Every time Sarah Marek ‘19 takes a pulse or takes a moment to comfort a patient, she moves a step closer to enrolling in a physician assistant program.
As a patient care associate at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston, Marek is working hard to log the 500 to 2,000 paid clinical hours typically required before someone can apply for a PA program.
Marek credits the development of her clinical skills — and bedside manner — to her time at Quinnipiac. They helped her secure her position at Brigham and Women’s, where she continues to develop those techniques every day.
“My experiences allowed me to practice the skills I hope to master as a health care professional in different ways,” she said.
As a double major in biology and chemistry, Marek was a regular in the lab and took advantage of multiple research opportunities. Chief among these was the eight-week QUIP-RS program, where she worked alongside biology professor Courtney McGinnis assessing the health of two Connecticut rivers and the effects of contaminated water on fish.
“Overcoming an obstacle in the lab can be like figuring out why a patient is having a poor response to a treatment,” Marek explained.
Marek likens working with concerned patients to helping overwhelmed students grasp difficult subject matter. She helped her classmates as an organic chemistry peer fellow and later as a peer facilitator for QSTEP, a program designed to enhance retention for students in STEM fields.
She also taught science to elementary school students in Leon, Nicaragua, during a STEM/Global Solidarity trip in 2017.
“I enjoy working with people on an intimate level, and I definitely feel prepared for my next steps,” Marek said.