Megan Hottel worked hard to become a physician assistant
Get to know our students, and you’ll know what UMKC is all about.
What made you decide to become a physician assistant (PA)?
I thought I might want to do medical school. I studied biology as an undergraduate knowing that was kind of the pre-med route without actually calling myself pre-med.
I wanted to have more work/life balance than being a physician often demands, and more flexibility in raising a family. I chose being a physician assistant, who can still treat patients and open a practice. PAs are in demand (The Bureau of Labor Statistics predicts PAs will be the second-fastest-growing profession in the next decade, increasing from 74,800 in 2008 to 103,900 in 2018). And I could be in school for less time than it takes to become a physician — UMKC offers a seven-semester program.
Do you have a job lined up?
Yes, I start work as a PA in a dermatology office August 1 at University Health.
How has your college program inspired you?
My program has inspired me to the best provider I can be. The best providers are not only educated, but they are also compassionate and caring. They know their patients and can communicate with them. As a PA, I hope to establish healthy working relationships with each of my patients in order to optimize their health care.
Since entering college, what have you learned about yourself?
I’ve learned that I am capable of more than I give myself credit for. There have been numerous obstacles along the way — from initially applying to the program to continuously meeting program requirements as a student. I often fear not succeeding; however, I always seem to conquer the task. I’ve learned that I can do almost anything I set my mind to. I am where I am today because of my passion to care for others, and lots of hard work.
What’s the best piece of advice you have ever received from a professor?
Treat and care for your patients as you would your family members.
What do you admire most about UMKC?
My program faculty. Most of them are physician assistants in the Kansas City area themselves. They are compassionate, caring and knowledgeable providers. And together, they have built a program that will pave the way for future PAs in Kansas City. I admire their dedication to the PA profession. I hope to follow in their shoes — both advocating for the profession and providing great health care.
What’s your greatest fear?
I fear letting my patient or their family down. I want to know all of the answers and to be able to provide and treat all of my patients with the best care. I fear the times when I won’t be able to do this.
What are your lifelong goals?
To be a good PA. Caring for our patients is one part but also being a really good provider and communicating well with them and really understanding our patients. That’s my goal, to know my patient on a personal level rather than just in and out of the office.
What motto do you live by?
Work hard, play hard.
What excites you?
I’m really excited to get out and start practicing and working with the patients. I’m here to help them, and I think that’s what I’m most excited for, to actually interact with them and be a part of their health care.
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