On Friday, December 11, 2020 with the MSU PA Class of 2020, Kayla Walker celebrated two years of dedication and commitment to the pursuit of a Master of Science degree in Physician Assistant Studies. Her class faced a unique challenge in their clinical phase of education, due to the covid-19 pandemic, that resulted in a delay of their fourth clinical rotation. Kayla and her classmates were able to resume their delayed rotation in December 2020. With the educational finish line moved to the middle of January 2021, Kayla is ready to enter the PA profession.
My hometown is Marshfield, MO.
Colleges attended and degrees earned
I have previously attended Central Methodist University on a Golf scholarship then transferred to the University of Arkansas where I completed my Bachelor’s Degree in Biology.
Previous health care experience
My previous healthcare experience was as a Patient care associate (PCA) at Mercy Hospital Springfield on the neurology floor. I took care of patients who suffered strokes, MVA patients, among other neurodegenerative disorders. I’ve worked as a tech in the NICU, assisting nurses with the smallest patients and supporting their families. Finally, my last experience was as an Obstetrician assistant in Labor & Delivery where I managed many tasks from secretary work to assisting as part of the delivery team.
Why did you decide to become a PA?
I decided to become a PA because its who I’ve always been. I simply have taken the step to further my education in medicine. I want to help people in multiple areas of their lives but also foster an environment where education is never ending.
Describe your experience in the program.
MSU’s PA program is intense and feels never-ending. However, it has prepared me for multiple scenarios and given me the opportunity to find self-confidence. I felt most prepared to talk to patients, the diagnosing and treating comes with lots of practice and exposure. My biggest challenge in the program was time management. I had my first child 1 month into the program, so having an infant at home and trying to learn in PA school was nothing short of a challenge. It is still a battle today as I now have a toddler running around while I study for my board certification exam.
What do you like best about Missouri State’s PA program?
My favorite thing about MSU’s PA program is that the faculty treat you like family, firm but with care. They truly want to see students succeed and will go above and beyond to support us.
What is the best piece of advice you have received so far?
The best piece of advice I have is something that I received from a previous MSU PA student and that is: do something every day to achieve your goal, no matter how small. This helped so much when I was going on 3 years of preparation for my PA school application. I say this to myself daily especially when I am feeling unmotivated.
What specialty do you want to pursue?
I have no idea where I will end up working, I have spent the last year of clinical rotations “trying out” multiple areas of medicine and I can see myself in any situation.