great resource throughout the process. She and all the faculty were extremely pleasant during the interview, and I felt at home and comfortable with each of them immediately. It did not feel like an interview but a conversation and a chance to get to know one another better.

The smaller cohort size allows me to get to know each of the faculty and adjunct professors well and learn from them directly. Each faculty member has excellent experience that our class draws from daily. While the program is rigorous, I know that at the end of the day, everyone at Methodist has me and my classmates’ best interests at heart, and I have felt fully supported during my time here.

Tyler Hadbavny

Cleveland, Ohio
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Tyler HadbavnyOriginally from Cleveland, Ohio, I attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, where I received a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Upon graduation, I was still exploring my options within the medical field which ultimately led me to Chicago, IL to pursue a career in orthopedic medical device sales. Working mostly within the OR, I had the added bonus of working hands on with patients in the PACU where I would fit them for postoperative bracing. It was there that I formed connections with health care professionals who would ultimately influence my decision to pursue PA school. Already with a fair amount of patient care experience under my belt, I moved back to North Carolina to finish up a few prerequisite courses, and continued acquiring hours as a medical scribe in the head & neck oncology unit at UNC Chapel Hill Hospital.

I chose Methodist University over other programs for multiple reasons. First and foremost, they have a great reputation within the health care community, as they are a well-established program that is known to produce confident and competent PAs. Additionally, my friend graduated from this program and had nothing but great things to say about his experience here. Lastly, I simply listened to my gut. Throughout the entire application process as well as my interview, I felt an overall genuine sense of interest in my success, both from the faculty and students in the cohort above us. With highly experienced health care professionals teaching our courses and the resources to back them up, I have no doubt this program will provide me with the skills and knowledge required to become a competent PA.

Kathryn Harnsberger

Fayetteville, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Kathryn HarnsbergerI’m from Fayetteville, North Carolina and attended the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill for my undergraduate degree. Prior to PA school, I worked as a Medical Assistant at an Orthopedic clinic for six years.

I am a single mom to my two-year-old daughter, and family is very important to me. I knew I would need their love and support to get through such a rigorous program, so attending a program in my hometown seemed like the best option for me. During my interview at Methodist, the faculty and students were so welcoming. I felt right at home and could tell they were just one big family. This further solidified my decision to attend Methodist University’s PA Program.

My experience thus far has been very valuable. The faculty are very knowledgeable and willing to help us succeed. This program has challenged me in many ways, and I know it will ultimately prepare me for my career as a Physician Assistant. I am so thankful and blessed to attend the Methodist University PA Program.

Laura Harris

Greensboro, N.C.
Methodist University

Laura HarrisA few things led me to pursue an undergraduate degree from Methodist, but one of the biggest was the PA Early Assurance program. Countless people had told me how great Methodist’s PA program was and throughout undergrad I was able to see the impact Methodist PA graduates had in Fayetteville.

During my time at Methodist, I was involved in athletics and clubs that made Methodist feel like a community. After being in the program I can say that the program has the same pride and tight knit community feel. The faculty and staff want you to succeed and are willing to go above and beyond to ensure it. It is obvious that they care for every individual that comes that joins the program. MUPAP is a special place that I am thankful to be a part of.

Charles Hess

Dayton, Tenn.
Campbell University

Charles HessAs an aspiring healthcare professional, I sought out a physician assistant program that aligned with my goals. Methodist University’s PA program stood out as a strong contender due to its strong first time PANCE pass rate and the positive atmosphere that I noticed on interview day.

Before entering PA school, I completed my bachelor’s degree in psychology and gained clinical experience as an Emergency Room Tech and army medic. The application process was rigorous, but my interactions with faculty and current students during interviews left a lasting impression. The faculty’s warm reception and genuine interest assured me that this was the right place for my education.

At MU, I’ve had the privilege of learning from highly qualified healthcare experts with diverse backgrounds. The small class size fosters a supportive learning environment and each day faculty demonstrate their passion for students’ success and producing high-quality PAs.

Reflecting on my time here, I appreciate being part of the MUPAP story. Methodist University has exceeded my expectations, and I am confident that the skills and knowledge I am acquiring will propel me toward a successful career in medicine.

Chloe Hunt

Pembroke, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Chloe HuntI completed my undergraduate studies at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke, which is also my hometown. Before embarking on my journey to PA school, I gained experience as a Certified Nursing Assistant at a pediatric clinic and also worked as an Emergency Room Technician in multiple emergency departments. Having the opportunity to help those in and around my community deeply influenced my decision to pursue becoming a Physician Assistant.

What attracted me to Methodist was its strong emphasis on diversity, values, and the sense of community it embodied. Coming from a small town, I valued the tight-knit atmosphere that Methodist offers, which made me feel supported and encouraged. Additionally, Methodist’s reputation for producing compassionate and competent physician assistants further solidified my decision to attend Methodist.

Overall, my experience at Methodist University thus far has been transformative. I am grateful for the opportunity to be part of such a supportive and inclusive community. I eagerly anticipate continuing my educational journey within such a prestigious program.

Tabetha Johnson

Fayetteville, N.C.
Methodist University

I exited the military in 2020 and elected to attend Methodist University as an undergraduate student to complete my bachelor’s degree in biology and a minor in psychology. As a respiratory therapist working in the area, I had the privilege of working alongside Methodist University PA graduates. They are consistently among the most competent thorough PAs I have ever worked with. My positive undergraduate experiences at MU and my experiences with MU PA graduates in a hospital setting sealed my aspirations of attending the Methodist University Physician Assistant Program.

I am so grateful for the opportunity to attend MUPAP and astounded by the program’s staff and director’s dedication and care for all students. I fell in love with the close-knit community and enjoyed the small classroom atmosphere of instruction. The professors are highly knowledgeable, skilled clinicians, and passionate about the profession and education. They are wholeheartedly dedicated to the success and overall well-being of each student. I have learned valuable information from various experts in each field and enjoy learning anatomy with the help of gracious silent teachers at MU’s state-of-the-art cadaver lab. While the curriculum is rigorous, I am confident that upon graduation, MUPAP has provided a pathway for competence as a new PA, and I will always cherish my time as a MUPAP student.

Madison Kokiko

Goldsboro, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Madison KokikoI graduated from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill in 2021 with my bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. Following graduation, I worked at a pediatrics office to gain my clinical experience. It was during this time that I was afforded with the opportunity to work under physician assistants and gain knowledge and a desire to pursue the profession.

It is no secret that PA school is a rigorous journey. From the very beginning of my time at Methodist University with the interview process, I have felt welcomed, understood, and valued. All of the MU faculty take time to truly get to know each student and build relationships beyond the classroom. Throughout the many stressors of PA school, I strongly believe a welcoming environment to all individuals is the foundation to success, and MUPAP provides this and more.

Not only has the program provided me with the tools to become a successful medical provider in the future, but lifelong relationships with my classmates and professors that I will forever cherish. I am incredibly honored and grateful to be a part of Methodist University’s PA class of 2025.

Anthony Locklear

Lumberton, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Anthony LocklearI chose Methodist University for PA studies for mainly three factors: proximity, comradery, and administration. Proximity is personal to me. Growing up in Robeson County, my family had a big impact on me. Being able to stay close to them while in PA school has provided a strong support system that is needed for every student. Comradery with my classmates has also become important because I have 39 other classmates who understand the demands of PA school. Lastly, but not least, the program’s administration has an open-door policy where you can confide in them without judgement, and they support you at every phase of the program.  PA school is difficult, but I believe the Methodist program cultivates an environment conducive to success.

Blake Martin

Miami, Fla.
Florida International University

Blake MartinBefore attending Methodist University, I lived in Florida where I attended Florida International University and received a bachelor’s degree in interdisciplinary studies with a minor in Biology. Working in the EMS field is where I found my passion for medicine. This passion gave me the courage and motivation to further my knowledge and has led me to the path of a PA (Physician Assistant).

Moving away from home for the first time can be scary, especially when starting a rigorous graduate program. But with the students and faculty of Methodist University, it was as if I was moving back home. Not only are we being taught to be proficient in our skills and knowledge, but we are engraved on how to truly care for our future patients and fellow persons. I could not have picked a better institution to set me up for a successful path in medicine and life.

Rachel McMonigle

Naples, Fla.
Florida Gulf Coast University

Rachel McMonigleI have been interested in becoming a PA since I was in my health academy in high school. I graduated from Florida Gulf Coast University in Fort Myers, Fla. in 2021 with a bachelor’s degree in Clinical Laboratory Sciences and a minor in Chemistry. After graduation, I worked as a home health aide and in an urgent care as a medical assistant. I took a gap year after graduation to work on my CASPA application and network with other Physician Assistants and other healthcare professionals. During this time, my husband and I moved for the military, exposing me to new states. Since we were moving to Fayetteville next, I started looking for PA programs nearby.

I was drawn to MUPAP for several reasons. They had a high PANCE pass rate, a cadaver lab, and a smaller class size compared to other programs. The main reason I chose to accept my seat was the faculty and staff during my interview. The faculty created a welcoming environment, and it made me want to be part of their program. After starting the program, my experience has solidified that I made the right decision. I am learning so many new things about the body and specialties and I look forward to continuing learning throughout my time here. I have also met people from so many backgrounds that have become lifelong friends.

Ly Nguyen

Fayetteville, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Ly NguyenMedicine captivated my interest at a young age, a passion that led me to pursue a major in Biology and Clinical Laboratory Science at UNC. Afterwards, I worked at WakeMed Pathology Lab and volunteered at Urban Ministry. While I enjoyed my role in the lab, my involvement in lab projects sparked a deepening interest in medicine, motivating me to seek a more direct impact on patients’ lives and to help them overcome health barriers.

Beyond the PANCE passing rates, the smaller class size, the state of the art cadaver lab, and the diverse culture and restaurants located in Fayetteville, what attracted me to the MU PA program was the display of knowledge, humility, and well-roundedness exhibited by graduates. The interview process was very conversational and there was a culture of “40 in 40 out” among the cohort to help one another succeed. Soon after, I learned that the biggest hidden gem would be my amazing classmates and supportive teachers who genuinely care and believe in our success because our success will impact thousands of lives in our community.  I am truly grateful and proud to be a part of the MUPAP family.

Melleeah Robinson

Henderson, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Melleeah RobinsonI was born and raised in Henderson, N.C. and attended The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill earning a bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science. While at UNC, I attended a summer medical program during the summer going into my junior year and it was there where I learned about the PA profession. Between that summer and the summer, I applied for PA school, I spent time shadowing PAs and learning more about the profession. Upon graduating and learning about the profession, I became a social/clinical research assistant at UNC within the EXSS department, working with retired NFL athletes in the Brain and Body Program. This job was pivotal because it gave me an idea of what having autonomy with patients care plan would look like and encouraged me to apply to PA school. As a North Carolinian, I knew I wanted to go to school in North Carolina so I began my researching schools and see what would be the best fit. I was attracted to Methodist because the small class size and the PANCE passing rate. But I will admit that Methodist wasn’t my first choice, until I walked into the doors for my interview day.

As soon as I stepped foot in the doors, I felt a sense of belonging and community/family. Having a supporting community in place before even starting school was not something I was familiar with since I attended such a big university for undergraduate and had to cultivate my community. Leaving the interview, my entire mind changed, and I had no doubt that Methodist was where I should be. Since starting the program, the importance of having a small class size and built in family has held true. I am excited to be a part of the PA profession.

Melyna Santos

Everett, Mass.
Boston University

Melnya SantosI was born and raised in Everett, Mass., and attended Boston University earning a bachelor’s degree in neuroscience. It was there where I learned about the PA profession. Towards the end of my time there I began shadowing PAs and taking my time to learn more about the profession. A year after graduating I took a job as a medical assistant in a primary care office to gain clinical experience.  I knew I wanted to go to school in North Carolina so I began my researching schools and see what would be the best fit. I was attracted to the small class size and the PANCE passing rate.

I remember driving to the airport after the interview and thinking that the staff wanted to know me as a person. After receiving my acceptance, I had no doubt that this is where I should be. Since starting the program that has held true. I am eager to be a part of the PA profession.

Cassidy Smith

Wadesboro, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Cassidy SmithPrior to PA school, I received a Bachelor of Science in Radiologic Science from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2018. Following graduation, I began working in the adult cardiac catheterization lab where my role in the care of my patients was limited to the procedure itself but found myself more and more curious about how those patients got there and what happens after the procedure. I was fortunate enough to shadow with a few PAs in the hospital and I knew that the PA profession was the perfect fit for me. I was attracted to MUPAP after learning more about the program when I shadowed with a MUPAP alumni. Attending PA school felt out of reach for a small-town girl, but on interview day I felt so relaxed and welcomed. Faculty are so supportive and genuinely want us to succeed. I was told prior to starting that PA school is one of the hardest things you’ll ever do. I don’t totally disagree with that statement, but I know the family environment that we have at MUPAP makes it a little sweeter.

Ashley Stone

Fort Collins, Colo.
Colorado State University

Ashley StoneAfter I completed my undergraduate pre-med degree, I was uncertain where my interest in human health would take me. I worked as a research assistant with many clinicians and professionals with a passion for public health. I was inspired by them and decided to pursue my Master’s in Public Health to better prepare me for a profession in the healthcare sphere. It was during my graduate studies, and experiences with so many clinicians, that I realized that becoming a PA was my calling.

To obtain clinical experience, I became a registered dietitian and practiced diabetes care for a few years. Working in Fayetteville, the Methodist University PA Program was hard to ignore. The reputation of the program was so highly regarded and the students who came through our local healthcare system for their training were presented with a humble confidence and competence.

I am so grateful to now be a part of the MU PA program. The instructors and other program faculty demonstrate sincere investment in my success – and in a program as rigorous as PA school, having their continuous support makes all the difference. I had considered a couple other programs, but if I had to do it all over again, I would choose Methodist every time.

Erik Sugar

Fayetteville, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Erik SugarI took a rather unconventional journey before landing in PA school. Following my graduation from UNC Chapel Hill with a degree in Geography, I ventured to New York City, where I contributed to the inception of a couple of start-ups and gained corporate experience at Yelp. Subsequently, I relocated to Charleston, S.C. and entered the realm of banking for the majority of my post-college tenure. However, sensing a lack of fulfillment in my professional path, I decided to transition to healthcare. This led me to pursue my post-baccalaureate studies while gaining clinical experience as a patient care tech in the PICU at MUSC.

Methodist University emerged as the clear choice for several compelling reasons. I appreciated the small-town setting, devoid of distractions, which fosters an optimal environment for academic concentration. Moreover, the lecture-based teaching style resonated with my learning preferences, ensuring continuity with my accustomed educational approach amidst a rigorous curriculum. Additionally, Methodist’s distinguished track record of high PANCE pass rates solidified my decision.

My experience at Methodist thus far has been immensely gratifying. The supportive faculty have adeptly introduced me into the intricacies of medicine, presenting complex concepts in an accessible manner. I feel well-equipped for the forthcoming stages of my journey and am eagerly anticipating the road ahead, both for myself and cohort.

Olivia Thomas

Huntersville, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill

Olivia ThomasI was born and raised in North Carolina and graduated from UNC-Chapel Hill in 2022 with a B.S. in Neuroscience and a minor in Chemistry. While I always knew I wanted to go into medicine, the large variety of career choices was always overwhelming. I learned about the PA profession in one of my college courses, and through many shadowing hours and interactions with PAs since then, I quickly realized this was the career I wanted to pursue!

In college I worked as a medical assistant with both Duke Neurology and a primary care clinic. During my gap year while applying to PA school, I continued my job as a MA in primary care.

Most of the PAs I worked with graduated from Methodist and one is a preceptor for MUPAP as well as other surrounding programs. The Methodist students always particularly stood out with their wealth of knowledge, work ethic, and patient and staff interactions. This program was always spoken of so highly to me and I knew I wanted to stay close to home, so applying to Methodist was a no-brainer. After interviewing and learning more about the program, I couldn’t see myself anywhere else. The small cohort, caring faculty, and extensive alumni network are just a few reasons why I love this program! PA school is definitely the most challenging thing I will probably ever do, but I know Methodist will continue to prepare and support me for my future as a provider.

Latrell Vample

Apex, N.C.
North Carolina State University

Latrell VampleFrom the outset, Methodist University’s commitment to excellence was evident. The faculty members are not only experts in their respective fields but also passionate educators who go above and beyond to ensure the success of their students. Their unwavering support, personalized guidance, and approachable demeanor create an environment conducive to learning and growth.

The curriculum is meticulously designed, integrating theoretical knowledge with practical skills, preparing students to excel in the dynamic field of healthcare. The program’s emphasis on hands-on clinical experience has been instrumental in honing my diagnostic and patient care skills, providing a robust foundation for my future career as a physician assistant.

One of the program’s standout features is its commitment to fostering a sense of community among students. The collaborative atmosphere encourages peer-to-peer learning, teamwork, and a shared commitment to the highest standards of patient care. Moreover, the small student-faculty ratio allows you to thread deeper, personable, and meaningful connections with faculty. Here at Methodist University, you won’t just be another student they graduate, but rather a lifelong family member bidding a temporary farewell.

As I reflect on my time at Methodist University, I am not only grateful for the exceptional education I have received but also confident in my ability to make a meaningful impact in the healthcare field. The Methodist University PA Program has truly exceeded my expectations, and I wholeheartedly recommend it to aspiring physician assistants seeking a transformative and comprehensive educational experience.

Sarah Vang

Granite Falls, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Sarah VangAfter graduating with a Bachelor of Science in biology at UNCW, I got certified as an EMT and moved to San Francisco. It was a huge culture shock and greatly contributed to my medical exposure. I worked many medical jobs like medical desk jobs, scribing in ophthalmology and orthopedic spine clinics, EMT, phlebotomy, and medical assisting in a fertility clinic. Despite loving the city, after two years I moved back to North Carolina and continued my experience in different fields like primary care, ENT, and urgent care. Each experience allowed me to learn more about myself, my strengths, and weaknesses, and my future goals.

I applied to Methodist because I met representatives of the program and was impressed with how much they cared about their students. It sounded like an intimate program with an emphasis on helping students and finding new ways to make connections for students. Despite my nervousness and not being able to eat anything before the interview, the staff were welcoming and made the interview process seamless and engaging. I have learned so much in my time with the teachers, silent teachers, and students at Methodist. It seems surreal sometimes when I am learning so much and imposter syndrome kicks in, but at some point, it clicks. I remember why I am at Methodist, why I am pursuing this career, and the people who supported me through this journey and all the knowledge I learn comes together to allow me to help people, which is a great feeling.

Marissa Vaughan

Henderson, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Wilmington

Marissa VaughanI remember back to kindergarten when I used to draw pictures of myself as a firefighter, inspired by a desire to help others. Though my career aspirations have evolved since then, and I no longer envision myself fighting fires, my commitment to making a positive impact has remained unwavering.

During my undergraduate years, I discovered the role of a physician assistant, and it instantly resonated with me. Graduating from the University of North Carolina Wilmington with a degree in public health laid the foundation for my journey. Subsequently, I pursued a master’s degree in physiology at NC State, all while gaining invaluable experience as an advanced EMT.

The application process for PA schools had its nerve-wracking moments, but receiving an interview invitation from Methodist University was exciting. The warmth and hospitality of the faculty during the interview reassured me that I was in the right place. Since becoming part of the Methodist family, my experience has been overwhelmingly positive.

What sets this program apart is the diversity of backgrounds and specialties among the faculty. Learning from both PAs and doctors is immensely beneficial, given the collaborative nature of our future profession. The presence of a cadaver lab adds another layer of depth to our education, something for which I am particularly grateful.

Additionally, the small class size fosters a sense of unity. My classmates feel more like family than just peers. In Methodist PA Program, I am not just learning; I am thriving in an environment that values personal and academic growth while fostering a strong sense of community.

Autumn West

Lumberton, N.C.
University of North Carolina at Pembroke

Autumn WestI knew from an early age that I wanted to be a healthcare professional, but it was after I shadowed various providers when I realized becoming a Physician Assistant was the right path for me. I quickly fell in love with the idea of becoming a PA and the role I would have in my community. Prior to MU, I received a Bachelor of Science in biology at the University of North Carolina at Pembroke as a part of the Maynor’s Honors College. While in college, I worked as an Advanced EMT for two organizations to obtain my hours for PA school.

I knew I wanted to attend Methodist University from the beginning. They had high first-time pass PANCE scores, a small cohort, and a good reputation. I applied my first cycle in 2022 and received an interview from MU and rescheduled another from a different program because of my desire to attend this program. During my interview, my feelings were solidified. The faculty and staff were very welcoming making you feel very comfortable in a high stress situation.

As a current student in the program, I still believe I made the right choice. The faculty and staff work extremely hard to prepare you with the knowledge and skills needed to become a great PA, as well as working closely with the students to ensure we understand the information and perform well in the program. I am excited to continue my journey at MUPAP and can’t wait to see what the future holds.

Justin Zabkiewicz

Michigan State University

Justin ZabkiewiczBefore PA school, my education in health began at Michigan State University.  I received my undergraduate and graduate degrees in exercise science while working with the strength and conditioning department as a coach during my time there.  I continued working as a strength coach for a few years after completing my graduate degree but realized I wanted to expand my knowledge further in order to help more people and going into medicine as a physician assistant was the answer.  For personal reasons, I joined the military at that time and went into a healthcare related job that offered great experiences which reinforced my drive to pursue a career in medicine especially as a PA and was my first exposure to Methodist University.  There was a good amount of people who were previously in my career field that had chosen to attend Methodist’s PA Program and had nothing but great things to say about it.

Fast forward a few years later, I worked as a paramedic in an emergency department where I worked with two Methodist graduates.  They also spoke very highly about the program and were very astute providers.  The reason they felt that way was because the faculty at Methodist care not only about setting you up for success with the PANCE, but also being extremely prepared for practicing as a provider.  After my interview and interaction with the student panel and staff, it was an easy decision.