Amanda BurressClass year and major: 2011, Physician Assistant Studies

Current position and responsibilities: Hospitalist PA at IU Health Methodist Hospital. My responsibilities include diagnosing and admitting patients into the hospital; taking cross cover call on over 100 patients from the day team mostly in regards to hypertension, diabetes, pain management, and change in mental status; and pre-operative clearance and medical management for other surgical services. I’m also responsible for being a first-responder to rapid response calls (pt having acute mental status change, pt hemodynamically unstable).

Major project/achievement of the past year: I have several: graduating/passing the PANCE in May 2011; starting as a Hospitalist in July; and being chosen to represent the PA profession as a speaker at Butler for PA week.

Why did you choose physician assistant as your career: When I was in undergraduate school, I worked as a pharmacy technician and became good friends with one of the night pharmacists. I had mentioned to him that I thought I might like being a PA. He mentioned his wife was a Hospitalist PA at Methodist Hospital and that she would love to have me come shadow with her. After my first shadowing experience with her, I realized PA was exactly what I was looking for. I love that you get to spend time getting to know a patient, “put the pieces together” and make diagnoses, and treat patients. Also, the flexibility of hours enables you to still put family first.

How did Butler prepare you for your career: The faculty of Butler’s PA program is immaculate. The professors prepare students for not only the academic side of medicine, but also the real world situations. Because of the professors, the transition from being a student to a practitioner was much smoother than expected. The amount of stress placed on me as a student seemed unbearable at the time, but it enabled me to multi-task and prioritize much more effectively. The Butler PA professors also do a wonderful job of using the most up-to-date sources to reference in their lectures. For example, I just went to a diabetes conference recently and all of the studies they presented were ones I had already read and were familiar with secondary to my Butler education.

Most memorable experience(s) at Butler: Many study “parties” with lots of junk food and caffeine, the post finals Brothers celebrations, and being involved in PA program interviews.

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