Amber Henry

Posted on December 20 2017

Amber Henry
 Physician Assistant Student
Atlanta Native 
Q & A:
Why did you decide to go to PA school?

In undergrad, I was initially a pre-med student, and it was not until after graduating that I decided to pursue the PA route. I did not know what a PA was when I was in undergrad, so I thought that the only option was to become a doctor. When I finally found out what a PA was, I still did not make the switch immediately to that route because I had devoted so much time and money to become I doctor that I felt if I switched, I was “giving up.” A part of me always felt that I was making the wrong decision, and this was apparent when I was applying to medical school. So, as I went to submit my application for medical school, I actually deleted my whole application and enrolled into my alma mater to take the few perquisites I need for PA school. Lol

What I like most about the PA profession is the flexibility. PA school is only 2-3 years depending on the program, and once you graduate, you are not required to go to a residency programs, which is a requirement for becoming a doctor. Most residency programs are 3+ years. There are so many other things I wanted to do besides being a doctor and becoming a doctor would hinder a lot of that, so I knew that the PA route was best for me.

What are the pros and cons of PA school?

One of the biggest pros of PA school is that the program is generally 2-3 years, and IT FLIES BY! I cannot believe that I am about to finish my 1st year of PA school, and I have less than a year and a half to go until I graduate. Another pro is the cost in comparison to medical school. They are BOTH expensive, but I am saving at least $120,000 by going to PA school. Another pro about PA school is that once I graduate I can start working immediately, and there is lateral mobility within the PA profession, which means I am not tied down to any one specialty, and I can move from different specialties without attending a residency program.

A con is that there is very little time for yourself. The first year of PA school is your didactic year, and you are spending the entire year in the classroom learning about the different diseases, treatment plans, procedures, etc. Most days I am in classes from 8a-5pm, Monday through Friday. Most days I am not getting home until 5:30pm, and I still have to eat, study, and get my things ready for the next day. We have at least 2-3 exams a week, and most exams have about 2-3 weeks’ worth of material on the exams, so this gives us very little time to study the material. Though we are not doctors, we are still responsible for learning most of the information that they are learning in medical school in a shorter period of time.

What advice do you have for students interested in the medical field and are not sure exactly what they want to do?

RESEARCH, RESEARCH, RESEARCH! And find a mentor. If I would have known about the PA profession earlier own, I doubt I would have pursued the pre-med track in undergrad. If I would have researched other options within the medical field, I would have known that there are so many other opportunities that are available. Having a mentor is good because they can give you advice about their experiences, and they can prevent you from making the same mistakes that they did.

What advice do you have for aspiring PA students?

Do well in your undergrad classes especially Anatomy and Physiology. Most PA schools scrutinize that class the most as it is a good indicator of how you will do in the program. I would also recommend getting quality healthcare experience in a diverse setting such as in a hospital/ER. Prior to PA school, I was a scribe in the ER, and one of the big reasons that I am doing as well as I am doing is because I have seen a lot of the diseases prior to PA school, and when we are learning about them in class, I am able to reference back to when I was working. Another good piece of advice is to trust the process. If it is meant to happen, NOTHING in this world will stop it. I know the whole process of becoming a PA is stress, but it is so worth it in the end

At MWL13, we believe that it is important to uplift women by embracing their inner Goddess. Therefore, what makes you a Goddess? (This can include a talent, hobby, and or anything that makes you special)

My authenticity makes me a Goddess. I am always coming up with new and innovative ideas to expand and promote my brand. Even as a little girl, I was always brainstorming about different things and figuring out novel ways to achieve it. It would be so much easier to do what everyone else is doing, but that’s not me. I’m quirky, cute, fun loving, hardworking and transparent – those are the things that make me authentic, and those are the things that I want people to see in me and my brand. I could easily change who I am as a person to fit the “mold” about how people think I should be, but why? God made me this way, and it would be an insult to him if I changed up how I was as a person to fit in someone else’s vision of my life.

Where do you see yourself in 10 years?

I see myself working as a PA in either the emergency room or ICU, and hopefully a published author. I also want to start a non-profit organization that focuses on educating the youth in the urban and inner cities about STEM professions and promoting healthy lifestyles. I also have a strong desire to get into real state and flip house (I am a devoted HGTV viewer, lol). But who knows! Oh, and I guess I see myself being married with kids too. Lol

If you could travel anywhere in the world where would you go and why?

I really want to travel to Taiwan. I know several people that have traveled there, and the pictures were breathtaking! 

As a Goddess, what would you like other women to know about you?

I would like for them to know that my journey has not been easy at all. I have had to fight to get to where I am at, and there were days where I doubted myself and my abilities. There have been so many times where I was close to quitting and settling for something that I knew would give me a comfortable life, but I would be trading in my happiness.  I know there are other women at there that are feeling the same, and I want you ladies to know that YOU CAN DO THIS and DO NOT LET ANYONE AND ANYTHING GET IN THE WAY! I was not always the most confident and secure woman, and it has taken me years to build my self-confidence up, and I am finally at a place in my life where I know EXACTLY who I am as a woman and what I will and will not stand for. As women, we need to do a better job of uplifting and encouraging each other, instead of bring one another down.


Instagram: AmbzThePA___xo


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