Skip to Main Content

Student Stories

Current students and alumni talk about their experience in the program and how it has affected their lives.

100 Percent First-Time Pass Rate on Certification Exam

All 29 members of Bay Path University’s Master of Physician Assistant (PA) Studies Class of 2022 passed the Physician Assistant National Certifying Exam (PANCE), earning the University’s PA program a 100 percent first-time pass rate for the third time in five years.

Meet Jake Carvalho PA-C G'19

Drew, from the Bay Path University Physician Assistant Program Class of 2022, shares his incredibly inspirational story detailing his personal journey to PA school.

“My name is Drew, and I am a 29-year-old physician assistant student in Massachusetts. I was diagnosed with TS at age 7. I have been through the whole gamut of medications, conventional, and unconventional treatments. At times I felt that I would never be able to achieve what I wanted to in my life. Having parents in the medical field I always felt some sort of draw to going into medicine.

However, I always believed that from a young age my tics would prevent me from accomplishing this goal, so I redirected my focus. I got my degree in political science and history, but I was not satisfied. I was at a point where I decided that I would not let TS stop me from obtaining a career in medicine.

One month, I decided to pick up everything and move to a different city. I went to school for three more years and worked as an EMT for one. After gaining renewed hope, I still went through years of struggle: tics, mental health, and physical health. Many years later, my hard work finally paid off. I applied to physician assistant school and was chosen out of 1200 applicants for one of 30 seats they had available. Now, I am set to graduate in May of 2022!

Having tics as medical provider is often stigmatized. Many people will doubt your capabilities, skills, competency in being a provider. As one of the few, if not only, physician assistant students with TS, I have a renewed pride in myself. I did not let TS stop me. I do not have fears of my competency as a future provider.

But I would be lying to say that my motor and vocal tics are not a source of worry for me. Instead of saying how my tics can hinder my ability, I would like to say that my tics bring me an inordinate amount of compassion, empathy, and kindness.

My experiences with #TouretteSyndrome will help me become a better provider. I will be able to make sure that my patients are cared for, listened to, and understood. These are all attributes that are lacking in medicine, and I will contribute to change that. This is a time in my life where I get to personally educate and give awareness that TS does not mean we cannot be excellent in whatever we do.

I wanted to write this to show young people with TS that if they have a dream job, especially in medicine, their tics do not have to prevent them from accomplishing it.

"I’m eager to begin my career as a PA in primary care, and am certain that with the support of my family, through my NHSC scholarship in addition to the education and training I’m receiving at Bay Path, I’ll learn a lot, particularly working in an underserved area like those I lived in for most of my life." - Andrea Fachini G’19 | Read her full interview

"As a single parent with a passion for healthcare, I'm becoming a PA to fulfill my lifelong dream of caring for and helping others while still having plenty of time to watch my son grow up. I selected Bay Path because there are great networking opportunities thanks to the small class sizes and clinical rotations that will allow me to explore many areas of the field." - Barbara Hoffman G’18 | Read her full interview

"I've never been one to take a back seat, but Bay Path’s PA program forced me out of my comfort zone. I learned how to take initiative and that strengthened my leadership skills. I worked with general surgeons Dr. Ampadi and Dr. McClelland at Baystate Franklin Medical Center while I was enrolled at Bay Path, and thanks to them, I realized where my career would take me—to the operating room, an area I am most passionate about. Together with Dr. Potee, they shaped who I am as a clinician today."
- Courtney Opalenik, PA-C G'15 | Read her full interview