Class Size in GWU Physician Assistant Studies Program Enhances Student Learning

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Lauren Embry (’18) Values Friendships with Classmates and Teachers

Lauren Embry (’18) of Rock Hill, S.C., came to the Physician Assistant Studies program at Gardner-Webb University after graduating with her bachelor’s degree from a large university, where she felt like a face in the crowd. “I have truly valued the class size at GWU and the availability to get to know my teachers,” she reflected. “Having smaller classes allows the teachers to know your name and also different aspects about your life that don’t happen at larger universities. I have truly valued the friendships that I have made with both classmates and teachers.”

Students are required to learn a ton of information and do so through a combination of lectures and practice. “We learn the different diseases, presentations, symptoms, management, and treatment options, which gives us the information that we need for our hands-on scenarios,” Embry explained. “During our hands-on activities, we have both standardized patients and mannequins that we perform exams on.”

Students receive hundreds of PowerPoint slides a week, which requires them to study outside of class. “The teachers can only do so much explaining during class, so a lot of time it is our responsibility to really learn and figure out the material outside of class,” Embry assessed. “With that being said, the teachers have an open door policy. They are always available, during business hours, to sit down and explain anything that we ever have questions on. Whether it’s a five-minute question or an hour-long question, they will stop what they are doing in order to help their students learn.”

One PA studies faculty member who has influenced her the most is Assistant Professor Jamie Camp. She appreciates his work ethic and Christian influence. “I can’t thank him enough for all of the effort he has put into our education. He works above and beyond his required hours to create the best learning experiences possible for students,” Embry affirmed. “He tries so hard to make realistic scenarios for us so we are ready for clinicals and real life. At the beginning of class, he does a quick devotion. By him taking time to pour into our spiritual lives, it shows that he cares about us as a whole person.”