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We sent questions to some of the UAB Physician Assistant Studies program students who volunteer at the School of Health Professions' Firehouse Shelter Clinic. We wanted to know more about them, the current PA program and why they serve.

david wood full

Q: Favorite part of the PA program?

A: "My favorite part of the program was the live surgical pig lab that enabled us to perform live surgery and learn proper surgical skills and techniques. It is a rare opportunity that most people do not get to experience, which prepared us well for our surgical rotations during clinical year."

Q: Toughest part of the PA program?

A: "The toughest part of the program is the volume of material that we are required to learn and retain. As all physician assistants know how intense and fast-paced the curriculum is, it is an obvious necessary endeavor yet a rewarding feat when completed."

Q: Class you never want to take again? And why?

A: "I am not interested in taking “Healthcare Delivery and Reimbursement” again. As important as it sounds, it was an afternoon summer class and nearly impossible to get excited about! It is one of those topics that you know you will need to know but you want to put off as long as possible.

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

A: I believe the PA program faculty has impacted me the most. They have done a great job to not only teach us how to be medical professionals but, more importantly, how to utilize that responsibility in order to serve our community well. They have been great mentors to me, in and out of the classroom. I am really grateful for the high level of teaching, experiences and opportunities they have provided me, but also for their friendships.

Q: Immediate future plans?

A: I will be traveling and enjoying life for several weeks after taking the PANCE and then will start my job in the emergency department at a local hospital in Birmingham.

Q: Where will we see you in 20 years?

A: I hope to be doing full-time international medical missions, particularly in Africa. I want to utilize my skills as a Physician Assistant to love and serve those without access to medical care and the basic necessities of life.

Learn more about David and other alumni of the UAB Physician Assistant program here.