First-Year Physician Assistant Student: Emily Noll
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First-Year Physician Assistant Student: Emily Noll

Emily wearing a white coat standing in a parking lotHello! My name is Emily Noll and I am a first-year Physician Assistant (PA) student at Salus University. I graduated from 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 my sophomore year. I worked as a Certified Nursing Assistant throughout my last 2.5 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.

But here is what a typical day looks like for me:

7:00 a.m.: My alarm goes off. I get out of bed and turn on the coffee pot before anything else (coffee is a priority.) I get ready for the day and put on my business casual clothes. This was a new wardrobe for me, but I am definitely used to it now and am finding out that it is fun to dress nice.

Emily's homework and food on a desk looking at the Salus pond out the window7:30 a.m.: I get in my car and drive to Salus. I live in Manayunk, which can be a 20-50 minute drive, depending on traffic. I leave one hour before class starts just to be safe. My driving time allows me to listen to music, clear my head, or listen to online lectures to prepare me for exams.

8:30 a.m. -12:30 p.m.: Classes (Clinical Medicine, Physiology and Pathophysiology, for example).

12:30 p.m. - 1:30 p.m.: Lunch break. I usually take a walk with a couple of my friends to the cafeteria so I can eat my packed lunch and then come back to the classroom to study during this break.

1:30 p.m. - 4:30 p.m.: More classes.

4:30 p.m. - 5:30 p.m.: I usually go to the gym at the Hafter Center. I run and then lift weights usually.

5:30 p.m.: Depending on the day, I will either go to the library to do some work or go back to my apartment.


Evenings: If we have an exam the next day, a couple of my friends and I will study in the classroom together until they close at 11 p.m. This is very helpful and we all teach each other information as we talk it out. But if we don’t have an exam, I go back to my apartment in Manayunk, make dinner, shower, and then study for the rest of the night. If I have time, I like to watch “The Office” as I eat dinner and make phone calls to my closest family and friends and let them know that everything is going well. School is very important, but so is balance.

11p.m.: Time for bed.


I am so thankful for this opportunity to be here at Salus University. Some days I feel like I can’t put any more information in my brain, but it always fits. It is definitely challenging, but to say it is rewarding is an understatement.

Learn More About the Salus Physician Assistant Program

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