Editor's note: This story has been updated to reflect an adjusted timeline for Concordia University Ann Arbor's Physician Assistant Studies admissions timeline.
CUAA recently welcomed Kristin Halsell, MS PA-C, to its Physician Assistant Studies faculty. Halsell, who will serve as clinical educator and assistant professor, joins Concordia from the Henry Ford Allegiance Health System where she practiced as a PA in Family Medicine for the last 15 years.
“I’m excited to help students learn to take care of patients’ mind, body, and spirit—it’s not just two dimensional care. We can address the whole person,” said Halsell, who currently resides in Holt, Michigan, with her husband and four children. “Being a PA is a very humbling position because you have great influence.”
It’s also a promising career field. A 2019 U.S. News and World Report recently ranked Physician Assistant #1 in Best Health Care Jobs, with a projected growth rate of 37.3 percent in the next 10 years (about 39,500 new jobs) and a median salary of $104,860.
Halsell wants those considering a career as a physician to know that the profession is extremely versatile, allowing you to work in as many areas of medicine as you desire in your career, but the training is rigorous. What Halsell personally enjoys most is the relational aspect.
“Being someone’s health care provider develops a relationship where people trust you. You are able to speak into their lives and help them at pivotal times,” said Halsell. “That’s the beauty of primary care—the ongoing relationships.”
Raised in Cadillac, Michigan, Halsell attended Smith College, a small liberal arts institution in Northhampton, Mass. She then moved to Philadelphia to do inner city mission work, volunteering at a health center as a medical assistant.
Halsell was debating a career in either full-time missions or the medical field, and it was around that time that she learned more about the physician assistant profession. She completed her Master of Science in Physician Assistant Studies at Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine in 2002.
“It was a perfect sort of fit for both practicing medicine and still practicing mission,” said Halsell. “I could help people in significant ways because of the patient-provider relationship, but it was also accommodating to other hopes and dreams I had for my life like having a family.”
Halsell is eager to share with her Concordia PA students how faith informs the practice of medicine.
Click here to learn more about CUAA’s Physician Assistant Studies program and application requirements. Renovations for the Physician Assistant wing of CUAA’s North Building begin the first week in February.
— Rachel (Ferry) Thoms is manager of campus communications for Concordia University Ann Arbor. She may be reached at email@example.com or 734-476-7736.
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