It takes a greater person than I to embrace a schedule of multiple intense science classes, 2 part time jobs and leadership positions in 2 different clubs. Linda Liu, a junior in the Physician Assistant Studies program does it all, and with a smile, no less.
What is your major/minor?
I am a pre-Physician's Assistant major, it’s not really a major but I’m in a 5 and a half-year dual program. I start the grad portion of the program in the fall. And I minor in Spanish and Biology.
What are you involved in on campus?
I’ve been co-president of the Red Cross Club since spring 2012 and I actually recently just started the pre-PA club. There is an association for pre-health majors but they focused more on med school and dental school. The PA career is definitely expanding and getting very, very popular so my fellow classmates and I started our own club. We are basically just looking to get the word out about the career and let students who are interested in the career know what prerequisites they have to take. We have speakers come in, like current PAs and PA students. It’s a great way to learn about the career and the education needed to get into PA school.
Is there anything you wish you could’ve done on campus?
Study abroad! I definitely wish I could’ve participated in a study abroad program since I’m minoring in Spanish.
How do you balance your many clubs and interests?
I really don’t know honestly. But it’s definitely tough. You just have to work your way through it. You have to know how to control yourself, know when and what is appropriate depending on what you do. You have to prioritize, whether it’s hanging out with your friends or studying for an exam. I’ve had to make that decision many times. I also work so that makes it hard to keep on track with everything but my friends understand. They support me in everything I do.
Do you have any other advice for a student who might want to be a Physician’s Assistant?
Definitely talk to advisers. Find out what the prerequisites are for many PA schools. Find out where you want to go, depending possibly on where you would want to work. Also, regarding GREs (Graduate Records Examinations) know if you need to take them. I don’t have to since I am already a part of Hofstra’s program, but other schools require them. And definitely shadow a professional! Try to shadow a PA or at least volunteer at a hospital or anywhere.
Where have you shadowed?
I shadowed a GI PA (a Gastroenterology Physician Assistant) at North Shore-LIJ last summer. I was actually able to follow her around from like 6 o’clock in the morning until 2 in the afternoon. I was able to see the whole day of a physician’s assistant. I shadowed the physicians that she worked with. I saw a couple of procedures, like endoscopies. I saw her put in feeding tubes. It was really cool. I’m going to start shadowing again in a few weeks at a private clinic in Hempstead.
What’s the best advice you’ve gotten from a professor here?
My Bio 11 professor, she’s really cool, she’s one of my favorite professors, Professor St. Angelo. She gave us a whole speech in the beginning of the semester. She said, “I know a lot of you a lot of you think you want to go into the medical profession but this is not Grey’s Anatomy. If you want to be making out in the closet, this is not the place for you.” It was funny, because I think a lot of students go to college wanting to be a med student and they don’t realize how serious it is. It is a very vigorous course load.
Why did you choose Hofstra?
The first thing that brought my attention to Hofstra was the five and a half year program for pre-PA students. I really liked that it was three years undergrad and two and a half years grad school. I’m a worker. I like to work, so I was excited that school would be cut a little bit short, even if it were just by a year. I also heard about how great the program was from actual students at Hofstra, like how supportive the staff was. Hofstra’s a great school. One of my professors here said, “An education at Hofstra is the same as Harvard or Yale. It’s what you make of it that counts.” That’s really stuck with me. I’m definitely making the most of my Hofstra education.