Second-Year Physician Assistant Student: Lydia Gladfelter
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Second-Year Physician Assistant Student: Lydia Gladfelter

Lydia Gladfelter at a clinical rotation siteMy name is Lydia Gladfelter. I'm from York, Pennsylvania, but I currently live right near campus in Wyncote. I am a second-year student in the Physician Assistant (PA) Studies program here at Salus. I'm currently in my second clinical rotation at St. Luke's Health Network for Orthopedics. This is my first elective rotation of the clinical year, and it has been a great experience so far.

I graduated from Juniata College in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in biology. Juniata gave me the perfect opportunity to expand my scientific knowledge while also creating long-lasting friendships. Not only does Juniata have a very strong science program, but all health profession students are able to take a class that guides each student individually to help create applications for graduate programs. This allowed me to prepare my PA school application far in advance so that I was able to apply at an earlier time and enter graduate school only months after earning my undergraduate degree.

I chose the PA program here at Salus due to the flexibility the healthcare profession offers. PAs are able to work in many different specialties of medicine, which makes the profession stand out beyond many others. PAs provide well-rounded medical care while working as part of an interprofessional team. I am excited to continue forming relationships with patients, continuously expanding my knowledge in all fields of medicine and changing lives.

Lydia Gladfelter with fellow PA friends at Love Park in Philadelphia during PA OlympicsMy desire is to provide the best healthcare possible for my future patients, and that all starts with my education here at Salus. Salus stood out beyond other PA programs in the Philly area because of pre-clinical experiences during didactic year, and two elective clinical rotations offered during the second year. Pre-clinical experiences took place every Wednesday morning of my didactic year. The experiences provided a great introduction for future clinical rotations, and made me more comfortable interacting with preceptors and patients. As a Salus PA student, I will have 10 total clinical rotations during my second year of school. Two of those rotations are electives, which means I get to pick the specialty. Salus molds the education during the second year to the interests of the students, which is a huge benefit for myself and my classmates as we determine where we want to work in the medical field. The Salus faculty and staff are AMAZING. Each professor is always willing to help students find more resources, contacts, study habits, etc. Our professors at Salus are very welcoming and as a student, I always feel as though my professors have my best interests. Our professors make an effort to know each student individually, which really personalizes the didactic year.

My current orthopedic rotation is a mixture of OR and clinic days. This means my schedule varies daily depending on the number of cases or patients for the day. I work with a handful of doctors, so each day I am usually with a different physician but over the course of the rotation I will get to know most of them well. 

My typical OR day is as follows:

5:30 a.m.: Wake up, eat breakfast, get ready for the day.

6 a.m.: Leave for my drive to St. Luke's.

Lydia Gladfelter with fellow PA classmates at Elkins Park campus7-7:15 a.m.: Arrive at the hospital and change into scrubs.

7:30 a.m.: Meet with the physician and PA-C team to discuss cases for the day.

7:45 a.m.: Cases start for the day. The number of cases and length of the day changes daily. Most days the OR will finish between 2-5 p.m., depending on the number of cases scheduled and if the cases go as planned. 

5 p.m.: Drive home and listen to music or a podcast to relax.

6-10 p.m.: Dinner, study, read about certain cases or ortho diagnoses, log patients, bedtime! 

My typical clinic day (usually 8 a.m. - 4 p.m.):

6:15 a.m.: Wake up, breakfast, get ready for the day.

7 a.m.: Drive to St. Luke's.

8 a.m.: Start seeing patients for the day.

12:30 - 1 p.m.: Lunch!

1 - 4 p.m.: Afternoon patients.

5 p.m.: Arrive home for dinner, studying, logging patients, etc.

Learn More About the Salus Physician Assistant Program

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