Faculty in GWU Physician Assistant Program Offer Support and Encouragement

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Sarah E. McManus (‘17) Says Challenging Studies are Rewarding 

Sarah E. McManus has been interested in a career in healthcare for most of her life and considered going to medical school after completing her bachelor of science at N.C. State University. However, as she began to explore her options and think about her future, a Physician Assistant program seemed a better choice.

“As a woman who would like to get married and have a family someday, I decided that being a PA would provide for more flexibility and less time in school,” she shared. “I will also have the opportunity to practice in many different areas in medicine throughout my career without being confined to one specialty. I chose Gardner Webb because I love the small town Christian atmosphere. Everyone is kind and helpful and they really make you feel like they are lucky to have you. Gardner Webb’s Christian values also drew me to this school as being in a place where Christianity is not condemned is very important to me.”

She says PA school has been one of the hardest things she has ever attempted, but the most rewarding.

“The systems-based approach to the human body and medicine that Gardner Webb uses makes the material easier to understand and put together,” she explained. “Many times the different classes will be synchronized so that the material covers the same topic from different aspects of medicine. While a lot of information is taught in a short period of time, I have been amazed at how much I have learned and retained.”

She says her GWU experience has been everything she hoped for and the faculty is helpful and encouraging.

“They know what it is like to be where we are and always try to make our education the best it can be,” she observed. “I am confident that I will be well prepared to practice medicine as a PA after graduation.

Together the faculty has years and years of experience in a wide variety of fields from family medicine to cardiology to orthopedics, which is unusual for a new PA program to have. They and our classmates have become like family to us. The small class size at Gardner Webb also contributes to the welcoming, helpful atmosphere.”