Jessica Doerr Grand Valley Admissions

Deana Girbach

Physicians Assistant Studies

Previous Education:
B.S. in Biomedical Science, Grand Valley State University

Saline, Michigan, United States

Current Position and Employer:
Full time graduate student

Why did you choose to attend Grand Valley?
For the grad program itself I decided to attend Grand Valley because of its reputation. Since I went to Grand Valley as an undergrad I knew people in the program and they highly recommended it. Also, the location being on the Medical Mile of Grand Rapids, being right in the middle of everything, makes it a really good opportunity to see what's around here and to get good experience.

What do you like best about Grand Valley?
I like that it's kind of a big university, but at the same time has a small feel to it. You are not just a number; there are faculty and staff willing to work with you. You feel that you are valued as a person in the program and that there is a lot of room for development within the program.

Have you been able to incorporate your graduate studies into your job? How?
Everything that I have learned so far in the didactic part of my grad program I have been able to apply to my rotations within the program. I'm using what I am learning, which is important.

How will Grand Valley help you meet your future goals?
I think the reputation for the P.A. program precedes itself. When you go on your rotations people have heard of the program and heard good things about the students. They want people from Grand Valley; it has a good reputation and we are able to meet that reputation. So, it is very helpful to come from such a program because it brings more opportunities.

How has Grand Valley's faculty made a difference in your graduate experience?
Right from the beginning the faculty was always willing to sit down with me and willing to help me, so I always got to know faculty as people as well as professors. Also, the faculty has clinical experience, so it's nice to build off their experiences and learn about what they have seen.

What advice would you give to prospective graduate students?
I think one of the things that I would make sure to do while you are in undergrad is to look around at all of your options and make sure you are going into a grad program that really works for you. Look at career options as well as school, to make sure it's the best fit.

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