So there is this really neat and awesome experience that you can do while here in Loma Linda’s Pathologists’ Assistant program. If you like research and pushing yourself to be better, then I got the perfect thing for you! Be a student delegate!
What is a student delegate you may be thinking?
Well, only two people from the class are chosen to represent the school and the program (I was one of them!) and present a research project on an interesting case that was done in the lab that will help benefit the PA community. The paper that you write will be published for the PA community. So what does being a student delegate encompass?
- Write a research paper on a case
- If yours is the best, it will be published in a issue of the Cutting Edge (PA magazine)
- Create a poster to present at the AAPA (American Association of Pathologists Assistant) Fall National Conference
- Attend the AAPA Fall National Conference
My classmate Marykate and I were the two students that decided and were chosen to partake in this experience. So what did I think about it? I’ll be honest with you, it was hard. To juggle studying and an extra project was very difficult (since I am a big procrastinator). However the reward and experience was well worth it. So my case was a very rare case where a cancer from a salivary gland metastasized to the bowel! As I was researching my case, I was able to meet with the pathologist who signed out the case and she was able to help me write my paper and poster. We would go over the case and look at the slides together. I had no prior experience of doing research projects or making a scientific poster but I learned a lot.
One of the best parts of the whole experience was getting to attend the National Conference which made me fall more in love with this profession and got me excited for the future. This past year, the conference was in New Orleans, LA!! Marykate and I took a plane from LAX to New Orleans to attend the conference. We went to every lecture and even volunteered a little while we were out there. Not only did we get to learn so much from the conference we also got to experience the city of New Orleans. We went on a Ghost Tour, ate amazing food and even did a spur of the moment trip to a TAYLOR SWIFT concert!
The one thing that I enjoyed the best about the conference was getting to know other PA and other PA students. Marykate and I were able to meet students from the other programs and talk about how the AAPA can help the students and how we as students can benefit from the resources that the AAPA gives us. It was also intesting to learn about where in the world PA are working. I meet people that work in Hawaii, Australia, and even New Zealand. I can’t wait to attend more conferences in the future.
This was by far one of the most rewarding things I have done this year. I am proud of Marykate, myself and all the other student delegates for working so hard to accomplish this hard task!