Salus University Physician Assistant Studies students in clinic.Like every healthcare professional, physician assistants (PA) have been put to the test as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. Every year from Oct. 6-12, the University recognizes National PA Week, which was originally established by the American Academy of Physician Assistants (AAPA) as National PA Day, celebrated annually on Oct. 6.

According to the AAPA, this year PAs across the U.S. are joining together to remind the public of the importance of routine health checks or other preventative care, childhood immunizations and vaccinations, encouraging everyone to get a flu shot – especially as the flu season overlaps with the pandemic.

At Salus, National PA Week is an opportunity to advocate for the profession – and the resilience they’ve displayed in the midst of the coronavirus pandemic – as well as their ongoing contributions to the medical field.

Here’s a flashback to “Day in the Life” blog entries submitted by Salus students in pursuit of becoming PAs. Whether they have already graduated or are nearing completion of their degree, they took very different paths that led to Salus. But they immediately felt at “home” in the University’s PA program.
Samonne Palazo '20PA
My name is Samonne Palazo and I am aSamonne Palazo ‘20PA first-year Physician Assistant (PA) Studies student at Salus University. I received my bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Eastern Oregon University. While I had worked at an assisted living home during my summers in college, I needed more patient care experiences, so I decided to take two years off after undergrad before applying to PA school. I continued to work at the assisted living home and as a medical assistant at a rural family practice clinic. Living in a rural area, seeing the demand for rural providers, and how well the PA fills that need, is one factor that led me to pursue the PA profession.

Click here to read more about a “Day in the Life” with Palazo written in July 2019. Palazo will graduate on Tuesday, Oct. 13.
Toby Heller, MMS '19
Hi! My name is Toby Heller and I am aToby Heller, MMS ’19 second-year Physician Assistant (PA) Studies student from Maryland. I completed my undergraduate degree in Movement Science at the University of Michigan. I always knew I loved the sciences and wanted to help others, but it wasn’t until a friend actually told me what a PA was that I fell in love with the career and never looked back! I started my first year of PA school directly after graduating from undergrad. My first year of PA school was filled with studying, exams, and more learning than I ever could have imagined!
Now, I am in my second year – which means clinical rotations! This year is composed of 10 clinical rotations in different fields of the PA profession, including emergency medicine, family medicine, surgery, internal medicine, pediatrics, women’s health, mental health, and elective rotations! Each rotation is five weeks long, allowing us to really get a feel for what each specialty is like.
Each typical day really depends on the rotation – for example, some are in the hospital, some are in private practices, and each daily schedule varies. I really like having changing schedules and different clinical settings –having such a vast array of medical experiences helps me to grow as a PA student!
Click here to read more about a “Day in the Life” with Heller written in April 2019.
Emily Noll, MMS ’20
My name is Emily Noll. I graduated Emily Noll, MMS '20from 
Bloomsburg University with a bachelor’s in Health Sciences in May 2018. My undergraduate education was a roller coaster to say the least. I began as a speech-language pathology major but switched to health sciences during sophomore year. I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant throughout my last two and a half years of college and earned enough hours of patient care (between my undergraduate classes) that prepared me for PA school.
Every day has a different schedule. Some mornings/evenings are earlier and some are later, which keeps things interesting. Some days we have pre-clinical experiences during the entire morning, which allows us to shadow at different locations around the area. I have been to the Operating Room (OR), Respiratory Care, and The Eye Institute (TEI) so far. I am able to apply what I am learning in class, which really enriches my education. We also have Physical Diagnosis lab every week in the afternoon, where we are split up into groups of six and learn techniques about completing a physical exam. We just completed the Musculoskeletal exam and will be tested on it this week.
Click here to read more about a “Day in the Life” with Noll written in September 2019.
Navneet Gill '20PA
Hi, my name is Navneet Gill and I'm Navneet Gill '20PAcurrently a first-year Physician Assistant (PA) student at Salus University. Before coming to Salus, I received my undergraduate degree in Biology from the University of Maryland – Baltimore County (UMBC) in Baltimore, Maryland. While in undergrad I worked as an EMT and as an emergency department scribe for my patient-care hours.
Every day in our program is a little bit different. In our second semester, we have a mix of classes as well as preclinical experiences.
Click here to read more about a “Day in the Life” with Gill written in September 2019. Gill will graduate on Tuesday, Oct. 13.