Chelsea Bares, a 2010 graduate of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program, has stayed involved with the program and the School of Health Professions since graduation.

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She is Communications Director for the Junior Advisory Board of the School of Health Professions and has mentored students through the Breakfast with Blazers program, which gives PA students a forum to ask questions about the PA profession that they may not want to ask preceptors or professors.

Q: Favorite part of the PA program?

A: My favorite part of the PA program was honestly the friends I made, and people I met. I made great friends with fellow students, and also with other PA’s who were preceptors or mentors, but have welcomed me into the community. The PA community is a real thing, and I love being a part of it. That all started when I was a student. I also really loved anatomy lab. I loved dissecting finding different landmarks. I find it all so fascinating.

Q: Toughest part of the PA program?

A: The toughest part of the PA program was juggling everything. We were working on our Masters projects, doing rotations, giving presentations and so many other things at once. It was tricky keeping everything prioritized.

Q: Who or what impacted you the most at UAB? And why?

A: The most? Just the incredible program that they have set up. It really helped that they reached out to the private practices, the other hospitals in the city, and now multiple programs across the country for us to gain experiences. I really think it helped make us well-rounded PAs with so much more of a knowledge base.

Q: Why do you love your job?

A: There are so many things I love about my job. I love how it is ever changing and adapting to the practice of medicine. I love how I continue to grow and learn every day, because every day is different. I love the different fields I have worked in, and how I have the flexibility to change specialities. I love how I can be an extension of the physicians, and really get the face-to-face contact with the patients. I love how I do make a difference in others’ lives!

Q: Who are your key mentors since graduation?

A: These have been both physicians I have worked with and other PA’s. Ultimately, I am so blessed because I can call them all my friends as well as mentors. Dr. Bruce Burns, Dr. Brian Guffin, John Hurt PA-C, Kristi Gidley PA-C, Stephanie McGilvray PA-C.

Q: Why are you involved with the Junior Advisory Board and interested in giving back the program and the School?

A: I love giving back to the program. It impacted my life so drastically, in such a good way, that I want to be a part in the current students lives the same way. I love thinking that I am helping grow our profession! I particularly love it because I am still in Birmingham and can be hands-on with the students. I love that I can be a resource for them in a way that so many people have been for me.

Learn more about Chelsea and other Physician Assistant program alumni here.