Alex Tabone (MS/PA ’17)
Despite the rigors of the Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Program, Alex Tabone has managed to stay involved in a number of activities that promote his profession and the College.
Aside from being his class president, he has acted as student/faculty liaison, bringing student concerns to faculty members; served as a committee member for Student Wellness Week; attended the PA Challenge Bowl, a national event which tests PA students’ knowledge of medical questions in a Jeopardy-style game; and served on the board for the Physician Assistant Olympics, an event where students from PA programs across the city gather to raise money for the Mazzoni Center in Philadelphia. Last year, he and his teammates raised more than $15,000 for the Center, which provides comprehensive health and wellness services to the LGBTQ community.
“Being able to balance your time is the key” to being so active, says Mr. Tabone. “Having great classmates is a help, too. Everyone in our class is so supportive, and I think we all work well together.”
In fact, he says that sense of community is what drew him to PCOM. “You get the sense that the faculty really care about their students. After I came for an interview, that’s what made me want to enroll.” He adds that Sean Guinane, DHSc, assistant professor, PA studies, has “always been there for me along the way.”
Mr. Tabone says he has always loved medicine, but realized he wanted to be a PA after having the opportunity to shadow a family friend, also a PA, when Mr. Tabone was in 10th grade. Since coming to PCOM, he has done rotations in about every specialty, including emergency medicine, psychiatry, internal medicine and trauma, at locations all over the country. But he has a particular interest in critical care, after one experience during his surgery clerkship.
“I found a patient unresponsive, and immediately called a Code Blue (indicating need for immediate medical attention),” he says. “I started doing chest compressions, and helped get him transferred to the intensive care unit. When that happened, I felt like I had played an integral part in saving his life. That’s when I knew I wanted to go into critical care.”