Campus: Old Westbury Major: M.S., Physician Assistant Studies
Why study at NYIT?
Because NYIT's program in physician assistant (PA) studies has strong pass rates for PANCE, the board certification exam for PAs. It is also a three-year program, whereas most PA programs in the country are two years. The extra time allows for more extensive preparation, so students enter the work force competitively in this quickly growing profession.
Primary Care Scholarship Recipient
NYIT's grant from the U.S. Health Resources and Services Administration (HRSA) is paving new experiences for me as the agency's mission is expanding to include cultural competency training for sexual and gender minority health, i.e., lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender (LGBT) community health. It would be ideal if I could use my interest in LGBT health care in partnership with HRSA to advocate for more LGBT community health services in underserved areas. Currently, there are few federally qualified health centers focused on this need, and the established ones are located in major cities.
As the recipient of a scholarship from the HRSA grant, I will be doing an eight-week primary care rotation in an underserved area. I expect that I will become resourceful and learn how to adapt my knowledge for patients facing barriers to care, who are likely unable to comply with an ideal treatment regime due to complicating factors, such as the cost of multiple medications.
Organizations, Activities, and Honors
New York State Society of Physician Assistants, American Academy of Physician Assistants, and Gay and Lesbian Medical Association (GLMA). I am also the recipient of a GLMA student/trainee scholarship.
Openly identifying myself as a lesbian. Up until last year, I was in the closet. By owning my sexual identity, many opportunities have opened up for me, such as the GLMA student/trainee scholarship, and I'm having fun with these new roles.
Facebook for a Cause
I started a Facebook page to increase the visibility of topics in LGBT health care. My LGBT health care outreach page is meant to invite medical practitioners from all backgroundsPAs, doctors, nursesto recognize LGBT-centric health care as a trending priority addressed by several reports and groups (the 2011 Health Care Disparities Report, Healthy People 2020, and the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services). However, the strength of the LGBT health care outreach page is its potential to engage sexual and gender minorities from diverse social networks. The overarching goal is to highlight credible resources that respond to LGBT inequalities and disparities in health care (the GLMA, the Fenway Institute, the Callen Lorde Community Health Center, the National Coalition for LGBT Health, and others) that can help both practitioners and patients navigate LGBT health care for improved patient outcomes.
Exceptional people inspire me. For instance, my favorite author is Atul Gawande, M.D., who wrote Complications: A Surgeon's Note to an Imperfect Science and Better. I aspire to be like him in my approach to medicine by practicing humility, efficiency, and constant reflection and assessment. Ordinary people who I have met that are extraordinarily generous and kind also inspire me to think beyond "what's in it for me."
Ballroom, country western, and line dancing. My dance of choice is the West Coast Swing.
Read a PDF of "Coming Out in PA School" by Amanda Reamy, published in the December 2012 issue of the PA Professional, a publication of the American Academy of Physician Assistants.
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Susan Diaz Campus: Old Westbury Major: Nursing Class Of: 2014
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