Kaleena - Physician Assistant Student Ambassador

Hi! I’m Kaleena and I moved to Charleston from Boston, MA to start MUSC’s PA program. I went to undergrad at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute near Albany, NY and while I was there I earned a B.S. in Biology and did a ton of research about fruit flies (yes, I still catch them in my house and try to determine their gender!). That led me to a research tech job at Massachusetts General Hospital, where I quickly learned that I would much rather be working with people than sitting at a lab bench all day. I shadowed some PAs at the hospital and besides my apparent inability to stomach pitting edema, it was a lifechanging experience. Six months later I was starting PA school and pledging my pending PA skills to the U.S. Army, and so far it has proven to be the right decision for me. Being able to stab my classmates with needles is a plus. Just kidding!

South Carolina is a big adjustment for us Yanks but there’s not much else that can beat the weather and the culture here. Charleston reminds me of Boston with its historical charm, countless boutiques and restaurants, and range of unique activities that you can’t find anywhere else. On top of that, you can lay on the beach, study under a palm tree, swim in the pool, and kayak the many rivers for at least eight months of the year. Charleston has been voted America’s Friendliest City several times in the past, and I can definitely see why. But if you’re from above the Mason-Dixon line, prepare to be perplexed by girls wearing dresses to football games and Southerners’ abilities to relate football to every part of their daily lives.

Besides the location, I chose MUSC’s PA program because of their consistent exceptional performance on the PANCE, the layout of the curriculum, and the awesome experience I had during my interview. I spent ten minutes of my interview looking at pictures of snow on my interviewer’s iPhone and laughing about how there are really cars under there. That’s one thing you learn quickly – that the professors here know how to challenge you while also understanding that students are real people that have lives outside of school. I have no idea what specialty I want to go into when I graduate, but that’s the best part about being a PA… you don’t have to know!

Have any questions?Email me


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