Finding My "Why" As A PA Student

My passion for medicine and fascination with the human body was nourished by several events that built my personality and shaped my perspective on life. Contrary to what you might think, I found that growing up in a third world country was more of an advantage than a disadvantage. The poor quality of life and the lack of economic stability in Egypt forced me to pursue a better quality of life in the United States (U.S) in addition to igniting my passion for working harder to reach my goals and fulfill my dreams.


My father was diagnosed with lymphoma 20 years ago, after many visits to more than a dozen specialist in Egypt none of them could provide the proper medical treatment for him; they recommended that he should fly to the U.S for better treatment due to the lack of resources in Egypt. When his health started deteriorating, his employer graciously transferred him to the U.S.; My dad was treated by an amazing medical staff at Boston Medical Center, this experience with my dad was the beginning of my curiosity towards medicine and the healthcare field. The moment that I still cherish to this day was when he came back safe after being treated via the advanced medical professionals in this country.


I moved to the United States when I was 18, with one goal in mind: to become a medical provider serving those in need of medical care. I went to California State University, San Bernardino, where I started my pursuit as a Biology major. I had one goal and one goal only: to pass my classes with an A and get into graduate school to practice medicine. Even though my above experiences seemed like it would be enough motivation for anyone to push through the hardships of this chase, it was not. I lost faith in achieving my goal several times until I became an Emergency Medical Technician that fire was reignited again serving those patients pushed me not to give up on this fight.


Shortly after becoming an EMT, I changed my major to Kinesiology and changed my outlook towards my studies. Every time I looked at my anatomy books, I saw a patient, every time I saw a vignette question, I imagined a human being that needs my aid. I needed that big picture, and the hands-on of I experienced first-hand by assisting those patients during their worst times.


Now I am the Class president for Loma Linda University Physician Assistant studies class of 2020. My father, and the patients I’ve served either on the ambulance, in the emergency room, or at the clinic are the reason I am cannot give up on my studies, are the motivation behind my medical education. Medicine is not a mediocre field to get in. In reality, if you invest the amount of time required to invest in medicine into any other field, you will generate more income than most of the medical providers out there. It’s never about the money or the prestige it's about helping our brothers and sisters.

About the author:

Paul Hanna is the class president for the 2020 class of physician assistant sciences at Loma Linda University. Paul's goal is to help aspiring students and educate his fellow students and graduates with his daily questions on social media. Follow Paul on Instagram.

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