According to the American Academy of Physician Associates (AAPA), the PA profession was first created in 1965 to fill “a shortage of primary care physicians.” Currently, there are over 132 thousand physician associates practicing in the United States according to the United States Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS).
Even with the positive job outlook and competitive pay that makes the PA profession attractive to so many, it is the personal fulfillment and service-oriented care that drives selfless individuals to become physician associates.
Bradley Doll, MPAS, PA-C, is an alum of Rocky Mountain University’s (RMU) Master of Physician Assistant Studies (MPAS) program and now serves as a faculty member in the same program he was a student in years before. He shares his journey of becoming a PA.
“I always felt that practicing medicine would be an interesting and fulfilling career. After becoming an EMT in college, I realized that my dream of being a medical provider was possible and that going to PA school could utilize my medical experience to help me be successful,” said Doll
After graduating, Doll sought to work at a community health center where he could practice family medicine, utilize his bilingual Spanish skills, and participate in the National Health Service Corp.
Doll ended up at a clinic in Omaha, Nebraska, where he practiced in family medicine, urgent care, and mental health. While there, he also lectured and precepted students for Creighton University’s PA program.
After four and a half years, Doll returned to RMU. “In 2021, I decided to move into full-time education here at RMU,” Doll said. “I knew that the only program I would want to work in would be here at RMU. I felt like part of a family while I was a student here and knew that RMU would continue to treat me that way.”
For Doll, his career as a PA has been impactful and rewarding. “I became a PA so I could provide high-quality medical care, but more importantly, I found a conduit for helping others heal through compassion and kindness. Seeing that physical, emotional, and mental healing in patients has been the most rewarding part of being a PA,” said Doll.
In addition to teaching in the MPAS program at RMU, Doll practices part-time as a psychiatric PA for underserved patients in rural areas of the country.
For more information on RMU’s MPAS program, visit the program website.