Young Alumni: Mikenzie Mikkelson, MMS '21
placed here only to preload the colorbox scripts
Skip to Main Content

Young Alumni: Mikenzie Mikkelson, MMS '21

A question and answer session with one of our young alumni from the Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program, Mikenzie Mikkelson, MMS ‘21

Mikenzie MikkelsonQ: Why did you want to pursue a career as a PA?

A: PAs have a really unique chance to help people with their health and make personal connections with them.

Q: Why did you choose Salus?

A: I chose Salus because it has a small [campus] feel. I went to a small undergraduate institution and high school, I knew I didn't wanna go somewhere that big where I’d feel like just a number during what was the most important education of my life. I chose Salus because I thought that it was really about family, and that being so far away from home, I needed [a program and faculty] that would be there for my education and me personally. 

Q: What have you discovered about your subject area as a grad student that you wish you knew as an undergrad student?

A: I discovered that PAs work in more fields than I thought they did. Behavioral health is one of the core rotations for PA school and I previously was unaware that PAs could work in the mental health field.

Q:  What clinical experience made an impact on you during your time at Salus?

A: Talking to some of the patients that we get to take histories from about their lives has had an impact on me. Some patients had dreams of going to school, and they would say things like, “You guys are so young, you guys are doing it. I can do it too.”

Q: What study strategy do you recommend to incoming students?

A: Study strategy is something that is always a question that I get when I'm asked about how to be successful in PA school. My biggest advice is not to recreate the wheel. Start with what you did in undergrad, and just adjust it how you need to. For example, I take an outline and then I go through that outline and write out the things that I don't understand.

Q: Where was your favorite spot to study on campus?

A: The upstairs at the Hafter Center is not very well known on campus. There are places to study up there and there's a huge conference room. Several of my friends and I used to go and camp out there during the day. And there's a microwave there and a fridge there, so it's pretty secluded and there is easy access to everything that you'd need.

PA faculty and staff standing in front of a sign that says "PA's Go Beyond"Q: What advice would you offer a peer who might be struggling in a specific subject or class?

A: Use your resources. Salus is full of resources, so if you don't have a tutor, get tutoring, it's free. There are free sessions at the counseling program and then all of our professors have open door policies. Definitely reach out to the professor and they'll kind of help you see where you're deficient, go over exams with you and help you come up with a way to succeed.

Q: How did you feel supported as a student and an individual while enrolled at Salus?

A: I think Salus really supports their students and they don't just want them to be the best at whatever career path they're following, but just also want them to be the best person in general. Salus has so many programs set up for students to utilize, and to make sure that they're successful while they're here.

Q: What advice would you offer an undergrad considering pursuing an advanced degree in this field?

A: PA school has a lot of requirements academically, volunteering and getting patient care hours. So as soon as you know that you wanna go PA, I think that it's pretty smart to try to volunteer as much as you can in college. Especially because quite a few colleges have programs set up to volunteer in and then try to get patient care hours. As much as you can, keep your grades up because having a high GPA is also important. Just take small steps to try to work towards having the best application you can.

To learn more about Salus University's programs, visit

PA class group photo