Sarah Chan

Sarah Chan

Physician Assistant


Hoag Hospital Emergency Department

Newport Beach, CA USA


Make it clear what’s acceptable for you as a person, as a human being. You’re not a machine. You have to be content in your own personal life in order to bring that same energy into your workplace.

Milestones

My road in life has been direct.
I’ve always really enjoyed biology. After volunteering in the emergency room while in high school, I realized that I wanted to pursue medicine.
My next step was determining what role in medicine I wanted to pursue; there are so many avenues to choose from when pursuing a career in the medical field.
While at Point Loma Nazarene University, I discovered the role of a physician assistant (PA).
Since I majored in biology, I had fulfilled all of the prerequisites needed to apply to a PA graduate program.
At the time, I only qualified for programs that were out of state, so I chose to live in Miami, Florida and attend Barry University.
The end of school was challenging. While taking my certification exam, I remember thinking I wasn’t ready to be a full-fledged provider.
I am now working as a physician assistant in Hoag Hospital's Emergency Department.
Keep following my journey

Education

High School
Bachelor
Biology
Barry University
Graduate
Physician Assistant
Point Loma Nazarene University

Career

Physician Assistant

I work with physicians to provide medical care to patients that arrive at the emergency department.

Career Roadmap

Roadmap
My work combines:
My work combines:
Medicine
Science
Learning / Being Challenged

Day to Day

It varies. If I’m in triage, then I’m sorting patients by their acuity or how sick they are. In just a couple of minutes, I listen to what their complaint is and try to get to the root of what is causing that problem. I figure out what testing they’re going to need and anticipate what other providers would want as far as results. It’s mainly managing and determining what a patient needs during their visit.

Skills & Qualities Beyond School

Interpersonal skills are a must because you as a provider are required to effectively communicate and build rapport not only with patients but also with other people on staff. Everyone is on the same team trying to figure out the best way to help patients. Also, you need time management skills in order to multitask. And then of course being able to handle stress and finding a good work-life balance is key. You really have to know yourself first and foremost and create necessary boundaries.

Advice for Getting Started

Here's the first step for everyone

Try to get in as a [hospital] volunteer just to see what the flow is in that setting. This way you can witness all the different things that it takes to treat people. If you’re set on pursuing a career as a PA, find a program that links undergraduate studies with PA studies to save you both time and money.

Hurdles

The Noise I Shed

From Myself:

"You aren't prepared enough."

Challenges I Overcame

Work Stress