After completing her undergraduate work at Syracuse University with a Bachelor of Science in Biology, Madison went straight to work to obtain over 1,500 clinical hours in the medical field. This was necessary in order to apply, interview for, and attend a graduate program with the objective to obtain a Master of Medical Science in Physician Assistant Studies and to become a licensed healthcare provider. Madison knew from the early age of 13 that she wanted to pursue a career in the medical field. We are excited to share why she is turning this childhood dream into her reality.
Was there a particular person who influenced your decision to go into medicine?
One of the persons who most influenced my decision to go into medicine was a doctor when I was a pediatric patient. I was so emotionally impacted by her . . . the way she was not only thorough, but also the empathy, understanding, and compassion with which she treated me. She comforted and reassured me during a time of uncertainty. This particular doctor inspired me to want to offer that same reassurance and comfort to other patients in need one day.
Why did you choose the path of a Physician Assistant versus a Physician?
Work-life balance. When I was a junior in college, I decided being a PA would provide me with the work-life balance I would hope for as well as fulfill my desire to help those in need of a competent and compassionate healthcare provider.
Two minds are always better than one. The collaborative nature of the profession is another major reason. I think it's great to be able to consult the Physician you are working with about a case that may be particularly tricky.
Time is of the essence. Most PA programs are 2-3 years, allowing students to graduate and practice medicine in a shorter amount of time and with less debt.
Side to side. I love how PA's have lateral movement, essentially allowing me to switch specialties at any point in my career! I could be a PA working in pediatrics for 15 years and then decide I want to switch to plastics and reconstructive surgery. PA's are not limited to just one specialty like a physician.
What recent life experience has proved to be incredibly meaningful to you?
I have meaningful life experiences every day! I work as a Clinical Information Manager, or “Scribe” in the Emergency Department. This position has allowed me to not only gain the required clinical hours in order to apply to Physician Assistant Programs, but also to gain a better understanding and knowledge base of all that goes into patient care.
I see patients come in every day, in critical condition, and it reminds me to be grateful for all of life’s little blessings.
This also prompts me to take care of myself, both mentally and physically. Diet and lifestyle choices have a significant impact on overall health, especially as we age. It is important to always keep that in mind! That being said, I won’t forget to enjoy life! I am reminded every day of how quickly things can change.
Madison's Advice To College Students
Enjoy college as much as you can; sadly there will be a time when you don’t live within walking distance from your best friends anymore. However, don’t let your grades slip. You are in school to learn, so take advantage. Universities offer a vast array of classes, so absorb as much information as you can! Prioritize your academics and also your experience!
Quote: I have so many quotes that I love, but one that I have been referring to a lot lately is, “Keep your head up gorgeous, they’d kill to see you fall.” Unfortunately in life, there are people who simply do not want to see you succeed. This quote reminds me to stay focused on myself & my goals and to persevere in spite of the negativity that others may try to taint that with; whether that be in the workplace, at school, or in my personal life. I also remember to reflect on my failures and use them as learning experiences, but I won’t let them get the best of me!
Hobby: I would say right now my favorite hobby is a combination of running outside as well as finding new, healthy meals to cook! My year off from school has allowed me more time to prioritize self-care and nutrition. I have always been focused on eating well, but it’s easy to get off track in college when late night Domino's Pizza or Insomnia Cookies are calling your name...not to mention they also deliver straight to your door, or the library depending on the night! I’ve found so many different recipes online that are healthy spins on some of my favorite comfort foods and I love re-creating them.