Mount Union’s program doesn’t just focus on the medical aspect of patient care, but also emphasizes the importance of ethics, integrity and responsibility.
Jenny Carpenter M '14
Major: Physician Assistant Studies
Hometown: Fairmont, WV
Undergrad schools attended/degrees earned: West Virginia University/Bachelor of Science degree in exercise physiology
Future Physician Assistant
MY EXCEPTIONAL STORY
Following Family Footsteps
My brother, Jay Carpenter, graduated from the University of Mount Union in 2010. He was the punter/kicker for the football team and very involved on campus. I had the opportunity to see the campus at Mount Union and watch a few Raider football games before I graduated from West Virginia University. The experience that I had while visiting led me to apply to the program.
Ready for a Change
As a graduate of WVU and its 30,000 students, I was ready for a transition. Mount Union appealed to me on many levels, but the initial appeal was the small class size. With 32 students in the PA program, I have the ability to interact with professors on a more personal level. I had to work extremely hard to get that kind of interaction with my professors at WVU in a classroom filled with 250+ students.
Feels Like Home
The people are my favorite part of Mount Union. It can be difficult to be an out-of-state student in a new school; however, the students as well as the faculty have made me feel at home here. My classmates are more like family to me and that has been the best part about my experience thus far.
It’s a tie between Bracy Hall and the MAAC – the two places around campus where I have spent the majority of my time. All of the PA classes are held in Bracy Hall. It becomes a second home during the didactic year of PA school. I’ve always enjoyed exercising and really like working out at the MAAC. Our class signed up for intramurals and had fun playing basketball, soccer, and volleyball throughout the year. I’ve also enjoyed attending some of the workout classes provided by the MAAC.
I believe Mount Union sets itself apart by providing excellent academics, with professors who truly care about their students and their successes. I have been encouraged and challenged to participate in multiple activities outside of the PA curriculum while on campus, including Scholar Day. One of the professors in the PA program, Vanessa Worley, challenged us to apply for Scholar Day with the research that we had performed during our spring semester. Although it means extra work, this type of encouragement leads to excellence and sets our program apart from others around the nation.
Challenges Lead to Confidence
The Mount Union PA program has established a curriculum that provides each student with the tools to succeed in clinical practice. The rigors of the academic curriculum (i.e. OSCEs, written examinations, oral presentations, research projects) provide the platform for future success. Mount Union’s program doesn’t just focus on the medical aspect of patient care, but also emphasizes the importance of ethics, integrity and responsibility. With the completion of each semester, students build the confidence necessary to perform at the highest level upon graduation.
I’m currently on my general surgery rotation and I have had the greatest hands-on experience. I have had the opportunity to scrub in on multiple specialty surgeries, including orthopedics, vascular surgery, neurosurgery, general surgery, plastic surgery and ENT. My preceptor has given me the chance to suture incisions up to six inches in length. I have worked with orthopedic surgeons who have handed me the drill during surgery and allowed me to drill into bone. There is no greater feeling than when a surgeon trusts you to use your skills in the operating room. These types of experiences make our field unique and appealing.
From Clinical to Classroom
I am in my fourth of 10 rotations in the clinical year of the program. I've completed Internal Medicine, Dermatology and OB/GYN and I’m currently in General Surgery. Clinical year is exciting and challenging – providing each student with the opportunity to practice medicine in different specialties. I have enjoyed each one for different reasons. From assisting in the delivery room to performing complete physical examinations, my rotations have allowed me to apply what I’ve learned in the classroom.
My ultimate career goal is to become the type of PA that changes a patient’s view of medicine. The great part about my future career path is the type of provider-patient relationship that I will be able to establish. As a PA, I hope to not only diagnose and treat medical conditions, but also properly educate my patients. I want to give my patients the resources they need to better care for themselves and their loved ones. All of my goals are within reach because of the training that I’ve received at Mount Union.