Ben Hubbard, MS/PA Studies '21 July 29, 2021
MS in Physician Assistant Studies
What inspired you to pursue a career as a physician assistant?
When I made the decision that I was not going to reenlist in the United States Army
and work to obtain my college education, I knew that I wanted to work in healthcare. I have always had an interest in medicine and I enjoy interacting with people. I
considered other areas of healthcare and initially was going down the path to becoming
a physical therapist but once I learned about the role and lifestyle of a physician assistant I was sold.
It’s the perfect fit for a person that enjoys medicine and interacting with people
but also allows for change and hopefully more weekends off to enjoy some camping and
Why did you choose PCOM for your graduate education?
I knew that I wanted to attend PCOM for their physician assistant program during my interview experience. John Cavenagh, PhD, PA-C, clinical professor, gave a very inspiring presentation about the program, the student-led
tour presented the student body and campus in a positive light, and the interview
itself was very down to earth and enjoyable. A fun memory from my interview was laughing
with one of the interviewees about how we had both recently dissected our Thanksgiving
dinners to teach our family anatomy. I probably would’ve attended PCOM after that
experience even if it was in Kansas, no disrespect to Kansas, but being able to stay
in a great city like Philly was also a bonus.
Were there any faculty or staff members that were influential during your time at
I felt comfortable going to any of the professors or staff within the PA department
for help but my advisor, Sean Guinane, DHSC, PA-C, assistant program director, and Philadelphia campus site director, was a huge help
in getting me through the program. He answered every question thoughtfully and I felt
that he was truly rooting for me academically and personally. I always looked forward
to our advising meetings during the clinical year. They usually ended up feeling like
I was catching up with an old friend.
What accomplishments are you most proud of?
I'm most proud of this moment right now, graduating from PA school. Looking back ten
years ago, I was 18, I had just graduated high school, and was working on enlisting
in the army as an infantryman. I planned on making that a career and preferred physical
challenges over academics. I did not see a future where I ventured far enough into
academia to be receiving a master's degree. I am most proud of this because getting
to this point was a formidable challenge that started many years ago, well before
even applying for PA school. My classmates and I were all able to overcome this challenge
and right now feels like an important moment for us to reflect and see how we've grown
as individuals. As I reflect on my life to date, nothing makes me feel more pride
than to say that I am a graduate of the PCOM physician assistant program.
What impact do you hope to have after graduation?
I hope to provide quality patient care in a surgical subspecialty. I hope that I not
only take care of patients' illnesses and concerns but also provide them with a positive
interaction that leaves them feeling better. I am very interested in environmental
causes so I am looking forward to having a little more time to spend volunteering
for and supporting green organizations after PA school.
What advice would you give to a graduate student that is starting their journey?
My advice to a student starting their PA school journey now would be to not forget
that, although during these 26 months school is very important, these are still 2+
years of your life and you need to make sure you have some fun. Pass your tests, study
hard, but don't be afraid to go out and have a good time now and then. I found that
when I was feeling burnt out from studying or a week full of exams, a weekend camping
trip or a night out in Fishtown with my friends usually helped get me back on track.
Also, find a good nap spot on campus.