Student in GWU Physician Assistant Studies Program Appreciates Commitment of Professors

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Elizabeth Hawes (’18) Decided on Career in Medicine at 8 Years Old  

Elizabeth Hawes, center, practices in a lab with her classmates, Lauren Embry and Conrad Gorman.

After months of studying anatomy, physiology and other healthcare topics in the Physician Assistant Studies program at Gardner-Webb University, Elizabeth Hawes (’18) of Valdese, N.C., welcomed the chance to apply her knowledge. The opportunity came in her Operating Room and Minor Surgery class. “In the midst of a rigorous summer semester, this class taught us to suture, scrub in and perform a number of small procedures,” she reflected. “For me personally, this marked my transition from student to future provider. I felt like a true healthcare provider in training.”

Hawes believes choosing to work in the medical field is as much a passion as it is a calling. “The road is not easy and with groundbreaking discoveries happening faster than ever, it requires one to essentially become a student for life,” she observed. “I made my decision to go into the field of medicine at 8 years old. Every single time I was asked to write out my goals, a career in medicine was at the top. Along the way I discovered a passion for helping people and for studying the science of the human body.”

She chose GWU’s program after attending an open house with a friend. “Gardner-Webb ended up being my one and only application,” Hawes related. “On my interview, I can distinctly recall how well the faculty seemed to get along with each other. They fostered an environment of learning yet having a good time was not off limits. Having top-notch professors in a learning environment close to home made my decision easy. I knew instantly that this was the place for me.”

The faculty continually impresses her with their commitment to students. “Our professors are always interested in the feedback we have to give,” Hawes assessed “I know our professors work well into the night and rise again early to finish lectures in preparation for us. They literally sink themselves into the material as much or more than we do. There is a comfort in knowing my professors study just like I do. We also have an open door policy where students can pop into an office whether it be to simply say hello or spend time with a troublesome concept.”