During an unprecedented year, Michael White successfully navigated and excelled in his didactic phase of PA education. Currently in his second clinical rotation with the MSU Physician Assistant program, he carries with him the lessons of adaptability that led to a successful first year.
Colleges attended and degrees earned (major/minor)
Missouri State University with a major in biology and a minor in chemistry
Previous health care experience
PCA at Mercy Hospital for 3 years.
Orthopedic Technician at Mercy Orthopedic Hospital for 4 years.
Interesting fact about yourself
Spent much of my childhood in Kenya, East Africa living with my grandparents on the missions field.
I have been Machine Gunner in the Marine Corps Reserves for over 5 years.
Why did you decide to become a PA?
After contracting Malaria, I had to spend some time in the healthcare system in Nairobi, Kenya. My time spent as a patient in a third world country inspired me to attain a position where I could make a difference in the lives of my patients, and improve healthcare policies in whatever hospital I get the opportunity to work in. Therefore, my pursuit as a Physician Assistant began..
Describe your experience so far in the program.
My experience at Missouri State’s PA program has been everything I could have hoped for. It has challenged me, taught more than I ever thought I could learn, and often forced me out of my comfort zone. It’s not an easy program, but it has grown me as an individual, and I know I will be a better provider for it.
What do you like best about Missouri State’s PA program?
The thing I like best about Missouri State’s PA program is the willingness of the faculty to go above and beyond to assist every student in their education.
Did you do anything that helped you prepare for PA School?
To help prepare me for PA School I reached out to several people whom I knew had recently completed the program. I asked them several questions regarding what to expect, what literature would help me in my education, and what other resources I should acquire to give me the best opportunity for success during program.
Do you have any advice for prospective PA students?
The best advice I could give to prospective PA students is to study hard, but make sure time is reserved each week to focus on yourself and your family. PA school is a marathon and if you don’t pace yourself it’s easy to burn out early. Take at least one day a week where you completely detach from PA school and take time to recuperate.
What specialty or career goals do you want to pursue? Why?
Once done with my clinical year I plan to move from the Marine Corps and pursue a career as a medical officer in the Army National Guard. I then hope to attain a job on the civilian side in Orthopedics or General Surgery somewhere in southwest Missouri.
What have you learned while being a PA student during the COVID-19 crisis that you will carry with you into your career?
Experiencing COVID-19 during PA school taught me to be flexible and adaptable in an ever-changing environment. This skill is something I know will carry into my professional career. As a provider, it is critical to tailor patient care based on patient presentation. Healthcare can be very fluid and being flexible is of the utmost importance.