MANHATTAN, NY - Lenox Hill Hospital physician assistants (PA) recently celebrated National PA Week by giving about 100 local 11th graders a peek into their profession at its third annual PA's Making a Difference in Healthcare educational program.
Among the participants were St. Jean Baptiste High School students participating in the hospital’s first-of-its-kind PA internship program, where they learn first-hand about pursuing a career in medicine as a physician assistant while earning high school credit and volunteer hours.
Their 15-week internship starts in the next two weeks, but some are already sold on a PA career after attending PA's Making a Difference in Healthcare Tuesday at Lenox Hill Hospital, which is part of the North Shore-LIJ Health System.
"Now I definitely am considering going into PA in the surgical field," said Dorcas Atatishe, 15, one of the five St. Jean Baptiste students who will be interning at Lenox Hill Hospital.
All students -- 84 from St. Jean Baptiste and about 20 from Eleanor Roosevelt High School -- watched a live simulation of PAs using a defibrillator on a test dummy. They then broke into groups and learned how ultrasounds are used and how to take a patient’s blood pressure.
"PA’s are a vital component to successful healthcare reform because they are perfectly suited to the team-based approach to healthcare and wellness promotion," said Jonathan Sobel, PA-C, MBA, director for physician assistant services at Lenox Hill Hospital.
The position is among the fastest growing careers in the nation, according to the National Bureau of Labor Statistics. PA’s provide medical services in primary care as well as multiple specialties and subspecialties and in all categories of health care facilities from inpatient acute care hospitals to rural outpatient clinics.
"I thought it was really interesting and eye opening to see all these opportunities; that PAs can do so many things. They’re not restricted to just one thing," said Ana Leon, 16, another St. Jean Baptiste 11th grader who will intern at Lenox Hill this year.
The internship program was open to students in their junior year with a minimum 3.5 grade point average. Applicants were recommended by their principal and interviewed by Lenox Hill staff.
About Lenox Hill Hospital
Lenox Hill Hospital, a member of the North Shore-LIJ Health System, is a 652-bed, fully accredited, acute care hospital located on Manhattan’s Upper East Side with a national reputation for outstanding patient care and innovative medical and surgical treatments. US News & World Report has ranked the hospital among the nation’s top 50 in Cardiology and Heart Surgery, and Ear, Nose and Throat, and among the top 10 hospitals in the state of New York with a total of 10 “high performing” designations for its clinical performance in Cancer, Diabetes & Endocrinology, Gastroenterology & GI Surgery, Geriatrics, Gynecology, Nephrology, Neurology & Neurosurgery, Orthopedics, Pulmonology and Urology. It is also recognized nationally as a leader maternal/child health and offers a wide range of services in radiology, and medical and surgical specialties. For more information, go to www.lenoxhillhospital.org