Why I Chose RIT (Physician Assistant)

Aidan Sullivan on Saturday, 27 April 2019.

As a senior in high school, it’s very difficult to imagine yourself and the person you’ll become when you transition to college. To give a little insight into what this is like, imagine yourself in 9th grade and compare that to now. Pretty different right? Now multiply that exponentially, and you’ll have an idea of what this college will do to grow your mind.

It’s natural to not necessarily consider this in choosing a school, however, in your consideration of RIT, here’s a few things you should know. I came from a high school graduating class of 74, where as my accepted class of 2015 was about 3500 students, from every country and state you could imagine. I chose RIT because it was, for one, larger. I wanted to move on from the small rural community I grew up in, and I wasn’t disappointed. RIT’s diversity exposed me to so many different minds, temperaments and talents that I could never have expected. This university will push you, support you, and expand your mind like few others. I grew up near this university my whole life, and saw that they had such a prominent figure in the Rochester area. RIT was always doing something that was catching the communities eye. Next, when I read up on the Physician Assistant program, I made my decision.

Attending RIT for PA was direct and focused, and would save me applying to graduate school. They take what the conventional PA route is, usually consisting of 4 years of undergraduate, premed studies, a year of work and independent study, graduate school entrance exams, application to a 2 year PA school, and then completion of the program, and consolidated it into a 5 year Bachelors / Master’s  program that could graduate me prepared to enter the medical field. Just prior to my admission to RIT, a new clinical health sciences building had been installed, with state of the art teaching labs for the Physician Assistant, Diagnostic Medical Sonography (ultrasound) and Nutrition majors. I was going to be one of the first classes to pass through the new department building, and I was incredibly excited.

Our program was also more inclusive than most others. The competition was to be admitted to the program, and now my class of 36 shiny, new PA students was to learn to work as a team. Instead of competing for the best GPA, or trying to one up each other to stay in the program, our teachers facilitated a program of study to educate us in optimal team practice. As I have learned, this has come to prepare me for how PAs should work together in the healthcare field, which is a new chapter of my life that is quickly approaching.

I thank RIT for pushing me to adjust my environment to help me develop into an adult. Having access to facilities that have encouraged physical well being, such as our enormous fitness center has allowed me to practice making good habits. Exercise has become a great coping method for me to handle stress, a habit that I hope stays with me for life. RITs resources and student workspaces have pushed other components of my creativity. Using our student maker-space, the Construct, has given me a spot to learn CAD programs, and work on my own design projects. I’ve tried many new things at this university, and I’m very thankful for those opportunities.

This college has pushed me to be more accepting, work with others, and grow to become more confident and independent. Much of it has been the most challenging task I’ve ever faced, but has resulted in self growth like I never could have imagined. Through my 4 years at RIT, I have come to understand why we have accomplished such Greatness, through diversity.